Shires of Scotland
The counties or shires of Scotland are geographic subdivisions of Scotland established in the Middle Ages. Established for judicial purposes, from the 17th century they started to be used for local administration purposes as well; the areas used for judicial functions came to diverge from the shires, which ceased to be used for local government purposes after 1975 under the Local Government Act 1973. Today, local government in Scotland is based upon "council areas", which sometimes incorporate county names, but have vastly different boundaries. Counties continue to be used for the purpose of lieutenancy and land registration purposes, though the lieutenancy areas are not identical. Malcolm III appears to have introduced sheriffs as part of a policy of replacing previous forms of government with Norman feudal structures; this policy was continued by Edgar, Alexander I, in particular David I. David completed the division of the country into sheriffdoms by the conversion of existing thanedoms; the earliest sheriffdom south of the Forth which we know of for certain is Haddingtonshire, named in a charters of 1139 as Hadintunschira and in another of 1141 as Hadintunshire.
Stirlingshire appears in a charter of 1150 under the name Striuelinschire. The shires of the Highlands were completed only in the reign of King Charles I. In 1305 Edward I of England, who had deposed John Balliol issued an Ordinance for the Government of Scotland; the document listed the twenty-three shires existing and either appointed new sheriffs or continued heritable sheriffs in office. ^Note a: Gospatric was mentioned as sheriff in a number of charters of Earl David. The shire was not listed in the ordinance, in 1305 appears to have been under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff of Selkirk, with the remainder comprised in the constabularies of Jedburgh and Roxburgh under the jurisdiction of the constable of Berwick; the shire was one of those surrendered to Edward III of England in 1334. The remaining shires were formed either by the territorial expansion of the Kingdom of Scotland, or by the subdivision of existing sheriffdoms. Many of the new shires had irregular boundaries or detached parts as they united the various possessions of the heritable sheriffs.
C.1326: Argyll: lordship subdued by Alexander II in 1222. Norwegian claims over the area ended in 1266. First record of appointment of sheriff dates from 1326. 1369: Kirkcudbright formed when area between Rivers Nith and Cree granted to Archibald the Grim. Archibald appointed a steward to administer the area, hence it became a "stewartry". C.1388: Bute. The islands formed part of Kintyre district of Argyll. A heritable sheriff was appointed to the shire in 1388. 1402: Renfrew: separated from the Shire of Lanark by Robert III. Tarbertshire existed from before 1481, when it gained territory from Perthshire, until 1633, when it was annexed to Argyll. 1503: Ross: formed from part of Inverness by Act of Parliament during the reign of James IV, the sheriff to sit at Tain or Dingwall. Sheriffs were appointed, further acts of 1649 and 1661 restated its separation from Inverness; the 1661 act clarified the area encompassed, based on the pre-Reformation Diocese of Ross. Sir George Mackenzie's Ross-shire estates were transferred to Cromartyshire by a 1685 Act of Parliament.
1503: Caithness: formed from part of Inverness by the same 1503 act as Ross-shire, the sheriff to sit at Dornoch or Wick. The area of the sheriffdom was to be identical to that of the Diocese of Caithness. 1581: Orkney was erected into a lordship with the right of sheriffship. It was annexed to the Crown in 1612, although the term "lordship" continued to be applied to the area. 1633: Sutherland separated from Inverness.b^Note b: In 1583 the Earl of Huntly, hereditary sheriff of Inverness, granted the Earl of Sutherland jurisdiction over the sheriffdom of Sutherland and Strathnaver. This was only the south-eastern area of the county, with Halladale River forming the boundary; the shire was formed in 1631 by Crown Writ of Charles I, severing Sutherland from Inverness. The new county comprised the Earldom of Sutherland along with Assynt and the baronies between Ross and Caithness. Dornoch was appointed the head burgh of the shire; the writ was confirmed by the Parliament of Scotland in 1633. From the 17th century the shires started to be used for local administration apart from judicial functions.
