Club’s Tomb

The earth-covered overgrown mound of Club’s Tomb lies barely noticed by passing motorists 230m south-west of Westfield Farm (NS 8810 8744) beside a tributary of the Pow Burn.  It stands beside the road from Airth Station to Airth midway between Powbridge and West Westfield.  It is ovoid in plan with its south-east side slightly flattened and its walls are of coursed stone.  The straightened side, which faces away from the road, contains the entrance which is only 3ft 1in high and capped by a depressed arch.  It has an external check and holes in this show the former presence of an iron grille.  The corners of the facade were originally topped by moulded finials.  The internal dimensions are 12ft 8in by 9ft 6in and the walls are around 3ft thick supporting a barrel-vault 7ft 10in high at the crown.  The roof was originally pyramidal though this is now difficult to see due to its poor condition.

It is said (Stirling Observer 9 June 1914, 3) to have been built by a local farmer, perhaps the James Club, of Westfield, Airth, whose will is registered under the date 29th July 1757, and who wished to be buried in it, along with his dog, beyond the reach of the resurrectionists.  A hundred years after that date, on 30 April 1857, a correspondent to the Stirling Observer noted that the

tomb encloses the greater part of the ashes of our Clubs, besides many more of those who have been possessors of the farm.  We are proud to say that, although the estate has been sold, the feelings of the descendants could not condescend to sell the ashes of their dead, for the tomb still remains the property of Captain Brown.”

Illus: Club’s Tomb looking north-west.

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In the 19th century the part of the road adjacent to the Tomb was considered to be the haunt of ghosts, and on dark nights people rushed past the tomb, and were glad when they got safe across the bridge over the burn and down the road and had left the evil spirits far behind.  A short story, reproduced in the pages of the Falkirk Herald on 30 March 1887, places such a journey at the centre of a doomed betrothal.

Club’s Tomb    SMR 198                     NS 8810 8744

G.B. Bailey, 2021