Stirlingshire - A Description

Stirlingshire, one of the midland counties of Scotland, is partly Lowland and partly Highland. The Boundary Commissioners in 1891 effected a rearrangement of the boundaries between Stirlingshire and the adjoining counties of Clackmannan, Perth, and Dumbarton. Stirling parish, which was situated party in Stirlingshire and partly in Clackmannanshire, was placed wholly in the former county; Alva parish, which formed a detached part of the county of Stirling, was transferred wholly to the county of Clackmannan; Alloa parish, previous to being restricted to Clackmannanshire, gave its Perthshire portion (situated at Gogar Haugh) to Stirlingshire, to the parish of Logie; while the parish of Logie, previously partly in Stirlingshire and partly in the counties of Clackmannan and Perth, was placed wholly in Stirlingshire. Of the other parishes partly in Stirlingshire and partly in Perthshire, Kippen was placed wholly in the former, and Lecropt (after giving part of its Stirlingshire portion to the parish of Logie) wholly in the latter. New or East Kilpatrick, which was situated partly in Stirlingshire and partly in Dumbartonshire, was placed wholly in the latter county. For additional information regarding these alterations, and for changes on the boundaries of the interior parishes, see under the various headings. Stirlingshire is bounded N by the county of Perth, NE by the counties of Clackmannan and Fife, E by the Firth of Forth and Linlithgowshire, SE by Linlithgowshire, S by Lanarkshire and the Kirkintilloch detached portion of Dumbartonshire, and SW and W by Dumbartonshire. Its shape is irregular, but the greater part of it may be said to be compact, and measures 27½ miles, from Grangemouth on the E to the junction of Catter Burn with Ettrick Water on the W, and averages 13 miles from N to S at right angles to this; and from this compact portion a long projection passes up the NE side of Loch Lomond for 20 miles, 6½ miles wide at starting, and tapering to the head of Glen Gyle. The extreme length of the county, from the head of Glen Gyle south-eastward to LINLITHGOW BRIDGE, is 45¾ miles; and the extreme breadth, from the boundary line NE of Cauldhame south-westward to the junction of the Allander and Kelvin is 21 miles. The boundaries are largely natural. Beginning at the NW corner, the boundary line follows the stream in Glen Gyle down the glen to Loch Katrine (361 feet), and then passes along the loch itself to Coalbarns, SE of Stronachlachlar, whence it strikes straight west-south-westward to Loch Arklet (463). From near the N E end of this loch it passes south-south-eastward to the top of Beinn Uaimhe, and thence south-eastward by the summits of Beinn Dubh (1675 feet) and Muilan an t’ Sagairt (1398) to Duchray Water at the entrance to Gleann Dubh, 1⅛ mile W of the W end of Loch Ard. From this the boundary is Duchray Water, to a point ¾ mile be1ow Duchray Castle, and thereafter the line winds south-eastward till it reaches a tributary of Kelty Water, mile WSW of Gartmore. It follows this stream to the Kelty, then the Kelty to the Forth, and there after the last river to the junction of the Allan Water with the Forth. Here it passes northward up the Allan, along a tributary flowing from the NE, then turning southward in a more or less irregular course reaches the Forth, whence it follows the main channel of the river and the firth all the way to the mouth of the river Avon. The latter river separates the county from Linlithgowshire for 13¾ miles, upwards to the junction of the Drumtassie Burn, which then forms the boundary to its source, and after this the line passes westward to North Calder Water, which it follows for 1 mile on to Black Loch. Crossing this loch, it curves north-westward to the river Avon, ½ mile below the great bend near Fannyside Loch, and follows this river up to Jawcraig, whence it passes westward to the Castlecary Burn, and follows this downwards to Bonny Water. Thereafter it keeps near the Forth and Clyde Canal on the N side, along a small stream that forms the head source of the Kelvin, and then follows the Kelvin for 12 miles to the junction of the Allander Water with the Kelvin. Leaving the Allander near Dugaldston Loch it follows the Baldernock and Strathblane boundaries till it again reaches the Allander a little SW of Mugdock castle, up which and the Auldmurroch Burn it passes to Auchingree Reservoir. From the reservoir it runs north-westward, partly by Carnock Burn, to Catter Burn, follows this downward to Endrick Water, and then the course of the latter to Loch LOMOND, where, curving outwards to include the islands of Torrinch, Clairinch, Inchcailloch, Inchfad, Inchruim, and Bucinch, it passes between Inchlonaig (Dumbartonshire) and Strathcashell Point, and thence the centre of the loch till opposite Island Vow, 2 miles from the N end of the loch, where it turns eastward to the summit of Beinn a’ Choin (2524 feet), and thence by Stob nan Eigrach (2011) to the stream in Glen Gyle. In 1896, 119,478 acres in the county were under crop, bare fallow, and grass, and 14,450 under wood—an increase in the former ease of 28,078 acres within the last fifty years, and in the latter case of 1467 in the same period. The mean summer and winter temperatures differ but little from what (53° and 7°) may be taken as those for the central Scottish counties; and the mean average annual rainfall varies greatly, being only about 35 inches for the district about Stirling, while at the lower end of Loch Lomond it is 55, and farther up the loch rises to over 90. Among the counties of Scotland, Stirling is twentieth as regards area; ninth as regards population, both absolutely and in respect of the number of persons (264) to the square mile; and twelfth as regards valuation.