In 1667 Commissioners of Supply were appointed in each sheriffdom to collect the land tax. The commissioners assumed other duties in the county. Following the union of Scotland with England, the government began bringing Scotland's local governance into line with the rest of Great Britain; the full machinery of county government was not established due to the fact that the office of sheriff or steward had become hereditary in certain families in the majority of sheriffdoms. At the accession of George II twenty-two sheriffs were hereditary, three were appointed for life and only eight held office at the pleasure of the monarch; the heritable sheriffdoms were Argyll, Banff, Clackmannan, Dumbarton, Elgin, Kinross, Linlithgow, Orkney & Zetland, Renfrew, Selkirk, Sutherland and Wigtown. Following the unsuccessful Jacobite Rising of 1745 the government took
Queensferry called South Queensferry or "The Ferry", is a town to the west of Edinburgh, traditionally a royal burgh of West Lothian. It lies ten miles to the north-west of Edinburgh city centre, on the shore of the Firth of Forth between the Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing; the prefix South serves to distinguish it from North Queensferry, on the opposite shore of the Forth. Both towns derive their name from the ferry service established by Queen Margaret in the 11th century, which continued to operate at the town until 1964, when the Road Bridge was opened, its population at the 2011 census was 9,026 based on the 2010 definition of the locality which in addition to the burgh includes Dalmeny. The Gaelic name Taobh a Deas Chas Chaolais means " Southern Side of Steep Strait"; the name "Cas Chaolas" is older than the English name. The queen referred to is Saint Margaret of Scotland, believed to have established a ferry at this point for pilgrims on their way north to St Andrews.
She made her final journey by ferry to Dunfermline Abbey. Her son, David I of Scotland, awarded the ferry rights to the abbey. A local fair dates from the 12th century; the modern fair, dating from the 1930s, takes place each August and includes the crowning of a local school-girl as the Ferry Fair Queen, a procession of floats, pipe bands, competitive events such as the Boundary Race. The Fair had a dedicated radio station, Jubilee1, which in May 2007 was awarded a licence to evolve into a full Public Service Community Station for North and South Queensferry. Queensferry hosts the strange annual procession of the Burry Man during the Ferry Fair; this unique cultural event is over three hundred years old, pagan in origin. The name'Burry Man' certainly refers to the hooked fruits of the burdock plant - burrs - in which he is covered, although some have suggested that it is a corruption of'Burgh Man', since the town is traditionally a royal burgh. A local man is covered from head-to-toe in sticky burrs which adhere to undergarments covering his entire body, leaving only the shoes and two eye holes exposed.
On top of this layer he wears a sash, flowers and a floral hat and he grasps two staves. His ability to bend his arms or sit down is restricted during the long day and his progress is a slow walk with frequent pauses. Two attendants in ordinary clothes assist him throughout the ordeal, helping him hold the staves, guiding his route, fortifying him with whisky sipped through a straw, whilst enthusiastic children go from door-to-door collecting money on his behalf; the key landmarks on the tour are the each pub in the village. The name "Loony dook" is a combination of "Loony" and "dook", a Scots term meaning "dip" or "bathe", it is sponsored by porridge maker Stoats. It is a instituted event whereby people dive into the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth on New Year's Day in fancy dress. In recent years the event has attracted people from all over the world, including many people visiting Edinburgh to celebrate Hogmanay. A proposal to charge people to participate in this event was announced, the proceeds of which will benefit RNLI Queensferry.
The event was conceived in 1986 as a joking suggestion by three locals for a New Year's Day hangover cure. The following year it was decided to repeat the event for charity, it has grown to become part of the official Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations. Until 2010 the event was organised by locals and started from the Moorings pub but from 2011, due to factors such as increased crowds, safety issues and popularity, the event has been handled by the organisers of Edinburgh's Hogmanay, with the parade now starting from the Hawes Promenade at the other end of the town. A charge is now levied to cover the increased cost of stewarding. Up to 2016 two of the original Dookers, James MacKenzie and Ian'Rambo' Armstrong, have the distinction of taking part in every Loony Dook and the two wore specially designed T-shirts with 30yrs to celebrate the achievement; the event has inspired similar, though smaller in scale, annual New Year Loony Dooks, such as in North Berwick in East Lothian and Kirkcaldy in Fife, both on the Firth of Forth.
Queensferry has a community brass band that evolved from being a school brass band to a youth band and to its present status as a competing adult band. It came third in the 2006 Scottish Brass Band Championships 4th section contest and fourth in 2007. In addition to competing, it takes part in many community events including the Ferry Fair and Christmas in Queensferry light switch on event In addition to this there is a school brass band that has won the Community section of the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships in 2005 and 2006. St Mary's Episcopal Church known as the Priory Church, is the town's oldest building, built for the Carmelite Order of friars in the 1450s, it is the only medieval Carmelite church still in use in the British Isles, is a Category A listed building. After the Scottish Reformation of 1560 it served as the parish church until 1635. In 1890 it was reconsecrated for the Scottish Episcopal Church; the Old Parish Church on The Vennel has an interesting early graveyard.
