Frequently Asked Questions

– And Their Answers

Here, you will find a number of questions that people often ask about aspects of Falkirk’s history.   These will be added to over time.

Ask us a question and it might find its way onto this page.

How did Falkirk get its name?

What is the story of the Hills of Dunipace?

What is the Tattie Kirk?

What was Arthur’s O’on?

Where was the Wallace (1298) Battle fought?

Where were the Falkirk Trysts Held?

Why a Pineapple at Dunmore?

Why are Falkirk people called “Bairns”?

Map of Slamannan showing the old school at Clerkshall.
The Slate House property called Clerkshall is the building on the left with the roll-moulded skewputs (now demolished).

You can add your question about Falkirk’s history here :

8 replies on “FAQs”

Hello, just bought a print of Copper Bottom’s retreat or a View of Carron Works, with a handwritten inscription under saying William Forbes Esq d. 1815. (He is my many times great grandfather). Do you know where this would have appeared originally – you have a coloured print of it in your article on William Forbes. Grateful for any further info on it. Many thanks.

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It is published in “A Series of Original Portraits and Character Etchings” by John Kay, reprinted by Birlinn. There is a more detailed article (Falkirk and the Militia ‘Riots’ of 1797) in vol. 30 (2013) of our journal, “Calatria” and there are reference copies of “Calatria” in the Falkirk Library. https://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/learning/libraries/
We can send you a copy of the article if you can email me at flhs.secretary@yahoo.co.uk and give me your address.


I was looking at John Horne (1826-1911) of Ceres in Fife. He is shown as the Parochial Schoolmaster in Slamannan in the 1861 to 1901 Censuses and resident in the Schoolhouse there. However, I note that the school at Blinkbonnie (Bank Street) was opened in the September of 1876. Research shows that Robert Main was the Parochial Schoolmaster from 1810 until his death in 1858 when, presumably, John Horn became teacher there. William Cowan also appears to have been teacher there – having gained his MA at Glasgow Uni. in 1808 – but mioved to East Kilbride as Parochial Schoolmaster.

The question is – Where, pre 1876, was the original Parish School, and Schoolhouse?


In his book about Slamannan the Rev Waugh wrote that in 1849 the Heritors renovated the Slate House near the Parish Church which had been used as a school for the schoolmaster’s house. They acquired an adjacent feu and built a school on it which continued in use until the School Board was formed and the present Public School was constructed in 1876. The headmaster at the time of the move was Robert Horne and his staff consisted of a lady teacher, an assistant and three pupil teachers. The number of pupils on the roll was 220. By September the following year two male teachers were added to the staff. Robert Horne retired in 1903.

I have not seen any photographs of the old school, but we have posted higher up this page a map and a photo titled “Bridge End”. The Slate House property called Clerkshall is the building on the left with the roll-moulded skewputs (now demolished).


In 1931-33 Reston Mather (Northern Mining Company Ltd ) from Provanhall house in Glasgow owned the first talc mine in Skye. The talc was then transported to a grinding plant at Seabegs Mill, Bonnybridge. Seabegs Mill produced talc, French chalk and soapstone. Is there any record of where the grinding plant was or information on when the Northern Mining Company used it


Hello, Katrina. We have an article on this website about the Bonny Mill, which seems to have been the name used for this mill locally: https://falkirklocalhistory.club/around-the-area/buildings/watermills/baronial-mills/bonny-mill/
and there are maps quoted in the article to show the location. We have asked around but there does not seem to be any information to hand about talc being ground there. Our speculation (although we have no evidence to confirm) is that the talc would have been transported from Skye by sea via the steam puffer boats that travelled the route frequently and would use the Forth & Clyde canal to call at the mill at Bonnybridge, which was beside the canal. There is an article on this website about the Forth & Clyde Canal:

Forth and Clyde Canal

I hope this helps.


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