Surface,etc.—The eastern part of the county is finely wooded, well cultivated, and undulating, but no portion of it reaches 500 feet above sea-level, and this flat tract is prolonged up the valleys of the Forth and Kelty, sweeps from the neighbourhood of FLANDERS Moss southwards by BUCKLYVIE and BALFRON, and thence down the valley of Endrick Water to the SE end of Loch Lomond. In the centre of the compact portion of the county the ground slopes upward from the valley of the Forth at Gargunnock and Kippen to the Gargunnoek Hills (highest point 1591 feet), and thence southward in an undulating grassy and heathy plateau from 1000 to 1400 feet high, and terminating alone the S edge in the Kilsyth Hills (highest point, Lair’s Hill, 1393) overlooking the valley of the Kelvin at Kilsyth. From the NW portion of the Kilsyth Hills the long green line of the Campsie Fells stretches away westward to the flat ground at the SE end of Loch Lomond, their general height being from 1500 to 1800 feet, and the highest summit, Earl’s Seat, 1894 feet. These throw out on the SW the lower spurs known as the Strathblane Hills, and from this the undulates downwards by Milngavie to the valleys of the Kelvin and the CLYDE. Northward the Campsie Fells slope down to the valley of Endrick Water, on the opposite side of ‘which, at Fintry, are the Fintry hills (highest point, 1676 feet), NW of which, beyond the hollow of the head-stream of the Endrick—here making a sharp bend—are the Gargnunock Hills. The long projection already referred to as branching off to the NW along Loch Lomond is purely Highland in its character, and contains the whole of the summits, from Beinn a’ Choin south-eastward, which have been already described in the article on Loch Lomond. The highest summit is Ben Lomond (3192 feet), and the ridges slope rapidly down in the SW to Loch Lomond, and on the NE towards Loch Katrine, Lochs Chon and Ard, and the upper waters of the Forth. The portion of the county north of the Forth belongs rather to the OCHIL HILLS.

Nearly half of Loch Lomond is in Stirlingshire, but otherwise the lakes of the county are few and small. The southern shore of Loch Katrine (364 feet) for 2 miles at the western end lies along the boundary, and wholly in the county are Loch Arklet (1 x ¼ mile; 463 feet); Walton Reservoir (½ x ⅛ mile), at the base of the Fintry Hills on the S; Loch Coulter (5 x 3 furl), 3 miles NW of Dunipace; reservoirs near Carron Ironworks, about Kilsyth, and south of Strathblane, one of this last group being the settling reservoir at Craigmaddie for the GLASGOW water-works; and in the SE of the county Loch Ellrig (¾ x barely ¼ mile), Little Black Loch, and part of Black Loch. The whole of the northern side of the county is drained by DUCHRAY WATER, the Kelty, and the FORTH, with the innumerable smaller streams flowing to them; the eastern portion by the Bannock Burn, the Pow Burn, the Carron and Bonny Water, and the Avon, with the smaller streams flowing to them; the centre is drained by the upper waters of the Carron and Endrick Water; in the S and SW are the Kelvin, with Garrel Burn, Glazert Water, and Allander Water; the centre of the W side has Endrick Water and the streams flowing to it; while Loch Lomond receives a large number of small burns from the mountains along the NE side. Loch Arklet contains capital trout, red-fleshed, and almost a good as those of Loch Leven, but it is preserved. The fishing in the larger streams is good, but in the smaller it is worthless.

Geology. —Apart from the economic value of the mineral fields along the margin of the county from Strathblane to Stirling, there are several features of special interest connected with the geology of Stirlingshire. Prominent among these must be ranked the remarkable volcanic chain of the Campsie Fells, where the successive lava flows can be traced, piled on each other like horizontal lines of masonry. The geological formations represented within the county are given in the following table:—

  Peat and alluvium.  
Recent. Raised Beaches. 25-Feet Beach.
  50-Feet Beach.
     
  100-Feet Raised Beach.  
Pleistocene. Moraines, Sand and Gravel.  
  Boulder Clay.  
     
  Coal Measures. Red Sandstone group.
  Coal-bearing group.
     
  Millstone Grit.  
     
Carboniferous.   Upper Limestone group.
  Carboniferous Limestone. Middle Coal-bearing group.
    Lower Limestone Group
     
  Calciferous Sandstone. Upper or Cement-stone group which in Stirlingshire is for the most part replaced by contemporaneous volcanic rocks.
     
Old Red Sandstone. Upper Old Red Sandstone. Red sandstone, marl and cornstone.
Lower Old Red Sandstone. Conglomerates, sandstones,and shales.

Metamorphic rocks of the Highlands.