The church became known as the South Church in 1929, served the Church of Scotland congregation until 1956, when it united with St Andrew's Church. The old South Church building is now a house; the building which now houses Queensferry Parish Church, located in The Loan, was built as South Queensferry United Free Church. Following the union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free
James III of Scotland
James III was King of Scots from 1460 to 1488. James was an unpopular and ineffective monarch owing to an unwillingness to administer justice a policy of pursuing alliance with the Kingdom of England, a disastrous relationship with nearly all his extended family. However, it was through his marriage to Margaret of Denmark that the Orkney and Shetland islands became Scottish, his reputation as the first Renaissance monarch in Scotland has sometimes been exaggerated, based on attacks on him in chronicles for being more interested in such unmanly pursuits as music than hunting and leading his kingdom into war. In fact, the artistic legacy of his reign is slight when compared to that of his successors, James IV and James V; such evidence as there is consists of portrait coins produced during his reign that display the king in three-quarter profile wearing an imperial crown, the Trinity Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes, not commissioned by the king, an unusual hexagonal chapel at Restalrig near Edinburgh inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
James was born to James II of Mary of Guelders. His exact date and place of birth have been a matter of debate. Claims were made that he was born in May 1452, or 10 or 20 July 1451; the place of birth was either the St Andrews Castle, depending on the year. His most recent biographer, the historian Norman Macdougall, argued for late May 1452 at St Andrews, Fife, he succeeded his father James II on 3 August 1460 and was crowned at Kelso Abbey, Roxburghshire, a week later. During his childhood, the government was led by three successive factions, first the King's mother, Mary of Guelders James Kennedy, Bishop of St Andrews, Gilbert, Lord Kennedy Robert, Lord Boyd; the Boyd faction made itself unpopular with the king, through self-aggrandisement. Lord Boyd's son Thomas was married to the king's sister Mary. However, the family negotiated the king's marriage to Margaret of Denmark, daughter of Christian I of Denmark in 1469 as a part of ending the annual fee owed to Norway for the Western Isles, receiving Orkney and Shetland.
When James permanently annexed the islands to the crown in 1472, Scotland reached its greatest territorial extent. James married the 15 year old Margaret of Denmark in July 1469 at Edinburgh. Christian I of Denmark gave the Shetland Islands to Scotland as a dowry; the service was overseen by Abbot Archibald Crawford. The marriage produced three sons: James IV of Scotland James Stewart, Duke of Ross John Stewart, Earl of Mar Conflict broke out between James and the Boyd family following the marriage to Princess Mary. Robert and Thomas Boyd were out of the country involved in diplomacy when their regime was overthrown. Mary's marriage was declared void in 1473; the family of Sir Alexander Boyd was executed by James in 1469. James became powerful enough to attempt to manage the Lord of the Isles who ruled over the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland in 1475; the treaty made by the Lords with England at Ardtornish in 1462 was used as evidence of their usurpation of royal power. John of Islay, Earl of Ross, Lord of the Isles was censured for making his son Angus his lieutenant and for besieging Rothesay Castle in the Isle of Bute.
John, Lord of the Isles was ordered to appear for trial in Edinburgh on 1 December and when he did not attend, he was declared forfeit. The Earls of Lennox, Argyll and Huntly were ordered to put the forfeiture in practice. John, Lord of the Isles, came to Edinburgh in July 1476 and the forfeiture was rescinded, but he resigned to the crown the Earldom of Ross, lands in Kintyre and Knapdale, the offices of Sheriff of Inverness and Nairn. James made John a Lord of Parliament as Lord of the Isles. In April 1478 Parliament required John to answer for his assistance to rebels who held Castle Sween against the crown. In December John received confirmation of his 1476 charters. James's policies during the 1470s revolved around ambitious continental schemes for territorial expansion and alliance with England. Between 1471 and 1473 he suggested annexations or invasions of Brittany and Guelders; these unrealistic aims resulted in parliamentary criticism since the king was reluctant to deal with the more humdrum business of administering justice at home.
