Falkirk

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Falkirk is a large town in central Scotland, 25 miles west of Edinburgh, 23 miles northeast of Glasgow.

The main attractions in the Town are the Old Church in the town centre, Falkirk Wheel with water activities on the west side, and on the east side, Callander House for the History of Falkirk, Helix Park with a Boating Pond and Kids Play, and the Kelpies large Horse Sculptures by the Canal where it enters the Firth of Forth.

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See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

The image top is from the east looking up the High Street towards the Steeple. The Flat on the left has a plaque stating the famous Scots poet Robert Burns lodged there in 1787.

The second image shows the Steeple at the Market Square in the town centre. This is where markets were held 2 days a week. Public executions were also carried out at the square with the last hanging in 1828.

The third image is looking west down the pedestrian only High Street, where most of the top shops are located.

Falkirk Trinity Church is half way down the High Street. The first church on this site is said to have been built in the 600s. A larger church was built on the site in the 1400s, with that building extended between 1733 and 1892.

The main grave in the Church Cemetery is of Sir John de Graeme who died at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Newmarket Street runs parallel to the High Street where you can view a Boer War Memorial, and Statue of the Duke of Wellington.

The Falkirk Wheel is on the east side of the town. This is a Rotating Boat Lift completed in 2002 to connect the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

The Union Canal closed in 1933, leading to the Canals and Lochs being run down. In 2001, the Canals and Locks were re-opened with the Falkirk Wheel completed the next year to replace the 11 Locks needed on this site before. The Union Canal here runs to Edinburgh.

There are a number of water play areas around the Falkirk Wheel for kids and a large Cafe.

The Forth Canal runs from Glasgow, through Falkirk Centre, then out into the Firth of Forth, where the Kelpies large Horse Sculptures are situated.

The metal War Memorial is by the Forth Canal at Lock 16 on the west side of the Town centre in the area of Camelon, unveiled in 2016.

Callander House is a mansion built from the 1400s for the Livingston's on the east side of Falkirk, now open to the public with a large museum covering the history of Falkirk.

The Antonine Wall runs past the house, a wall built by the Romans in the 2nd Century to try and control Scotland. Falkirk Antonine Wall Information.

The Helix is a large Park on the east side of Falkirk opened in 2013 with a large boating pond, kids fountains, play park, large grassland, cafe, and wetland walks.

The Kelpies are situated next to The Helix, large Horse Sculptures where the Forth Canal enters the Firth of Forth. The Kelpies were opened to the public in 2014, to designs of the sculptor Andy Scott, in memory of the heavy horses that worked on the canals.

Falkirk History

AD 140s - the Romans built the Antonine Wall across central Scotland to try and control the Scots Tribes. Some of the best preserved sections of the wall are around Falkirk, although these are mainly earth mounds.

600s - the earliest parts of Falkirk Trinity Church were built in the Town centre.

1100s - the Callander Family owned Callander Estate on the east side of Falkirk, with their house known as Thanes Hall.

1298 - the Battle of Falkirk took place during the Scottish Wars of Independence. It is unclear where the battle took place. The Scots led by William Wallace were defeated by a larger English army.

1300s - the Callander's lost their Estate after supporting Edward Balliol in his battles with Robert the Bruce.

1345 - Callander lands were granted by King David II, son of King Robert the Bruce, to Sir William Livingston, with the Livingston's later becoming the Earls of Callander.

1400s - the Livingston's built a Tower House close to Thanes Hall, that would be extended over the years into the large Callander Mansion seen today.

1697 - the first Steeple was built at Falkirk Market Square to serve as a Tolbooth and Jail. Public punishments and executions took place in the Market Square in front of the Steeple.

1700s - Falkirk was one of the first major iron-casting centre's.

1710 - Falkirk became the major market for Highland Cattle, taking most of that trade from Crieff further northwest. Cattle from the Highlands and Island were driven down between August and October each year to be sold for meat around Scotland and England.

1746 January - the Battle of Falkirk Muir was fought between Jacobite's supporting Charles Edward Stuart and a Government Army commanded by Lieutenant General Henry Hawley. The Jacobite's won that battle, but lost the final Battle at Culloden in April.

1790 - the Forth and Clyde Canal opened, connecting Glasgow to the Firth of Forth by Edinburgh, passing through Falkirk.

1803 - the Steeple was demolished after it began to subside.

1814 - the present day Steeple was built at 43 metres / 141 ft high, with cells in the upper floors.

1822 - the Union Canal opened connecting Falkirk to Edinburgh, joining the Forth and Clyde Canal at Falkirk.

1828 - 18-year-old Francis Cockburn was the last person to be executed by hanging in front of the Steeple, after murdering William Burt, his fellow workman.

1830s - the Railway connected Falkirk to Edinburgh.

1876 - Falkirk Football Club was founded.

1927 - the Steeple was hit by lightning, resulting in the top 30 feet having to be rebuilt.

1933 - the Western end of the Union Canal closed, ending commercial traffic.

1963 - the Forth and Clyde Canal closed, leading to the Canals and Locks being un-usable.

1969 - Alex Ferguson signed for Falkirk Football Club as a player coach.

2002 - the Falkirk Wheel was completed for a Project that saw the Canals and Locks opened to boats once again.

2003 - the new 7,937 all-seater Falkirk Stadium was completed on the east side of Falkirk.

2013 - the Helix Park was opened on the east side of Falkirk with a boating pond and kids play.

2014 - the Kelpies were completed next to the Helix where the Clyde and Forth Canal enters the Firth of Forth.

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Falkirk Photos