A line drawn from the shore of Loch Lomond near Balmaha NE to a point near Aberfoyle marks the position of the great fault, bringing the Old Red Sandstone into conjunction with the altered rocks of the Highlands. That portion of the county situated to the NW of the fault is wholly occupied by these strata, being repeated by various folds mostly inverted. An important discovery has recently been made suggesting the probability that Lower Silurian rocks occur along the Highland border to the north of the great fault. From the annual report of the Geological Survey for 1893 it appears that a zone of cherts, resembling the radiolarian cherts of Arenig age in the south of Scotland, associated with black shales, mudstones, and greywackes, can be traced from the pass of Leny by Aberfoyle to Loch Lomond. The foregoing beds are succeeded northwards by massive greywackes, sometimes pebbly, with bands of purple slate. These in turn are followed by a thick series of blue and purple slates, well developed at Aberfoyle by flags, slates, and massive pebbly grits which seem to pass northwards into the mica schists of the Central Highlands. A careful search has been made in the black shales associated with the cherts for graptolites in order to prove their geological horizon. Hitherto the search has not been successful, but from the unaltered character of the bands it is probable that fossils may be found at no distant date.

The representatives of the Lower Old Red Sandstone cover a belt of ground stretching from the great fault already indicated SE to Kippen and Killearn. The beds occupying the lowest geological horizon are exposed along the margin of the fault in the drum of Clashmore, about 3 miles SW of Aberfoyle. where a vertical band of porphyrite is seen in contact with the fault. This bed of lava evidently represents a portion of the great volcanic series of the Ochils. For upwards of 1 mile from the fault the conglomerates and red sandstones overlying this band of porphyrite are highly inclined or nearly vertical, the general inclination being towards the SSE. As the observer advances farther S, the angle of inclination gradually diminishes, and the beds are repeated by occasional minor undulations till he reaches a point about 3 miles from the fault which forms the centre of a great synclinal fold. The axis of this basin coincides with a line drawn from Flanders Moss to a point near Drymen. On the SE side of this synclinal axis the general dip of the beds is towards the NW, and hence the observer crosses anew the same series of beds in regular order. It is observable, however, that the strata along the Highland border are always much more conglomeratic than those occupying the same geological horizon situated several miles to the S. The conglomerate bands close to the great fault are composed chiefly of porphyrite pebbles, but as we ascend in the geological succession the porphyrite pebbles disappear, and the blocks consist wholly of various metamorphic rocks of the Highlands. The strata occupying the centre of the syncline, which are the highest member of this formation in the county, are composed of grey sandstones which yielded to Mr R. L. Jack numerous plant remains, regarded by Mr Kidston as specimens of Arthrostigma (Dawson). These grey sandstones underlie the great conglomerates of Uamh Var in Perthshire, which are hardly, if at all, represented in the county.

Resting on the denuded edges of the Lower Old Red Sandstone strata comes a succession of red sandstone and conglorneratic mans, which pass conformably upw ards into the Carboniferons system. These beds have recently yielded fragments of Holoptythius nobilissimus, a typical fish of the Upper Old Red Sandstone, and they must therefore be grouped with the latter formation. Along the line of junction the Lower Old Red strata are inclined to the NW, while the members of the overlying group are inclined to the SE. It is evident, therefore, that in this area there is additional proof of the extensive denudation which intervened between the Lower Old Red Sandstone and the deposition of the red sandstone series at the base of the Carboniferous system. The unconformable junction between the two formations is not traceable, however, across the county, for between Kippen, and Balfron they are brought ito contact with each other by a fault trending ENE and WSW. This fault is a continuation of the great dislocation throwing down the Clackmannan coalfield against the Old Red volcanic rocks of the Ochils. Near the top of the group there is a concretionary cornstone which has been worked for lime at intervals between Balfron and Gargunnock. The red sandstones just described are succeeded by blue, grey, green, and red clays, with numerous thin bands and nodules of impure cementstone, and occasional beds of sandstone, forming the base of the Cement-stone group. They skirt the N escarpment of the Campsie Fells, and are likewise seen in some of the glens on the S side of the range near Clachan of Campsie and on the hills above Kilsyth. One of the finest sections of these beds occurs in the Ballagan Burn near Strathblane. Along the base of the escarpment on the N and W sides of the range they are overlaid by white sandstones, which at intervals are associated with flue volcanic tuffs. These tuffs are specially observable to the E of Fintry, and also to the N of Kilsyth, where they alternate with sheets of porphyrite. To these succeed a grand development of contemporancous volcanic rocks consisting almost wholly of sheets of diabase porphyrite, with few or no intercalations of tuffs. Occupying the same horizon as the volcanic rocks of the Kilpatrick and Renfrewshire hills (see the section on geology in our article on RENFREWSHIRE), they reach a thickness in the present area of nearly 1000 feet. The successive lava flows are admirably displayed on the S side of the chain, forming a series of parallel beds recognisable even from a distance. Skirting the escarpment on the S side, a great fault is traceable from Strathblane E to near the Carron Water, which brings the overlying Carboniferous Limestone series into conjunction with the cement-stones and the porphyrites at the base of the volcanic series. At the E end of the range, however, from a point W of Stirling S towards the Carron Water, the upper limit of the volcanic rocks is well defined. In that direction the lavas are gradually thinning out, but eventually they pass underneath blue shales with cement-stone bands, forming the top of the Cement- stone group. it is apparent, therefore, that in Stirlingshire this group is mainly represented by volcanic rocks. It is interesting to observe, however, that not far to the E of Bridge of Allan, at Causewayhead, this volcanic series is not represented at all; and where the horizon emerges in the Cleish Hills from beneath the Clackmannan Coalfield it is represented merely by some bands of tuff. The roots of some of the old volcanoes which discharged the lavas of the Campsie Hills are still to be found in different parts of the county, especially on both sides of the Blane Valley W of Strathblane. Dungoyne Hill is perhaps one of the best examples in that region. They also occur on both sides of the Endrick at Fintry, where they pierce the sedimentary beds underlying the volcanic series and the porphyrites and tuffs at the base. Meikle Bin, the highest peak in the Campsie range, marks the site of another of these ancient volcanoes.

