Museum and Heritage Service
The Museum and Heritage Service can help you find out more about Clackmannanshire.
The county, with its dramatic landscape of flat carseland on the north bank of the River Forth and dominant Ochil Hills, has a rich cultural history.
There is archaeological evidence for prehistoric settlement, as well as some later occupation during the first millenium AD. Four impressive tower houses have survived at Alloa, Clackmannan, Castle Campbell in Dollar and Sauchie and, with Menstrie Castle, represent just a few of the great houses which once existed in the county.
They were built by the Bruces, Erskines, Campbells and Schaws, among the most distinguished families in medieval Scotland, who attended the Stewart kings at nearby Stirling Castle.
In the last three centuries the county has seen the rise and decline of many industries, including
- coal and silver mining,
- ship building and the use of Alloa as a port,
- pottery, brick and tile-making,
- and especially the textile industry with its many wool-spinning and weaving mills in Alloa, Clackmannan and the Hillfoots villages.
In contrast, O-I Manufacturing UK Ltd is the oldest glass works in Europe still working on its original site. The works was founded in 1767 on land owned by the Erskine family.
Many relics of the county's industrial heritage have been swept away without trace, but others have been conserved and restored. In Alloa the grand civic buildings and private houses built by the Paton family, whose knitting yarns were once famous worldwide, can still be seen and appreciated.
The Museum and Heritage Service has a fascinating collection of material, ranging from prehistoric items to industrial and social history objects, as well as an art collection.
Artefacts from Paton's & Baldwin's Kilncraigs Mill, founded in 1814, with its accompanying documentary archive, probably forms the most complete group of historical material from a wool-spinning mill to have been preserved in Britain.
Museum and Heritage Service and the community
- We can help with enquiries and research into many aspects of the history of the county.
- We give talks and lectures on a range of subjects which can be tailored to meet the needs of the group.
- We provide outreach to schools and other groups in the form of activity sessions on various subjects.
- We provide outreach to schools and reminiscence groups in the form of loan kits on Victorian Schooldays and Daily Life and The Second World War. Other kits might be assembled by special arrangement. The kits can be booked by contacting The Museum and Heritage Service.
- If you would like to support the work of the service you might like to consider joining the Friends of the Museum and Heritage Service.
Where is the Museum and Heritage Service located?
The Museum and Heritage Service is located on the first floor of the Speirs Centre in Primrose Street, Alloa.
Our office hours are usually 9.30am to 6.00pm Monday - Friday for enquiries and appointments, but staff appointments elsewhere may mean that no one is present, so it is always best to telephone before coming to the office.