In 1474 a marriage alliance was agreed to with Edward IV of England by which the future James IV of Scotland was to marry Princess Cecily of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. It might have been a sensible move for Scotland, but it went against the traditional enmity of the two countries dating back to the reign of Robert I and the Wars of Independence, not to mention the vested interests of the border nobility; the alliance, therefore was at least one of the reasons why the king was unpopular by 1479. During the 1470s conflict developed between the king and his two brothers, Duke of Albany, John, Earl of Mar. Mar died suspiciously in Edinburgh in 1480 and his estates were forfeited given to a royal favourite, Robert Cochrane. Albany fled to France in 1479, breaking the alliance with England, but by 1479 the alliance was collapsing and war with England existed on an intermittent level in 1480–1482. In 1482 Edward IV launched a full-scale invasion led by the Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III, including the
Malcolm IV of Scotland
Malcolm IV, nicknamed Virgo, "the Maiden" was King of Scotland from 1153 until his death. He was Earl of Huntingdon and Northumbria and Ada de Warenne; the original Malcolm Canmore, a name now associated with his great-grandfather Malcolm III, he succeeded his grandfather David I, shared David's Anglo-Norman tastes. Called Malcolm the Maiden by chroniclers, a name which may incorrectly suggest weakness or effeminacy to modern readers, he was noted for his religious zeal and interest in knighthood and warfare. For much of his reign he died unmarried at the age of twenty-four. Earl Henry and heir of King David I of Scotland, had been in poor health throughout the 1140s, he died on 12 June 1152. His death occurred in either Newcastle or Roxburgh, both located in those areas of Northumbria which he and his father had attached to the Scots crown in the period of English weakness after the death of Henry I of England. Unlike in the case of the English king, left without male heirs after the death of his only son in the Wreck of the White Ship, the King of Scots, David I, did not lack for immediate heirs upon the death of Earl Henry.
This was. Malcolm, the eldest of Earl Henry's sons, was only eleven years old, he was however sent by his grandfather on a circuit of the kingdom, accompanied by Donnchad, Mormaer of Fife, a large army. Donnchad had been styled rector indicating that he was to hold the regency for Malcolm on David's death; these preparations were timely, because King David survived his son less than one year, dying on 24 May 1153 at Carlisle. Malcolm was inaugurated as king on 27 May 1153 at Scone at age twelve. Donnchad, who duly became regent for the young Malcolm, ensured that the inauguration took place before the old king was buried; this might appear unseemly. Malcolm was not without rivals for the kingship. Donnchad himself died a year in 1154; the Orkneyinga Saga claims "William the Noble", son of William fitz Duncan, was the man whom "every Scotsman wanted for his king". As William fitz Duncan married Alice de Rumilly c.1137, young William could only have been a youth a child, by 1153. There is no evidence to suggest that William made any claims to the throne, he died young, in the early 1160s, leaving his sizable estates to his three sisters.
Of William Fitz Duncan's other sons, Bishop Wimund had been blinded and imprisoned at Byland Abbey before King David's death, but Domnall mac Uilleim, first of the Meic Uilleim, had considerable support in the former mormaerdom of Moray. Another contender, imprisoned at Roxburgh since about 1130, was Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair, an illegitimate son of Alexander I. Máel Coluim's sons were free men in 1153, they could be expected to contest the succession, did so. As a new and young king, Malcolm faced threats to his rule from his neighbours. Foremost among them were King of Argyll. Only Rognvald Kali Kolsson, Earl of Orkney, was otherwise occupied, his death in 1158 brought the young and ambitious Harald Maddadsson to power in Orkney, who proved yet another threat to the young Malcolm; the first open opposition to Malcolm came in November 1153, from family rivals, the sons of Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair. They mounted their challenge with the aid of Somerled of Argyll; this threat soon dissipated, because Somerled was beset with more pressing concerns: his war with Guðrøðr Óláfsson, King of the Isles lasted until 1156 and a possible conflict with Gille Críst, Mormaer of Menteith, over Cowal, loomed large.
Support for the sons of Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair may have come from areas closer to the core of the kingdom. In 1157, it is reported, King Malcolm was reconciled with Máel Coluim MacHeth, appointed to the Mormaerdom of Ross, held by his father. Malcolm was not only King of Scots, but inherited the Earldom of Northumbria, which his father and grandfather had gained during the wars between Stephen and Empress Matilda. Malcolm granted Northumbria to his brother William, keeping Cumbria for himself. Cumbria was, like the earldoms of Northumbria and Huntingdon, Chester, a fief of the English crown. While Malcolm delayed doing homage to Henry II of England for his possessions in Henry's kingdom, he did so in 1157 at Peveril Castle in Derbyshire and at Chester. Henry II refused to allow Malcolm to keep Cumbria, or William to keep Northumbria, but instead granted the Earldom of Huntingdon to Malcolm, for which Malcolm did homage. After a second meeting between Malcolm and Henry, at Carlisle in 1158, "they returned without having become good friends, so that the king of Scots was not yet knighted."