As indicated in the table of geological formations the triple classification of the Carboniferous Limestone series obtains in this county. Beginning at the W limit of this important division we find the limestones of the lower group lying at low angles against the volcanic rocks. From the researches of the Geological Survey it would appear that on descending the hill slope the observer crosses the Hosic Limestone and the Hurlet Limestone with the underlying coal, until, in the bed of the valley, he finds the white sandstone underlying the limestones. On the South Hill of Campsie the same beds reappear, and the Hurlet limestone and coal can be traced more or less continuously round the slope. Passing E to the neighbourhood of Kilsyth, there is a great development of the middle coal-bearing group, forming indeed one of the most valuable mineral lields in Scotland on account of the various seams of coal and ironstone. From Cairnhog E by Kilsyth to Banton the beds are thrown into a series of small arches and troughs, the most conspicuous being the anticlinal fold at Kilsyth, locally known as ‘The Riggin.’ Again, in the tract between Denny and Stirling, the various subdivisions of the Carboniferous Limestone series dip towards the E, and there is a general ascending series from the Hosie Limestone through the coals and ironstones of the middle group to the Index, Calmy, and Castlecary Limestones of the upper group.

Along the E margin of the county the strata just described are followed by the Millstone Grit, consisting of alternations of thick sandstones and fireclays, with irregular seams of coal and clayband ironstone. To these succeed the true Coal-measures, which are wel1 developed between Stenhousemuir and Grangemouth, and again at Falkirk. At the former locality the prominent seams are the Coxroad, the Splint, and the Craw coals, the highest being the Virtuewell seam. Between Dennyloanhead and Coneypark there is a small outlier of Coal-measures thrown down by two Parallel faults running E and W. On the N side the outlier is brought into contact with the Carboniferous Limestone, and on the S side against the Millstone Grit and the Carboniferous Limestone.

There are numerous intrusive sheets of basalt rock associated with the Carboniferous strata, of which, perhaps, the most conspicuous extends from Abbey Craig through Stirling to Denny, where its outcrop is shifted farther W by a fault. It is perhaps connected with the sheet so often repeated in the neighbourhood of Kilsyth, though here it occupies a higher horizon among the coal-bearing series of the Carboniferous Limestone, while at Denny the sheet is intruded in the lower limestones. A glance at the Geological Survey maps will show the number of Tertiary basalt dykes traversing the county.

During the glacial period the direction of the ice flow between Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine was nearly N and S. On reaching the plain between Drymen and Stirling, the movement was gradually deflected towards the SE, and eventually as the ice crossed the range of the Campsie Hills, the direction became nearly E, parallel with the escarpment on the S side of the range. There is an extensive deposit of boulder clay throughout the county, which varies in character with the underlying strata. An interesting feature conn ected with it is the occurrence of shells at certain localities in the Endrick Valley. Near Drymen station, a section was exposed showing on the surface about 1 feet of boulder clay resting on 7 feet of laminated blue clay, which yielded marine shells and the antler of a reindeer. Mr R. L. Jack believes that the shell fragments found in the boulder clay in the basin of the Endrick have been derived from the denudation of such marine deposits. The later glaciers must have attained great dimensions in the higher portions of the county, judging from the great moraines which are seen along the valleys.

In this county there are deposits, evidently belonging to the 100-feet beach, consisting of sands, gravels, and clays, which cross the watershed of the midland valley, and are to be found at Kilsyth. At a lower level there is another ancient beach, the upper limit of which is marked by the 50-feet contour line, composed of laminated clay, mud, silt, and sand. It no forms the well-known Carse of Stirling. These deposits are abundantly charged with recent sea shells, and they have also yielded the remains of whales, canoes, and implements.

