Falkirk

 

Find your way around Falkirk, Larbert and Stenhousemuir

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FIRST THINGS FIRST! The best way of finding your way around the Burgh of Falkirk is to purchase a copy of Ronald P A Smith's Falkirk Street Plan, available from the publisher. This map was first published in 1982 and is now in its 17th edition. At the large scale of 6 inches to 1 mile (1:10,000), it is the most detailed Falkirk town map of its kind available; the only one with comprehensive indexes and locations of antiquities and places of interest; leisure facilities; schools and colleges; places of worship; health and welfare facilities; and other information including the locations of industrial estates, emergency services, etc.

The Falkirk Street Plan includes Larbert, Stenhousemuir, Carron and Carronshire, taking in the whole of the urban area to the north of the River Carron. In addition, there are insets for the smaller villages of Airth, Avonbridge and Slamannan (the 'Braes' villages are covered on the Grangemouth/Polmont Street Plan, also available).

To order by post direct from the publisher, please click on the 'Map Ordering' button on the left.


BURGH OF FALKIRK

Situated in the heart of Scotland, Falkirk is associated by many with heavy industry of the past. But little evidence of that past remains and it has a particularly attractive town centre with a robust Scottish character and many parks and places of historic interest.  A major new attraction is the Falkirk Wheel at the west end of the town.

Falkirk is the largest town in the former Central Region of Scotland, with a population of 32,379 in 2001. In addition, the Larbert/Stenhousemuir area had 21,709 inhabitants. The town is an important service centre with a wide range of modern industries including the assembly of buses with are exported throughout the world. Neighbouring Grangemouth is well known for its docks and petrochemical industries.

Situated on the carselands of the River Carron and the steeply sloping ground to the south, the upper parts of the town command spectacular views over the Forth valley to the Ochil Hills and the Highland mountains beyond. The town's shopping area is centred on the attractively pedestrianised High Street and features two indoor malls, each with a multi-storey car park.


Antiquities and Places of Interest

Callendar House - Falkirk's most substantial ancient building, Callendar House (right) has a long history. It was for many years the seat of the Livingstones, Earls of Callendar and Linlithgow, and was later transformed into a kind of French chateau by William Forbes who had made his fortune through copper bottoming the keels of ships. It is now open to the public as a museum featuring a restored 1820s kitchen and a Victorian library.

The Steeple - In very heart of the town, the 140 ft. high town steeple, dating from 1813, is an important focal point. Its top 30 feet were replaced after a lightning strike in 1927. Tolbooth Street, immediately behind the steeple, is said to be Britain's shortest street; its length is 58 feet.

Falkirk Old Parish Church - On the site of a church established by St. Modan in the 6th century, the present church, surrounded by a graveyard with some interesting stones, dates from 1811 and incorporates a tower of 1738.

Antonine Wall - In the 2nd century AD, the north-western frontier of the Roman Empire, the Antonine Wall, passed right through the middle of present-day Falkirk. The outline of the mound and its defensive ditch are still apparent along the north edge of Callendar Park and at Tamfourhill.


The photograph on the left shows Vicar Street at its junction with Princes Street which was opened by the Prince of Wales (later to become the Duke of Windsor) in 1933. The contemporary Tudor building makes an impressive sight at the street corner!

The Canals and the Falkirk Wheel - Falkirk's central position between Scotland's two greatest cities and between Forth and Clyde, together with its importance as an industrial centre caused it to become a centre for canal development in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Forth and Clyde Canal was opened in 1790 and the Union Canal to Edinburgh followed in 1822. Both canals have been restored by the British Waterways Board, with substantial financial backing from the National Lottery, as the 'Millennium Link'. The two canals are now linked by the Falkirk Wheel, the only rotating boatlift in the world.  It is a very impressive sight and is now a major tourist attraction in its own right. Other interesting features of the Union Canal in Falkirk are Scotland's only canal tunnels - one is situated at the top of the Falkirk Wheel and the other is near Falkirk High Station - if you want to walk through the latter, you may wish to take a torch as it is quite dimly lit!

Arthur's O'on - Had it not been demolished in 1743, this intriguing dome-shaped building, 22 feet high and 28 feet in diameter, would surely have been of great tourist interest today. It is thought to have been of Roman origin, but it is commonly speculated to have accommodated King Arthur's round table. Perhaps the measurements and drawings made before its demolition will one day lead to a reconstruction project, not just at Penicuik where a replica exists.

Carron Iron Works - Well known for the manufacture of baths, grates and telephone kiosks, Falkirk's Carron Iron Works was in its early years famed for its cannons. In its restored entrance tower, examples of its ordnance have been put on display - two heavy cannon actually used at the Battle of Waterloo and two light cannon or Carronades produced in 1778.


Main Recreational Facilities

Callendar Park - One of the most magnificent public parks in Scotland (see photograph on right), Callendar Park lies very close to the centre of Falkirk, but somehow largely preserved from development (apart from an incursion of some high-rise blocks of flats in the 1960s)! Formerly the private grounds of Callendar House, the park's main attractions include scenic walks, boating, pitch and putt, and a popular children's playground.

Dollar Park - A particularly pleasant public park on the western edge of the town centre, notable for its floral displays.

Bantaskine Estate - This park offers views over the town to the Ochil Hills and the Highland mountains as well as a variety of walks through woodlands and along the banks of the Union Canal. In this area was fought the second Battle of Falkirk in 1746, won by the Jacobites.

Mariner Centre - In the Camelon district of the town, this is a modern swimming pool and sports centre with squash courts and a fitness room.

Football Grounds - The grounds of three Scottish league teams - Falkirk, East Stirlingshire and Stenhousemuir - lie within the area covered by the Falkirk Street Plan.

All of the above attractions are shown on R P A Smith's Falkirk Street Plan, plus comprehensive listing and locations of:
* Additional antiquities and places of interest
* Further parks, leisure and recreational facilities
* Schools and colleges; places of worship
* Hospitals, health centres and other welfare facilities
* Other categories such as Council offices and industrial estates
Much more than can reasonably be shown on this or any other web site!


R P A Smith's range of Street Plans covers the following towns around Falkirk:


Grangemouth
Polmont
Bo'ness
Linlithgow
Livingston
Bathgate
Denny
Bonnybridge
Cumbernauld
Kilsyth
Stirling
Bridge of Allan
Dunblane
Alloa
Alva
Tillicoultry
Dollar
Dunfermline
2013 - Ronald P A Smith


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