Ochils Orientation

Ochils Orientation works across the whole of the Ochils Landscape Partnership project. It includes a number of strands, which together focus on researching and interpreting the landscape, heritage and people of the area:

  • promoting volunteering opportunities that focus on researching everything from the built heritage to the social, cultural and industrial history of the area
  • funding a programme of historic research training for volunteers, including training in oral history skills, archival research and palaeography (reading historic handwriting), and family history / genealogy
  • creating a coherent programme of interpretation, including on-site boards and signage as well as leaflets
  • designing on-line materials and resources, including the innovative Virtual Visitor & Education Centre (accessed via the banner at the top of the page or by way of the green tab). In the Virtual Visitor & Education Centre you can navigate around an interactive 3D landscape and view 3D/CGI films about Alva House and Ice House , Bronze Age Burials, and The Ochils and the Locals. You can also view the animations made by the 6 Hillfoots primary schools, and access trail information. There's a FREE mobile App for the trails too, so you can learn more on the go: download the Android app here; and the iOS version here.
  • engagement through social media, including facebook and twitter

If you would like to get involved with the historical aspects of the project, please contact Dr Kirsty McAlister on kmcalister@clacks.gov.uk. There are opportunities to contribute short articles on any aspect of the area's history, take part in the oral history project about 'Hillfoots Schooldays' - either as an interviewer or as an interviewee, take part in an archaeological dig, or help restore and record the historic kirkyards of the Hillfoots.

Hillfoots History Projects

Hidden Legacies of Mineral Extraction at Silver Glen

Hidden Legacies of Mineral Extraction at Silver Glen
James McKean was awarded a bursary jointly offered by the Ochils Landscape Partnership and the University of Stirling. This allowed him to undertake a Master of Historical Research project to investigate the environmental and cultural legacies of 18th-century mining activity in Silver Glen, near Alva.

Coal Mining, Management and Mitigation on the River Devon, 1792-2014

Jennifer Geller
Jennifer Geller was awarded a bursary jointly offered by the University of Stirling and the Ochils Landscape Partnership. This allowed her to undertake a Master of Historical Research project to investigate the environmental impact of coal mining along the River Devon.

Armed Forces Fatalities 1914-1919

Ian Middleton
This study looks in detail at those armed forces personnel from the Hillfoots towns of Clackmannanshire who died in World War I. Over 550 fatalities with close links to the area have been identified so far. Of these, approximately 475 are commemorated on the local war memorials at Alva, Coalsnaughton, Dollar, Menstrie, Muckhart and Tillicoultry. The remaining seventy five or so may be commemorated elsewhere. In this study Ian has attempted to expand on the few details provided on the memorials to give a better understanding of the lives of those who died. By drawing together information from a variety of sources – from local newspapers to military service records, war grave databases and official government archives – it is possible to build portraits, however fragmentary, of the civilian lives of these people and their experiences during the war. These portraits vary in depth, but can perhaps still teach us something of the generation of a century ago.

The Hillfoots and World War I

David Hutchison
A look at life at home in the Hillfoots during World War I.

Snippets From Tillicoultry Kirk Session Minutes

The overall collection of Tillicoultry Kirk Session material is remarkably complete, with the earliest baptism records dating from 1623 and the earliest minutes from 1640. Kirk Session minutes provide a window into the life and times of each parish, albeit that they only record the activities and interests of the Kirk Session, which had a very specific purpose; that is, providing spiritual and social guidance and upholding the morals of the flock, by punishment (fines and public repentance, even ex-communication) if necessary and running the church. Names, places and events that would otherwise never be recorded appear in the minutes, giving us a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people, whether they were called to answer for their ‘sins’ or simply appear for some other reason.

A Brief History of Coal Mining in Dollar

Gordon Mack
Gordon Mack looks at the history of coal mining in Dollar, covering factors such as mine ownership and locations, working conditions and the post-war period.

A Short History of the Temperance Movement in the Hillfoots

Ian Middleton
James Mcintyre Pledge
From the 1830s until the end of World War One the Hillfoots of Clackmannanshire hosted a thriving anti-alcohol movement. At its height more than twenty temperance societies were in operation in these small towns and villages, each dedicated to the eradication of ‘the demon drink.’ With minimum pricing for alcohol firmly on today’s government agenda, and with the harm alcohol misuse can do rarely out of the news, Ian Middleton examines how the same issues preoccupied the minds of a previous generation in the Hillfoots.

Tillicoultry Estate and the Influence of the Wardlaw-Ramsay Family

Elizabeth Passe
Elizabeth Passe's interest in the the Tillicoultry Estate was sparked by the place names 'Lady Anne Grove', 'Lady Anne’s Wood' and 'Lady Anne’s Well'. Her research shows that they were named for Lady Anne Lindsay, the wife of Robert Wardlaw Ramsay, who bought the Tillicoultry Estate in 1814. Her project looks at the owners’ local involvement, concentrating on the period from first ownership by the Wardlaw Ramsay family until the end of World War I.

The Kirk Bell of Tillicoultry Parish Church

By Mary McIntyre
A short history of the origins and features of the unusual bell in Tillicoultry Parish Church