Economic Minerals.—The geological horizon of’ the valuable seams of coal and ironstone has already been indicated. In the Kilsyth district there are four seams of black-band ironstone wrought, comprising the Possil and Banton seams. There are also several beds of coal, of which the BantonMain is much in demand. The well-known Hurlet Limestone has been extensively wrought in the Campsie district and the seam of alum-shale underlying this limestone. The upper limestone group yields a large supply of lime, one of the bands, viz., the Calmy or Arden, being formerly much wrought. Two valuable seams of coal, known as the Hirst coals, are associated with this band, being found only a few fathoms below the limestone. The seams are in high repute, owing to their caking properties, being nearly equal to Newcastle coal. Again, in the true Coal-measures in the neighbourhood of Grangemouth and Carron, the chief coals sought after are the Splint and Coxroad seams, while in Falkirk they are also in much request. Excellent building stone is obtained from the different subdivisions of the Carboniferous formation. Sandstones belonging to the Carboniferous Limesone series arc wrought at Kilsyth, Castlecary, and a number of other localities, while the sheets of intrusive basalt are largely in demand for paving stones. The red sandstones between Killearn and Kippen are also in considerable demand locally for building purposes.

Soils and Agriculture.—The soils may be divided into carse, dry-held, lull pasture, moor, and moss. The first, which includes some of the finest land in Scotland, extends for 26 miles along the Forth, from the Avon upwards to beyond Kippen, with a breadth of from ½ to 4½ miles, and covering an area of about 36,000 acres. It is flat or slopes gently from the S and SW toward the river, the height above sea-level varying generally from 12 to 40 feet, but some of it lies lower, having been reclaimed from the sea in the end of the 18th, and the beginning of the 19th century. Originally a bluish argillaceous earth, clamp and marshy, it has been brought into its present condition of a fertile friable loam by the thorough application of deep draining and subsoil ploughing first introduced by Mr Smith of Deanston. ‘It is perfectly wonderful,’ says a writer in the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture for 1839, ‘to behold the mighty change this thorough drain system is making in the different parts of the county where it is in operation. Wet land is made dry; poor weeping clays are converted into turnip soil and even what would formerly have been accounted dry is advanced in quality. Whole parishes in the vicinity of Stirling are completely transformed from unsightly marshes into beautiful and rich wheat fields; and where the plough could scarcely be driven for slush and water we see heavy crops per acre and heavy weight per bushel, the quantity and the quality alike improved.’ The drainage would now, in several places, again need to be looked to. The depth of this soil is often over 30 feet. It is everywhere free from stones and pebbles, and the place and period of its formation are indicated by the beds of recent shells which it contains at various depths. The dry-field begins at the higher margin of the carse, comprehends the arabic slopes on the lower part of the hills, and occupies all the straths, valleys, and low grounds not included in the carse district. This soil varies very much in quality and in character, but though it is sometimes very inferior, it is much oftener a highly fertile loam or gravel, particularly suitable for the cultivation of potatoes and turnips. Dry-field soil prevails in the parishes of Polmont, Larbert, Denny, St Ninians, Kilsyth, and Baldernock, and in portions of Muiravonside and Slamannan, as well as all the parishes in the hilly central division of the county—Strathblane, Campsie, Killearn, Balfron, Gargunnock, and Kippen. In the district between Linlithgow and Stirling it is so good and fertile as to be almost equal to carse land, and the portion of it sloping down towards the valleys of the Forth and Endrick are also good. The moorland was, in the latter half of the 18th century, very extensive, comprehending about one-fourth of the whole county, but it has now been almost all improved into dry-field, only a small portion being left in the Highland district, chiefly in the parish of Buchanan. The hill-pasture occupying the rest of the Highland district, and all the rising-grounds already mentioned in the centre and W of the shire, have a sandy or peaty soil covered with heath and short grass. It embraces nearly half of the whole county, and includes some of the best grazing ground in the whole of Scotland. In the early part of the 19th century moss occupied about one-thirtieth of the whole area, but this proportion has since that time been much reduced by reclamation, principally in Slamannan and in the carse district. In the latter case it is worth removing, as it overlies land of excellent quality, but in the W of Slamannan parish, where a considerable district is still covered with a mass of it from 3 to 12 feet deep, the sandy soil beneath is valueless. The increase in the amount of arable land within, the last fifty years has been already stated. In the percentage of cultivated area Stirlingshire comes seventeenth among the Scottish counties, the proportion being 40·2, while that for all Scotland is 24·6. The areas under various crops at different dates are shown in the following tables :—

GRAIN CROPS — ACRES

Year Wheat Barley or Bere Oats Total
1854 4986 6773 22,379 34,138
1870 3818 4995 19,480 28,293
1877 2863 4956 19,244 27,063
1884 2766 4174 19,330 26,270
1896 1355 3316 19,178 23,849

GRASS, ROOT CROPS, ETC. — ACRES

Year Hay, Grass, and Permanent Pasture Turnips Potatoes
1854 39,656 5964 3607
1870 --- 4885 4941
1877 69,370 4898 4265
1884 74,520 4432 3607
1896 82,974 4653 3004

There are about 700 acres annually under rye, pease, vetches, etc., 3000 acres under beans, and 1200 are fallow. There is the same falling off in the area under wheat as in the other Scottish wheat-growing counties. The seeming falling off in the area under the plough since 1854 has been remarked on in previous county articles. The wheat and beans are grown on the carse land, and the average yield of the former is 32 bushels per acre; of barley, 38 bushels; of oats, 35 bushels; of turnips, 16 to 24 tons; of potatoes, 4 to 8 tons. In the S and W of the county, along the railways, and about the towns many of the farms are used for dairy purposes. Rents vary from 12s. 6d. to £3 per acre; and sheep. grazing is 2s. 6d. to 6s. a head, except on the Ochils, where it is from 8s. to 10s.

