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IjlALKIRK is au ancient town, and (he principal town of the east-
ern district of the county, as it is of the parish to which it gives
name. The extreme length of the parish is nine miles, and its
breath five and a quarter. It is bounded on the north by
Denny and Larbert, on the south by Slamaunan, on the east by
Polmont, and on the west by Dumbartonshire. The town is 24
miles west from Edinburgh, 22 n.e. from Glasgow, 11 s.e. from Stir-
ling, and three from Grangemouth. It is situated on the face of an
eminence, over-looking tlie broad expanse of country called "the
Carse or Kerse of Falkirk," and commanding a most extensive pros-
pect, which, for beauty of landscape, is scarcely surpassed in any
part of Scotland. The views comprise (besides the rich and fertile
" carse," which is well cultivated and interspersed with villages and
several gentlemen's seats), the river Forth, with vessels passing to
and from the ports of Grangemouth, Alloa, Kincardine, &c, and also
up and down the great canal, wbich intersects the country about
half a mde north of the town, while to the south it is bounded by
Callendar wood, shrouding a rising ground a short distance from
the town. Few situations more eligible for rendering a place hand-
some could have been selected. As it is, the town has a very good
appearance. It consists of (excluding a number of back streets and
lanes, or wynds) one principal street, which is long and irregular.
Iu general, the houses are built ofhewn stone, and the town is orna-
mented with a steeple 146 feet higli, in which are two bells and a
clock, and immediately to the west of which an equestrian statue
of the hue Duke of Wellington was erected in 1S54 by public sub-
scription. It is of stone, mid is a great ornament to the High street.
In the year 1859 a commodious Exchange or Corn Market was built
on the north side of the parish church ; this was replaced by a new
hall in 1878. The Corn Market is now held iu Neilson's Auction Mart.
The port of Grangemouth, situate about three miles to the north-
east of Falkirk, is connected with the burgh by a railway, formed by
the Caledonian Railway Company. A number of small villas are
situated towards the north of the town ; they form a street, about
half a mile in length, uniting to the town Grahamston
and Bainsford, and thereby forming a continuous double
line upwards of a mile in extent. The town is
governed by a provost, three bailies, and nine councillors.
This body first came into existence in 1833, bnt for want of any
power of raising money to carry on a municipal government, the
powers of the magistrates were latent. This defect was remedied
by an act passed called the " Falkirk Police and Improvement Act,"
under which the magistrates assist the inhabitants for police aud
improvement purposes. The County Buildings, erected in 1868.
in lieu of the old court house, is situated in Hope street; the build-
ing includes court rooms for the sheriff and justices, procurator's
hall, &c. At the same time a new prison and county police office
were erected. New Burgh Buildings were erected in Newmarket
street in 1878. The inhabitants of Falkirk have been long celebrated
or a manly spirit of independence, both political and religious,
combined with a liberality of sentiment and a sociality of intercourse
seldom witnessed eleewere. Falkirk, as it is situate iu a very popu-
lous district, with no large town in the immediate neighbourhood,
commands an extensive inland trade, no market being held in the
seven or eight surrounding parishes ; and the various iron and
other works {from which the town derives material support) render
it the market town for between fifty and sixty thousand people.
Under the bead of manufactures, we may mention, in addition to :
tke leather trade in tanniDg and currying, the making of fire bricks
and tiles, with a distillery and several chemical works. Besides the
famous Carron Works, which are the oldest and most extensive in
Scotland, there are the Abbots Iron Works, the Falkirk Iron Works,
the Gowan Bank Iron Works, the Grahamston Iron Company's
Works, the Burnbank Iron Works, the Etna Iron Works, the Park-
house Iron Works, Camelon Iron Works, the Callendar Iron Works,
the Springfield Iron Works, and about a mile to the west are the
Port Downie Iron Works, and the Forth and Clyde Iron Works.
There are various coal mines in the vicinity, and extensive
timber yards and flour mills. The Union Canal joins the Forth
and Clyde Canal about a mile west from the town, but its trade
is limited, it having been purchased by the Edinburgh and
Glasgow Railway Company. About half a mile south of the
town it passes through a tunnel 796 yards in length. Falkirk
was created a burgh of barony in the reign of James I., after-
wards a burgh of regality in the reign of Charles I., but no baron
bailie has been appointed for many years. A body of "stent masters,"
chosen by the different trades of the town, formerly managed
its affairs, but that body being abolished by act of Parliament,
their powers and property were transferred to the magistrates. Jus-
tice of peace caurts and petty sessions are held as occasion reqnires.