In 1159 Malcolm accompanied Henry to France, serving at the siege of Toulouse where he was, at last, knighted. "Whether this was the act of a king of Scots or of an earl of Huntingdon we are not told. At Perth, Roger of Hoveden reports, he faced a rebellion by six earls, led by Ferchar, Mormaer of Strathearn, who besieged the king. Given that Earl Ferchar heads the list of those named, it is presumed that Donnchad II, Mormaer of Fife, was not among the rebels. John of Fordun's version
A spoil tip is a pile built of accumulated spoil – the overburden or other waste rock removed during coal and ore mining. These waste materials are composed of shale, as well as smaller quantities of carboniferous sandstone and various other residues. Spoil tips are not formed of slag; the term "spoil" is used to refer to material removed when digging a foundation, tunnel, or other large excavation. Such material may be ordinary soil and rocks, or may be contaminated with chemical waste, determining how it may be disposed of. Clean spoil may be used for land reclamation. Spoil is distinct from tailings, the processed material that remains after the valuable components have been extracted from ore; the phrase originates from the French word espoilelier, a verb conveying the meaning: to seize by violence, to plunder, to take by force. Spoil tips may be conical in shape, can appear as conspicuous features of the landscape, or they may be much flatter and eroded if vegetation has established itself.
In Loos-en-Gohelle, in the former mining area of Pas-de-Calais, are a series of five perfect cones, of which two rise 100 metres from the plain. Most the term is used for the piles of waste earth materials removed during an excavation process. In surface mining for coal or other underground deposits, earth materials removed to expose the targeted deposit are piled up alongside the excavation site in spoil banks. A dredge in placer mining is used to dig up volumes of gravel and other earth materials which are sent through sluices to remove gold or other minerals, the remaining earth materials are deposited behind the dredge in spoil banks. In hydraulic mining high-pressure jets of water dislodge earth materials which are put through sluices to sort out gold or other minerals, the residuary earth materials are left in spoil banks; the excavation of ditches and canals results in spoil banks being left along the side of the canal or ditch. Spoil banks can refer to refuse heaps formed from removal of excess surface materials.
For example, alongside livestock lots spoil banks are formed of manure and other slurry periodically removed from the surface of the livestock lot areas. Spoil tips sometimes grew to millions of tons, having been abandoned, remain as huge piles today, they trap solar heat, making it difficult for vegetation to take root. Existing techniques for regreening spoil tips include the use of geotextiles to control erosion as the site is resoiled and simple vegetation such as grass is seeded on the slope; the piles create acid rock drainage, which pollutes streams and rivers. Environmental problems have included surface runoff of silt, leaching of noxious chemical compounds from spoil banks exposed to weathering; these cause contamination of ground water, other problems. Today in the United States forward-looking state and federal mining regulations require that the earth materials from excavations be removed in such a fashion that they can be replaced after the mining operations cease in a process called mine reclamation, with oversight of mining corporations, including requiring adequate reserves of monetary bonds to guarantee a completion of the reclamation process when mining becomes unprofitable or stops.
As some spoil tips resulting from industries such as coal or oil shale production can contain a high proportion of hydrocarbons or coal dust, they can commence spontaneous subterranean combustion, which can be followed by surface fires. In some coal mining districts, such fires were considered normal and no attempt was made to extinguish them; such fires can follow slow combustion of residual hydrocarbons. Their extinction can require complete encasement, which can prove impossible for technical and financial reasons. Sprinkling is ineffective and injecting water under pressure counter-productive, because it carries oxygen, bringing the risk of explosion; the perceived weak environmental and public health impact of these fires leads to waiting for their natural extinction, which can take a number of decades. With spoil tips there is a danger of landslip; the best-known example is the Aberfan disaster in Wales of 1966, killing 144. Water from heavy rainfall had built up inside the tip, weakening the structure, until it collapsed onto the school below.
