History.    Page 1 of 4

Each of the Hillfoots Villages is situated where a "Burn" (a large stream) descends from the Ochils down a "Glen" (a valley) in the hills.
These sources of water led to the setting up of the early textiles industry in the Hillfoots with the workers weaving in their cottages and a few small weaving sheds, with the water at that time mainly being used for washing and dying of the wools.
By the mid-18th. Century these sources of water became recognised as sources of power and over the next hundred years, as the Industrial Revolution took hold, a series of textile mills were built mainly in Alva and Tillicoultry.
The associated infrastructure of Dams, Lades (water channels), Water Wheels and large, inter-linked Mill Buildings were constructed in both villages all the way down the Burn sides.  The weaving looms and associated machinery were powered from the water wheels by a multitude of belts and pulleys.
To enable the industry to expand, workers had to be attracted into the area and to this end many houses were constructed and the population of Tillicoultry expanded drastically, as can be clearly seen from the following census results;

Year 1821    Population 1160
Year 1831    Population 1472
Year 1841    Population 3213
Year 1851    Population 4686
Year 1861    Population 5000+

This rapid growth brought its associated problems of overcrowding, poor housing, high infant mortality, poor water supply and drainage, and to deal with these, multiplied as they were throughout much of Central Scotland at this time, the government passed two important Acts of Parliament in 1862 and 1868, known as "General Police and Improvement Acts".

It was by virtue of these pieces of legislation that Tillicoultry Burgh was created in 1871. The Burgh commissioners, councillors and Provost worked tirelessly to rectify and drastically transform the general conditions and appearance of the Burgh.
It lasted as a Burgh until 1975 when it disappeared as a separate administrative unit under local government reorganisation.




 


 

Archibald Walker
the First Provost of Tillicoultry,
from 1873 till 1900,
who died in 1906.

As a result of torrential, incessant rainfall during the previous 12 hours, Tillicoultry Burn burst its banks on the morning of the 28th. August 1877. 

At Castle Mill in the mouth of the Glen, (no longer in existence), three people (William Hutchison, the mill owner, William Stillie, a dyer and Isabella Miller a young factory worker)  were swept away in the torrent when the dam, which was supplying the lades for the mills, burst and the small bridge  on which they were standing collapsed into the cascading flood waters.

William Stillie was rescued further down the burn with severe cuts and bruising whilst the other two perished in the torrent.

The resulting, massive, flooding throughout Clackmannanshire was on a scale which has never been seen since.

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