Battle of Falkirk Muir

Working with Callendar Estates, the 1745 Association, the Battlefield Trust and Falkirk Planning Department - the trail for the Battle of Falkirk Muir is now almost complete. The paths are finished and the designs for the interpretation panels and posts approved. These feature the three stained glass panels belonging to Falkirk Museum and currently displayed in the Howgate Centre. Some of the seating is in place. Events are being organised around the anniversary date of 17th January in order to raise public awareness.

Battle of Falkirk Muir

The first of the lunchtime talks in Callendar House was about the battle and played to full audiences.

Geoff Bailey arranged with the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society for a resistivity survey to be undertaken on the site of the English Graves (owned by Falkirk Council) and the results were better than anticipated with a large pit identified. This will be followed up in January 2018 by a wide array survey. The 1745 Association held a meeting with Elspeth Reid, the archivist, about the deposition of their library at Callendar House for the use by researchers into the Jacobite interlude. Contacts have been maintained with Roddy Tulloch who proposes to erect a major visitor centre for the battlefield at South Bantaskine Park. Together these would provide another important historical tourist attraction for the Falkirk area.

Antonine Wall Walks

The new version of the Antonine Wall Walks leaflet, developed along with the Falkirk Rangers and printed by the Planning Department, has been printed and widely circulated.

Antonine Wall Walks

Carmuirs Community Dig

The Roman Project continued at Easter Carmuirs PS as part of the Camelon My Place scheme. Classes were held on 26th September (Roman pottery as part of the Roman Week), 3rd October (Roman armour) & 17th October (sand pit archaeology), with a real excavation in the school playing fields on 25th October. The latter put two complete sections across a Roman temporary camp ditch and discovered a Roman field oven.

Carmuirs Community dig

Communion tokens

Each Friday volunteers have worked at Callendar House on various projects. We are now focussing on the communion tokens within the object collection in order to produce a definitive catalogue that will be of great use to the public, particularly those interested in identifying individual examples. It will also help ecclesiastical scholars and numismatic specialists.

The work on First World War soldiers from the Falkirk area continues at a slow pace. In both cases it will be essential to disseminate the results by the heritage portal of the FCT website or through a third body.

Kinneil Landscape project

Kinneil Landscape project

On the morning of 7th November pupils from Kinneil PS helped us to strip an area of vegetation and ivy from in front of a 17th century wall opposite to Watt’s cottage in Kinneil Park. The wall is significant in the evolution of the building/palace at Kinneil and has since been inspected by Tom Addyman for inclusion in his history. HES are to inspect the wall with a view to conservation work.

The clearance meant that EAFS was able to undertake a resistivity survey of this part of the site and the result suggests that there may be Roman features here. The 17th century wall was built on bedrock, apart from a 7m wide gap that represent the Roman ditch.

A team of students from Stirling and Edinburgh Universities is interested in using their voluntary time as part of a Study Abroad project in furthering this work next year. With HES, Friends of Kinneil we held a community conference in the Hippodrome at Bo’ness on Kinneil House and its history on 19th November.

Higgin’s Neuk & James IV’s Dockyard

In cooperation with the Inner Forth landscape Initiative, Scottish Coastal Heritage at Risk (based at St Andrew’s University) and Stirling University we undertook a two week excavation at Higgen’s Neuk in search of a tidal mill and James IV’s Royal Dockyard. The excavation attracted a large number of volunteers, many of whom wish to continue to contribute to such projects in the Falkirk area. The mill had been demolished but substantial remains were found including a large corn drying kiln. Chaff from the mill was thrown into the adjacent Forth and a deposit just over 0.3m thick was found to smell like rotten eggs!

Higgins Neuk & James IV's Dockyard

A very substantial stone pier was discovered under the salt marsh. On a map of 1820 this is labelled as “Old stone pier”. It butted against an earlier stone wharf, which may be associated with the naval dockyard for Scotland. Tantalising glimpses were seen of an early river channel that may have led into this important naval base and which it is hope to explore next year.

Background information is available at Uncovering the hidden heritage of higgins neuk

On 16th December a pot washing session was arranged in Callendar House to process some of the finds from the excavation. Despite its proximity to Christmas 17 volunteers participated.

Roman exhibition

The summer exhibition at Callendar House came to an end at the end of October and was dismantled. The artefacts were removed, repackaged, relocated on Vernon, and placed back into storage. The Iron Age enamelled terret ring was put on display in the permanent gallery. The stone ballista balls on loan from English Heritage at Corbridge Museum were returned, as were the leas slingshot on loan from the Dumfries & Galloway Archaeological Service. Roman displays at Bonnybridge & Bo’ness Libraries were removed.

Glorious Gardens

Glorious Gardens logo

With the Scotland’s Garden & Landscape Heritage Society we have a team of volunteers looking at several designed landscape in the Falkirk area. Work on Airth, Dunmore, Powfoulis, Carronvale, Dollar Park, Westquarter, Carron House, Parkhall is almost complete and Falkirk Cemetery, Carriden, Millhall, Parkhill, etc. ongoing.


Over the period enquiries from the public have continued:

Phone Email Person
October 12 22 7
November 16 24 8
December 12 16 12

Lunch & brunch talks

Lunch & brunch talks resumed in October with a re-telling by the Heritage Engagement Officer of the story of the Battle of Falkirk. Not only were the three talks fully booked up (170 attendees), but people were unfortunately turned away.

This success was continued with the second talk in November by Brian Watters when many people who had worked at Carron Ironworks attended.


  • 3rd Easter Carmuirs Ps
  • 11th Talk to Association of Retired persons (57)
  • 18th Ineos Pipeline Awareness training
  • 26th Talk to U3A (16)
  • 26th Talk to Trimontium Trust (35)


  • 2nd Talk at Ivybank nursing Home (10)
  • 2nd Talk to Torryburn Historical Society (52)
  • 7th Kinneil PS at Kinneil Park (28)
  • 8th Talk at Grahamston Parish Church (22)
  • 11th Talk at Forth naturalist & Historian conference (98)
  • 13th Talk at Abbotsgrange Church (17)
  • 14th St Margaret’s PS – castles
  • 16th Talk to Falkirk Sorpotimists (42)
  • 19th Kinneil House Community Conference (55)
  • 20th Larbert High School Carron ironworks project
  • 23rd Talk to Falkirk Probus (26)
  • 29th Talk at Cadder Church on the Antonine Wall (33)


  • 6th Talk at Dullator Golf Club on Falkirk iron foundries (16)
  • 8th Larbert High School “Spark & Grit” performance.
  • 9th Guide for Glasgow Archaeological Society coach trip along Antonine Wall (52)
  • 16th Washing the finds from the Higgin’s Neuk excavation (17)

There have been numerous meetings with outside bodies in order to coordinate and enhance the activities undertaken by all concerned. These have included Falkirk Libraries, Under the Trees, Scottish Waterways, Glorious Gardens, Friends of Kinneil, Greenhill History Society, various primary schools, the 1745 Association, Falkirk Planning Department, Roads Dept, the Antonine Wall Research Committee, Antonine Wall Management Committee, Falkirk Local History Society (discussions over the future of the Steeple), James Watt Group, Friends of Dollar Park, etc.

Contact us

Callendar House
Callendar Park

01324 503770
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Last updated: 15 March 2018 at 13:48