12000 years ago ice, more than a kilometre thick, covered the area and the weight of it depressed the land below sea level. As it melted and retreated the sea came in and covered the valley (whale bones have been found near the village) Relieved of its over-
Then along came new ideas in land management, peat removal and agricultural methods designed to produce surplus. These tended to displace many people from the land into small settlements. In the early 1700s, to accommodate this the Laird of Gargunnock, Sir James Campbell, made available strips of land (feus) on either side of the Main Street (or King’s Highway”) So the village grew from perhaps just a cluster of houses adjacent to the Gargunnock Burn, to about 90 houses towards the end of the century, mainly single storey and thatched. That number of houses remained largely unchanged until the 1930s, by which time many of them were ruinous. Those that were not were certainly far behind modern standards of hygiene, with many dry toilets or ones connected to rudimentary septic tanks in gardens up to the mid 1950s.
Thereafter the laying of public sewers, the redevelopment of part of the Main Street by the local authority, the renovation of older properties with the help of generous improvement grants and an increase in new-
Apart from brief references to the village in various Gazetteers throughout the years there has been only one proper book on the village ever published, and an excellent one it is too. Its author, Ian McCallum BEM, came here to live in Trelawney Cottage in the Square (formerly The Guest House), around the millennium. An ex-
He no longer lives here but is still involved in military genealogy and conducts battlefield tours, having been all over Europe including Gallipoli, Italy and further afield to Egypt.
His latest book, entitled “The Celtic, Glasgow Irish and the Great War,” is available on Amazon
Duncan McNeil’s Talk on Gargunnock Parish thro’ the Ages
The chap on the left is Duncan McNeil who spent all of his life working for Gargunnock Estate as did his father, Dugald, before him.
In 1947 Duncan gave a talk in the newly created church hall in Station Road about Gargunnock Parish. His talk was based on the two available Statistical Accounts for Gargunnock Parish (the third wasn’t published till 1960) but with his own unique view of the current community and some of the characters in it.
I found his hand-
It is well worth a read in advance of a study of the three full Statistical Accounts contained elsewhere on this site.
|Kirkyard Monumental Inscriptions|
|Lower Graveyard Monumental Inscriptions|