The agricultural live-stock in the county at different dates is shown in the following table :—

Year Cattle Horses Sheep Pigs Total

1854
1868
1877
1884
1896

29,122
23,847
29,028
31,228
33,354

5279
 --- 
4765
4572
5119

85,513
116,277
108,862
114,292
131,609

2488
1799
2205
2246
2479

122,392
 --- 
144,860
152,338
172,561

For dairy purposes Ayrshire cows are generally kept, and at several farms there are excellent pure bred herds. Cattle kept for feeding are generally crosses, though some also are shorthorns. A few of the leading proprietors keep small herds of shorthorns. The horses are chiefly Clydesdales, and some of the farmers are well-known breeders. The best sheep are blackfaced, but there are also Leicesters and crosses. Of some 1500 holdings in the county, more than 1000 were under 100 acres. In 1891, 923 farmers employed 1144 men, 558 boys, 463 women, and 217 girls.

Anciently a large portion of the county seems to have been covered with wood, and most of the mosses in the carse and dry-field seem to have originated in the decay of these forests. Where no mosses are now found—.e.g., between Stirling and Polmont—there must also have been large tracts of woodland, at Torwood Forest and elsewhere. About 1735 extensive plantations were formed on the estates of the Duke of Montrose, Sir Charles Edmonstone, and Lieutenant-General Fletcher Campbell; and by 1854 the area under wood was 13,045 acres. It was, in 1891, 14,450. Of the old orchards planted and tended by the monks in the E of the county none now remain, but 73 acres were in 1893 used as orchards and 115 as market gardens. Many of the smaller proprietors and feuars obtained possession of their lots in consequence of former Dukes of Montrose, and Earls of Mar, Menteith, and Glencairn, having made grants to some of their retainers and their heirs for ever at very small rents. The Earl of Wigtown, who had large estates in the neighbourhood of Denny, was so convinced that the Union in 1707 would ruin the country that he sold all the property to his tenants on condition that they would continue to pay as feu-duty their rental at the time. The principal mansions, most of which are separately noticed, are Airth Castle, Airthrey Castle, Arngomery, Antermony House, Aucheneck House, Auchinbowie House, Auchinreoch House, Auchmedden Lodge, Avondale House, Ballanning House, Ballagan House, Ballikinrain House, Ballindalloch, Balquhatston House, Banknock House, Bannockburn House, Bantaskine House, Bardowie House, Blairquhastle, Boquhan, Buchanan Castle, Callendar House, Candie House, Carbeth House, Carbrook House, Carnock House, Carron Hall, Colzium House, Craigbarnet House, Craigend Castle, Craigforth house, Craigmaddie House, Craigton, Culcreuch, Donovan, Dougalston House, Duchray Castle, Dunipace House, Dunmore Park, Duntreath House, Garden, Gargunnock House, Gavell House, Glenbervie, Clenfuir House, Glenorchard House, Glorat House, Hayston House, Herbertshire House, Inversnaid Lodge, Kerse House, Killearn House, Kincaid House, Kinnaird House, Kirkton House, Larbert House, Laurence Park, Laurelhill, Leckie House, Leddriegreen House, Lennox Castle, Livilands, Manuel House, Meiklewood Hose, Merchiston Hall, Millfield House, Muiravonside House, Neuck, Parkhil1 House, Plean House, Polmaise, Polmont House, Polmont Park, Quarter House, Rowardennan Lodge, Sauchie House, Seton Lodge, Stenhouse, Thornhill House, Touch House, West Quarter House, and Westertown house.

Industries.—The manufactures of the county are numerous and important, comprising, besides those connected with its minerals, the weaving of carpets, tartans, tweeds, winceys, and other woollen fabrics at A1va., Bainnockburn, Cambusharron, and Stirling; and of cotton at Balfron. There are printworks and bleach-fields at Denny, as well as at Kincaid and Lennoxtown, and several other localities in the parish of Campsie.

There are large chemical works at Campsie, Denny; and Falkirk, paperworks at Denny, a pottery at Dunnmore, and distilleries at Glenguin, Glenfoyle, Gargunnock, Cambus, Bankier, Bonnymuir, Rosebank, and Camelon. The great iron industries are noticed under CARRON IRONWORKS, FALKIRK, and elsewhere, and detai1s will be found for the other industries in the separate articles dealing with the places or under the different parishes. The position and structure of the Stirlingshire coalfield have been already indicated in the section on the geology, and it here remains but to notice its economic aspects. The total amount of coal raised from the whole of the Scottish coalfields in 189 was 27,191,923 tons, valued at the pit mouth at £7,791,613; and of this the Stirlingshire collieries produced 1,745,226 tons, valued at £552,524 at the pit mouth. In East Stirlingshire 52,352 tons of fireclay were raised, out of a total of 568,739 tons for all Scotland, the value being £9162. Sandstone is quarried at Dunmore, Polmaise, and Plean, and limestone at several places about Campsie