A sheriff court was first opened at Falkirk in 1834, for the eastern
district of the county, comprising the parishes of Falkirk, Polmont,
Muiravonside, Slamannan, Larbert, Bothkennar, and Airth. A fine
block of stone buildings was erected in 1876, at the north side of the
High street, styled the Glebe Buildings. There are five branch
banks and a savings bank in the town. The old church, founded
by King Malcolm Canmore in 1057, was many years since taken
down, and a new one, of the Gothic order, erected on its site ; a
tower connected with the ancient structure was, however, per-
mitted to retain its position. In the churchyard lie the bodies of
Sir John de Graham (the friend of Wallace) and Sir John Stuart,
who were slain on the memorable field of Falkirk, in 1298, whilst
fighting for the independence of their country against Edward I.
two plain stones mark the spots of their interment. In the sanio
cemetery stands the monument to two brave officers, Sir Robert
Munro, of Foulis, and his brother, Dr. Munro, who fell in the second
battle of Falkirk, January 17th, 1746. Various sects have places of
worship in Falkirk and neighbourhood ; the situation of each, with
their respective officiating ministers, are given in a subsequent
page. All the burial grounds being closed by order of the sheriff,
a new cemetery has been provided for the entire parish ; it em-
braces an area of eleven acres, and is situate about a mile west of
Falkirk. There are four public schools, and a large academy and
boarding establishment. A market for grain is held on Thursday.
Seven fairs are annually held for cattle and horses, namely, the
last Thursday in January, the first Thursday in March, the third
Thursday in May, the second Thursday in June, the second Thurs-
day in July, the third Thursday in August, and the first Thursday
in November ; besides two days for hiring servants (the first Thurs-
day in April, and the last Thursday in October), called feeing Thurs-
days, which are numerously attended. The three Falkirk trysts,
supposed to be the largest cattle markets in the kingdom, are held
at Stenhousemuir on the second Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
iu August, September, and October. The population of Falkirk, in-
cluding Grahamston and Bainsford, was in 1871, 11,712, and. in
1881, 15,599.
Carnock is a small district in the parish of St. Ninians, but in
the postal delivery of Larbert.
Camelon is a village in the parish of Falkirk, situate on the road
from Stirling to Falkirk, about a mile west from the latter town, on
the line of the great canal ; it consists chiefly of ono tolerably well-
built street. There are two nail manufactories of some importance,
as well as the three foundries before mentioned, and likewise a boat
building yard, while about half a mile further west is an extensive
paraffin oil and tar distillery. Camelon is a place of considerable
interest to the antiquarian, having been represented by the early
writers as a maritime city, in corroboration of which assertion
fragments of anchors, blocks of stone with rings attached, and even
an entire boat of ancient model, have been found embedded in the
soil. The city, it is alleged, was built by Vespasian, and when
subsequently possessed by the Picts had twelve brazen gates. No
vestige, however, of this magnificent place remains except one
portion of a wall, visible from the Glasgow road. The present vil-
lage had its origin about fifteen years back, aud the sea is now
about four miles distant from it.
Carron is a village in the parish of Larbert, one mile and a half
east therefrom ; it is situated on the river Carron, and about a mile
and a half from Falkirk. The immense iron works of the Carron
Company occupy almost the whole village. Population in 1881, 902.
Carron Shore is a village at the extreme north-east of Larbert,
about two miles therefrom, situated partly in that parish, and partly
in that of Bothkennar, and about three miles from Falkirk. The
river Carron passes the village, which contains a mission church
belonging to the Establishment, a handsome United Presbyterian
church recently built, a Free Church school and other schools. The
Carron Company have numerous collieries here for supplying their
works. Railways run in various directions from the works to these
collieries. Population in 1881, 962.
Laurieston (or Lawriestoun) is a village in the parish of Falkirk
about one mile east lrom that town. Nail making, which was for-
merly carried on to a considerable extent, is now almost extinct.
This place was originally called Langtoun, afterwards Merchiston,
and is now named Laurieston, in honour of the late Sir Lawrence
Dundas, who made considerable additions to and much improved
it. Population in 1881, 1,452.
The parish of Bothkennar, about two miles long by an eqnal
breadth, lies in the carse of Falkirk, and about three miles there-
from ; it is a rich aud fertile district, possessing some excellent
orchards, and contains the parish church and school. It is bounded
on the north by the parish of Airth, on the west by the parish of
Larbert, on the south by the parishes of Falkirk and Polmont, and
on the east by the river Forth. Coal abounds in the parish, which
is got to supply the Carron Company. On the Avon are the ruins of
an old nunnery, founded by Malcolm IV. and half a mile west are
the remains of the ancient castle of Almond, for several generations
the favourite seat of the Earls of Callendar. Acreage of the parish,
1,774. Population in 1881, 3,271.
The parish of Polmont is one of ihe richest and most beautiful
districts in the county, with little exceptionjbeing arable land, fine-
ly enclosed and planted; it has the river Avon on its eastern boun-
dary, and is intersected by the main road from Edinburgh to
Falkirk, and by the Union Canal and the Firth of Forth on the
north. The parish, which extends five miles inland from the Forth,
is about two miles in breadth, and has within its limits several coal
mines, and abounds in iron and free stone. There is a large private
school here, called Blairlodge, conducted on public principles, with
accommodation for over 100 boarders. The school stands in its own
grounds of 30 acres. The village of Polmont lies on the road to Fal-
kirk, and from whence it is three miles and a half to the east. The
small village of Nether Polmont is situated on the coast from Fal-
kirk to Bo'ness, from which it is four miles distant. Acreage of the
parish, 5,512. Population in 1881, 8,955 ; of the village, 519.

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