Slamannan Parish Church

NS 8561 7340

(St. Lawrence Kirk)                                


12th century: Slamannan appears to have been an independent parish by the middle of the twelfth century.

1176:  The church is mentioned as one of thirty-three of the Decantus de Linlithgow (Sibbald, R. 1707).

1274: The following entries appear “Ecclesia de Slefmanyn 5/1d”;”Ecclesia de Slamannan, 5/-“; “Rector de Slamannan, 11/7d”.

1306:  On 22 January the Pope’s Collector received 6 stones of cheese from the Rector of Slamannan (Bogimont’s Roll).

From the fourteenth century to the sixteenth the patronage of the church was held variously by the Sandilands, Livingstones, Cunninghams and the Murrays.

1725: The lands of Ellrig, Easter Jaw, Wester Jaw and Croftannie disjoined from the parish of Falkirk and annexed to the kirk and parish of Slamannan.

A piece of worn sandstone has been re-used in the present church at hip-height at the southern end of the east wall and bears the date 1722 or 1728 (the last two figure being very faint).

1730:  Aisle built on the north side of the church to accommodate the people from the annexed lands, the church already possessing galleries.

1753: Repairs to roof, walls (except gables).

1809: Building declared unsound and roof temporarily patched.

1810: Old church dismantled and the stone used in the new building.   A damaged dormer pediment was incorporated into the south wall, it bears the inscription “16[??] I AM THE LIGHT OF/ THO WOR[LD]/ JOH[N] -“.   Below is an incised fragment reading “KEIP MY SABBATH AND REVE/ RENCE MY SANCTUARY.LEVIT.262”, and above is an undated sundial.   The piscina from the building is probably that now incorporated into Loanhead Cottage, Southfield.

The new building was finished in 1810, but it was not until April 1811 that the Heritors took possession from the contractor, Mr Warden.  It is oblong in plan measuring 52ft  ins from east to west by 42ft 8ins traversely over walls   2ft 6ins to 2ft 9ins thick.   The walls are of random rubble with dressed and backset margins at quoins and voids, the gables being fitted with tabling.  In the  north  wall  there are two windows below and two above the  level  of  the gallery,  which runs round three sides of the interior; in the south wall there are two rows of four windows,  at corresponding heights, the middle ones in the lower row being higher and wider than the rest.   In each gable there is a door with a window above it, and on the apex of the west gable a bellcote.   The gallery is reached by two internal stairs, one in each of the north corners of the building.   The pulpit is in the middle of the south side and may be of comparatively recent origin set against a background of older wood panelling forming an arched bay with plain pilasters, entablature and pediment.   The ceiling contains an ornamental plaster panel.

1892: Repairs.

1900: More repairs and heating installed.  Church hall constructed on the opposite side of the road adjacent to the Culloch Burn.   The east gable faces the road and has a high pitched roof with crow-steps.

Church on the right and hall on the left.

1945:  United with Balquhatstone Church on 25th October, that church building being converted to a church hall.

2016: Re-opened after a major overhaul which included the removal of the raked pews on the ground floor and the installation of toilets and a kitchen on the ground floor.


1857: Large stone manse built opposite the church.

1985:  Manse set on fire whilst unoccupied and new brick bungalow built the following year.


1720: Two communion cups presented by Mitchell, Balmitchell Farm.

1838: Two more cups presented by Mr Waddell, Balquhatstone and Mr Ralston, Ellrig.

1935:  Pulpit, communion table, elders chair and Moderator’s Chair given by Viscount Home, Slamannan.


In 1722 the old bell which had been there since before the Reformation was taken to Edinburgh to be re-cast by the bell-founders Meikle and Maxwell.   The bell bears the inscription: “R.M.Fecit, Edn.for Slamannan, 1722”.

In 1731 a hand bell was purchased in Edinburgh with the inscription: “Slamannan, 1731”.


1795:  Statistical Account says that some of the seats bore dates as old as 1556, with many from 1632.

1810: Seat 700.


See separate entry for sundial.


See separate entry for Slamannan Parish Churchyard.

The churchyard surrounds the church and until the late nineteenth century was circular in plan.  A book published in 1911 gives 1634 as the oldest stone, but the Royal Commission could only find one of 1692.

1824: Watches kept for body stealers.

19??  Graveyard extended to the east.

1961: Further extension.


1574Fleming, Richard 
1607Ambrose, Thomas 
Apr 1658Semphill, RobertNov 1660
Aug 1661Phin, GeorgeFeb 1689
1694Thomsone, James 
17?Hastie, William 
 Home, Robert Stevenson 
Nov 1887Rankine, William HenryJul 1891
May 1892Reid, AllanSep 1922
1928Elliot, NenionApr 1945
1946Cameron, Alexander DuncanJun 1968
Jan 1968Fleming, Thomas Graham 
1982Ovens, Samuel B1992
1992Thomson, RaymondPresent

Geoff B Bailey (2016)