Communcations, etc.—The commerce is principally centred at GRANGEMOUTH, but the county is very well provided with roads and railways. Of the former the three main lines may be said to be that from Edinburgh to Glasgow by Falkirk, Kilsyth, and Kirkintilloch; that from Edinburgh to the north by Falkirk, Larbert, and Stirling; or the parallel route, Falkirk, Denny, and Stirling; and that from Stirling up the valley of the Forth, and by Bucklyvie, Balfron, and Killearn, or Bucklyvie, Drymen, and Killearn, to Glasgow. An important branch connects the first and third of these across the centre of the county by Kippen, Fintry, and Campsie, to Kirkintilloch. There are also a large number of excellent cross and district roads. The eastern part of the county is traversed by the main line of the North British system between Ediunburghi and Glasgow and between Edinburgh and Larbert; and the main line of the Caledonian between Glasgow and Stirling; and also that from Glasgow by Airdrie to Slamannan, Manuel, and Bo’ness. From Lenzie Junction the Blane Valley railway goes by Strathblane to Gartness. From Stirling the Forth and Clyde section of the North British system passes up the valley of the Forth, and on by Bucklyvie to BALLOCH and the Clyde, uniting with the Blane Valley railway at Gartness. At Bucklyvie a branch strikes off NW to Aberfoyle. The Kelvin Valley railway leaves the North British line at Maryhill, proceeding by way of Kilsyth and Bonnybridge to Larbert Junction. From Stirling the Calcdonian railway runs to Bridge of Allan previous to branching off for Perth and the north and for Callander and Oban. About 2 miles north of Larbert the direct Alloa line branches off for that place via the Forth bridge at Alloa, but before reaching the bridge sends off a branch to South Alloa. The Loch Katrine aqueduct in conniection with the Glasgow water-supply traverses the western portion of the county in a south-easterly direction from Duchray Water to the immense reservoirs at Craigmaddie and Mugdock. From near Larbert a branch of the Caledonian system leads to Grangemouth, and there are also a branch line from Larbert to Denny, and several other branches in the SE. The Forth and Clyde Canal also passes through the county from Castlecary to Grangemouth.

The only royal burgh is Stirling. Falkirk is a parliamentary burgh and burgh of regality. Kilsyth is a police burgh and burgh of barony; and Bridge of Allan, Denny and Dunipace, and Grangemouth are police burghs. Places with upwards of 5000 inhabitants are Falkirk, Grangemouth, Kilsyth, and Stirling; towns with between 5000 and 2000 inhabitants are Bannockburn, Binniehill and Southfield, Bonnybridge, Bridge of Allan, Denny, Lennox town, and Stenhousemuir; places with populations of between 2000 and 1000 are Cambusbarron, Carron, Carronshore, Lauriston, Limerigg and Lochside, and Slamannan; places with populations of between 1000 and 500 arc Balfron, Blackbraes, Blanefield, East Shieldhill, Hollandbush and Haggs, Larbert, Milton, Parkfoot and Longcroft, and Redding; and smaller villages and hamlets are Airth, Auchinmully, Baldernock, Balmoro, Banton, Barleyside, Birdstone, Bucklyvie, Burnbridge, Burn Row, Camelon, Campsie, Carronhall, Dunmore, Fintry, Gargunnock, Glen, Gonochan, Killearn, Kinnaird, Longdyke, Maddiston and Sootyhill, Newton, East Plean, Pirnie Lodge, Polmont, Raploch, Rumford and Craigs, Skinflatts, Torbrex, Torrance and Wester Baigrochan, Torwood, Wallacetown and Standrig, and Whins of Milton. A portion of Linlithgow Bridge is also included.

The civil county contains the 23 entire quoad civilia parishes of Airth, Baldernock, Balfron, Bothkennar, Buchanan, Campsie, Denny, Dunipace, Drymen, Falkirk, Fintry, Gargunnock, Killearn, Kilsyth, Kippen, Larbert, Logic, Muiravonside, Polmont, Slamannan, St Ninians, Stirling, and Strathblane. The quoad sacra parishes of Bannockburn, Banton, Bonnybridge, Bridge of Allan, Bucklyvie, Camelon, Grahamston, Grangemouth, Haggs, Marykirk (Stirling), Plean, Sauchie, and Shieldhall and Blackbraes, are also included; and there are chapelries at Buckieburn, Carronshore, Lauriston, Limerigg, and Milton of Campsie. Ecclesiastically 15 of those parishes are in the presbytery of Stirling, and 4 in the presbytery of Dunblane, both in the synod of Perth and Stirling; 8 are in the presbytery of Dumbarton, and 3 in the presbytery of Glasgow, in the synod of Glasgow and Ayr; and 8 are in the presbytery of Linlithgow in the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. There are 44 places of worship in connection with the Established Church, 31 in connection with the Free Church, 23 in connection with the United Presbyterian Church, 2 in connection with the Congregational Church, 2 in connection with the Evangelical Union Church, 2 in connection with the Baptist Church, 4 in connection with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 6 in connection with the Episcopal Church, and 10 in connection with the Roman Catholic Church. In the year ending September 1895 there were in the county 103 schools, ol which 90 were public, with accommodation for 26, 143 children. These had 23,311 on the rolls, and an average attendance of 19,511.