In February 2013, a spoil tip was the cause of a landslip which caused the temporary closure of the Scunthorpe to Doncaster railway line in England. Several techniques of re-utilising the spoil tips exist including either geotechnics or recycling. Most old spoil tips are revegetated to provide valuable green spaces since they are inappropriate for building purposes. At Nœux-les-Mines, an artificial ski slope has been constructed on the tip. If spoil tips are considered to contain sufficient amounts of residual material, various methods are employed to remove the spoil from the site for subsequent processing; the oldest coal-based spoil tips may still contain enough coal to begin spontaneous slow combustion. This results in a form of vitrification of the shale, which acquires sufficient mechanical strength to be of use in road construction; some can therefore have a new life in being thus exploited. Conversely, others are painstakingly preserved on account of their ec
Borrowstounness is a coastal parish in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Part of the county of West Lothian, it sits on a hillside on the south bank of the Firth of Forth within the Falkirk council area, 16.9 miles north-west of Edinburgh and 6.7 miles east of Falkirk. At the 2001 census, Bo'ness had a population of 13,961 but according to a 2008 estimate this has since risen to 14,490; the name Borrowstoun, from the Old English for "Beornweard's farmstead", refers to a hamlet a short way inland from Borrowstounness. The suffix ness, "headland", serves to differentiate the two; the name was corrupted via association with "burgh", eventually contracted to Bo'ness. The Gaelic name "Ceann Fhàil" is cognate with "Kinneil" still retained as the name of an area in Bo'ness. "Ceann" means head, "fàil" is a corruption of Latin vallum and reflects the earlier "Penfahel" of Brythonic. Bo'ness has important historical links to the Roman period and marks the eastern extent of the Antonine Wall which stretched from Bo'ness to Old Kilpatrick on the west coast of Scotland.
The Antonine Wall was named as an extension to the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2007. A Roman fortlet can still be seen at Kinneil Estate. Roman artifacts, some with inscriptions, have been found in the eastern part of the town at Carriden. A Roman fort called Veluniate, long since lost to history, once stood on the site now occupied by the grounds of Carriden House. Indeed, it is said. Several artifacts have been uncovered over the years by the local farming community, including The Bridgeness Slab with many of them now on display in the Museum of Edinburgh or at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. A replica was unveiled by Bo'ness Community Council and Falkirk Council on 7 September 2012 in Kinningars Park. A video about its history and manufacture is available online. Other Roman sites have been identified at Muirhouses and Kinglass on the south-east side of the town. Kinneil House is a historic house to the west of Bo'ness now in the care of Historic Scotland.
It sits within a public park, which incorporates a section of the Roman Antonine Wall. In the grounds of Kinneil House is the ruin of the small house where James Watt worked on his steam engine. Kinneil was mentioned by Bede, who wrote that it was named Pennfahel in Pictish and Penneltun in Old English, it was Pengwawl in old Welsh. When the town's commissioners bought the land for the town hall and park in the 1890s, the town's prosperity was on the rise. By its completion, the story was not so encouraging. Plans were approved however by the Dean of Guild Court on 14 October 1902; the total cost was made up of £5,000 from Andrew Carnegie for the library, £6,000 borrowed by the council and £1,000 from the Common Good Fund. The stone came from the town's Maidenpark Quarry. Work commenced and was completed on time by 31 March 1904 in time for the opening as part of the Fair Day celebrations in July; as part of the ceremony, a memorial stone was laid beneath, placed a glass jar containing a copy of The Scotsman The Glasgow Herald, Bo'ness Journal and Linlithgow Gazette, a list of councillors and a copy of the council minutes.
The town was a recognised port from the 16th century. The harbour, constructed progressively during the 18th century, was extended and complemented by a dry dock in 1881; the commercial port closed in 1959, badly affected by silting and the gradual downturn of the Scottish coal mining industry. Plans exist for the regeneration of the docks area including reopening the port as a marina. Bo'ness was a site for coal mining from medieval times. Clay mining was carried out on a smaller scale; the shore was the site of evaporating seawater over coal fires. The ruins of several fisheries along the shoreline evidences long gone commercial fishing activitiy; the town was home to several sizable potteries, one product being the black'wally dugs' which sat in pairs over many fireplaces. Metalworking is still carried out, examples of the Bo'ness Iron Company's work are to be found in many places. In the twentieth century Bo'ness was one of several Scottish ports involved in the shipbreaking industry; the shipbreaking yard was established by the Forth Ship Breaking Company, taken over by P & W Maclellan who continued operating until about 1970.
