Mungalhead House

Alexander Sword’s lands became known as Middle Mungal or Mungalhead.  Largely as a result of the establishment of the Carron Iron Works the main road from Falkirk to Carron was straightened at its junction with Mungalhead Road and on the resulting south-west corner Sword built a substantial dwelling.  This may have been intended as the family seat in future generations, but as Alexander farmed the land and ran the adjacent brewhouse, he lived in the farmhouse and the new house was put up for rent:

“To be let for nineteen years, and entered to immediately, A convenient new-built DWELLING HOUSE, consisting of six fire rooms, and two garret fire rooms, with four acres of arable ground, of a good quality, completely fenced, very proper and convenient for a garden, and pleasantly situated upon the high-road leading from Falkirk to Carron, and about half a mile from Carron.  Those who incline to take the above, may apply to Alexander Sword, the proprietor, at Mungall, or Andrew Drysdale, Inn-keeper in Falkirk, who will show the premises, and conclude the bargain.”

(Caledonian Mercury 17 February 1766).

Illus 2: Main Street, Bainsford, looking south-west with Sword’s house on the right.

Mungalhead House was a neat two-storey Georgian house imitating a Palladian villa with a small central pediment containing a bull’s eye window.  The quoins and windows had slightly backset margins and there was a broad moulded eaves course.  Plain skews started at rounded skewputs and ended in tall ashlar chimney stacks.

In 1795 the farm of Mungalhead, then belonging to Alexander’s son, Thomas, consisted of 36 acres of arable land with the dwellinghouse, office-houses, malt barn and brew-house thereon (Edinburgh Evening Courant 24 December 1795, 4).  Thomas’ brother, Andrew, farmed at Dalderse.

In the 1920s the house was converted into a motor garage with petrol pumps in the forecourt.  Latterly this was run by the Young family.  It was demolished around 1975. 

G.B. Bailey, 2023