The county is governed by a lord-lieutenant, a vice-lieutenant, 34 deputy-lieutenants, and 167 justices of the peace. The sheriff-principal is shared with Dumbarton and Clackmannan; and there are two sheriff-substitutes, one at Stirling and one at Falkirk. The former has jurisdiction over the parishes of Baldernock, Balfron, Buchanan, Campsie, Denny, Drymen, Dunipace, Fintry, Gargunnock, Killearn, Kippen, Kilsyth, Logie, St Ninians, Stirling, and Strathblane, and holds ordinary courts every Tuesday and Thursday, and small debt courts every Thursday; the latter has jurisdiction over the parishes of Airth, Bothkennar, Falkirk, Larbert, Muiravonside, Polmont, and Slamannan, and holds ordinary courts every Monday and Wednesday, and small debt courts every Wednesday. A small debt circuit court is held at Lennoxtown on the fourth Wednesdays of January, April, July, and October. Justice of peace small debt courts are held at Stirling on the first Monday of every month, and quarter sessions are held on the first Tuesdays of March, May, and August, and the last Tuesday of October. The County Council is composed of 45 members—43 of these being for as many electoral divisions, and 2 for the burgh of Falkirk. The divisions are classed into districts, there being 9 in the Western District, 16 in the Central, and 18 in the Eastern. Besides the committees for these districts, the Council is divided into the following: —Standing Joint Committee (composed of county councillors, commissioners of supply, and the chief magistrates of the burghs of Grangemouth and Kilsyth), County Valuation Committees (for the Stirling and Falkirk Districts), Law and Parliamentary Committee, Executive Committee under Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, Finance and General Purposes Committee, County Road Board, Public Health Committee, and the Committee under the Small Holdings Act of 1892. The police force, exclusive of the burgh of Stirling, consists of 81 men (1 to every 1342 of the population), under a. chief constabic with a salary of £352 a year. In 1895 the average number of registered poor was 1606, with 1008 dependants. Stirling, St Ninians, and Kilsyth form Stirling Poor-law Combination, Falkirk has a Poorhouse for itself, Muiravonside belongs to Linlithgow Combination, and Kippen is in Dumbarton Combination. The proportion of illegitimate births averages about 55 per cent., and the average death-rate is about 173. Connected with the county is a battalion of rifle volunteers, and the 3d battalion of the Princess Louise’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, formerly the Highland Borderers Light Infantry Militia, both battalions having their headquarters at Stirling. The county returns one member to serve in parliament, and the parliamentary constituency in 1896-97 was 15,036. Another member is shared by Stirling burgh with Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, Culross, and Queensferry, and a third by Falkirk, with Linlithgow, Lanark, Hamilton, and Airdrie. Valuation (1674) £9024, (1815) £218,761, (1855) £269,640, (1816) £370,023, (1885) £428,569, 11s. 9d., (1896) £434, 618, the last four being exclusive of railways, canals, and tramways. Pop. (1801) 50,825, (1811) 58,174, (1821) 65,376, (1831) 72,621, (1841) 82,057, (1851) 86,237, (1861) 91,926, (1871) 98,218, (1881) 112,443, (1891) 118,021, of whom 59,478 were males and 58,543 females. These were distributed into 24,410 families occupying 23,180 houses, with 73,060 rooms, an average of 161 persons to each room. Of the 118,021 inhabitants in 1891, 1831 men and 892 women were connected with the civil or military services or with professions, 501 men and 5086 women were domestic servants, 4889 men and 186 women were connected with commerce, 4016 men and 774 women were connected with agriculture and fishing, and 26,244 men and 5664 women were engaged in industrial handicrafts or were dealers in manufactured substances, while there were 12,666 boys and 13,287 girls of school age. Of those engaged in farming and fishing, 3823 men and 770 women were concerned with farming alone; and of those connected with industrial handicrafts, 13,191 men and 37 women were concerned with the working of mineral substances.

The county belonged anciently to the Caledonian Damnonii, and was afterwards partly included in the Roman province of Valentia, partly in that of Vespasiana. Still later it lay on the debatable land between the Angles, the Picts, and the Britons of Strathclyde; became the seat of a Scotic kingdom, thereafter art of Cumbria, and finally almost the central point of modern Scotland, and thus associated with many of the leading events in its history. Few counties can boast of being the scene of so many decisive battles as this—Stirling Bridge, 1297; Falkirk, 1298; Bannockburn, 1314; Sauchie, 1488; Kilsyth, 1645; and the second battle of Falkirk, 1746. The antiquities are both numerous and important, but for them reference may be made to the articles on the different parishes and towns and the others therein referred to. The Roman Wall, between the Firths of Forth and Clyde, which passed through portions of the county on the S, is separately noticed (see ANTONINUS’ WALL), as is also ARTHUR’S OVEN.
See ‘The Agriculture of Stirlingshire,’ by James Tait, in Trans. Highl. and Ag. Soc. (1884), and works cited under STIRLING.

From Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1896