On a high spring tide the ship destined to be broken up would be manoeuvred to the far side of the river and steamed across with all speed to drive her as far as possible up the beach. A fo’c’stle crew would lower the ship's anchors as soon as she came to rest to stop her sliding back into the river; the bows would come up to Bridgeness Road. Amongst the many ships broken up at the yard were: SS Belgenland SS Empire Advocate SS Metagama HMS Lagos HMS Scorpion HMS Liverpool HMS Wheatland HMS Petard HMS Newark HMS Ramsey Bo'ness is now a commuter town, with many of its residents travelling to work in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Falkirk. One of the main local sources of employment is the Ineos petrochemical facility located in nearby Grangemouth. Present-day attractions in the town include the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway and the Birkhill Fireclay Mine. Kinneil House, built by the powerful Hamilton family in the 15th century, lies on the western edge of the town. In the grounds are a cottage where James Watt worked on his experimental steam engi
Cairnpapple Hill is a hill with a dominating position in central lowland Scotland with views from coast to coast. It was used and re-used as a major ritual site over about 4000 years, in its day would have been comparable to better known sites like the Standing Stones of Stenness; the summit lies 312 m above sea level, is about 2 miles north of Bathgate. In the 19th century the site was concealed by trees in 1947–1948 excavations by Stuart Piggott found a series of ritual monuments from successive prehistoric periods. In 1998, Gordon Barclay re-interpreted the site for Historic Scotland, it is designated a scheduled ancient monument. Neolithic rituals began about 3500 BC with signs of small hearths, precious objects left on the hill as offerings, including fine pottery bowls and stone axe heads imported from Cumbria and Wales. Around 3000 BC a Class II henge was constructed with the hilltop being surrounded by a bank outside a ditch about 12 ft wide cut over 3 ft into the rock, with wide entrances from north and south.
Inside this an egg-shaped setting of 24 uprights enclosed an inner setting of similar uprights. Some time a Bronze age ritual added a small stone and clay cairn just off centre inside the monument, with a 7 ft high standing stone to the east and a setting of smaller stones. Aligned to this cairn were sockets for three upright stones at the centre of an arc of seven small pits, six of which contained cremated bones and two contained remains of bone skewer pins. Under the cairn traces were found of at least one burial, with wooden objects and beaker people style pottery which indicates a date around 2000 BC; this cairn was covered by a second much larger cairn about 50 ft across and several yards high, with a kerb of massive stone slabs, which incorporated Bronze age burial cists, one of which contained a food vessel pot. Subsequently, more stone was brought in to increase this cairn to about 100 ft diameter, enclosing two cremation burials in inverted urns and now covering the original ditch and bank, making the whole site a tomb monument.
Lastly, inside the ditch to the east four graves considered Iron age are now thought to be early Christian because of their east-west alignment, are dated to around 500 to 1000. The site has a small visitor centre; the 1940s excavations have been covered by a concrete dome replicating the second cairn so that visitors can go inside what was once a solid cairn and see the reconstructed graves, outside this the surrounding post holes and graves are marked by being filled with colour-coded gravel like an archaeological plan, with the red gravel indicating upright pits, the white gravel denoting the alleged Christian burials. The current display attempts to show all the main phases of the site at the same time. Cairnpapple Hill is the 445th highest Marilyn in Scotland Although there is still some confusion about the origin of the name Cairnpapple Hill, or the alternative Cairniepapple, its meaning can be guessed to a certain extent, it is uncertain. The first part, cairn- means cairn, either from Brythonic or Goidelic.
The second part -ie-, means of the, as in Welsh y or Gaelic a'. The third part is the most problematic meaning any of tent, people/congregation, or eye. Thus, Cairniepapple is most to mean Cairn of the tent, Cairn of the people, or Cairn of the eye. Another meaning, put forward in the documentary Before Scotland, is Priest Rock. Late Neolithic: cremations Copper Age: beaker burials and henge Early Bronze Age: food vessel cairn Middle Bronze Age: enlarged cairn with large cinerary urns Early Iron Age: inhumations Scotland Before History - Stuart Piggott, Edinburgh University Press 1982, ISBN 0-85224-348-0 Scotland's Hidden History - Ian Armit, Tempus 1998, ISBN 0-7486-6067-4 Guide to Prehistoric Scotland - Richard Feachem, B. T. Batsford Ltd. 1977, ISBN 0-7134-3264-0 Cairnpapple site information from CANMORE Aerial photos Cairnpapple Hill on Historic Environment Scotland