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Historic Kirkintilloch revealed in new book

29 October 2009

The history of Kirkintilloch can be traced back to the Roman invasion and a new book looks at how it has evolved over the centuries.

Historic Kirkintilloch: Archaeology and Development is the latest in the Scottish Burgh Surveys produced by Historic Scotland and the Council for British Archaeology. Authors Martin Rorke, Patricia Dennison, Simon Stronach and Russel Coleman look at a range of historic remains that is rare among Scotland’s towns.

Patricia Dennison said: “As one of the authors, I would like to express my appreciation of the welcome received from the people of Kirkintilloch.  Our research was helped greatly by the assistance of Don Martin and staff at the William Patrick Library and by Morag Cross, and it was so willingly given.

“Kirkintilloch is fortunate in the preservation of many old and interesting features and transport links. I hope that this Burgh Survey will help to continue their conservation.”

Councillor Amanda Stewart, Convener of Housing and Community Services Committee said, “I look forward to reading the book and am sure that the people of Kirkintilloch will be delighted that this new book highlights the historic sites within the area.

“I would like to thank the staff who work in the Auld Kirk Museum and the William Patrick Library, who with their wealth of information have contributed to this book.”

Kirkintilloch lies at a key point in Scotland’s central belt. Here, by accident of geography, the Antonine Wall; Forth and Clyde Canal; ancient and modern route ways pass within yards of each other.

Iron founding, linen and cotton weaving also ensured Kirkintilloch played an important role in the country’s 19th-century economic development.

The book also looks at the local context of the Antonine Wall – part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site – and underlines the location as a continuing point of communications.

Simon Stronach of Headland Archaeology said: “As an archaeologist it was very rewarding to be able to research Kirkintilloch's Roman and medieval heritage, as well as the town's impressive industrial remains. The staff at the Auld Kirk Museum were particularly helpful and the artefacts in their care are an evocative reminder of the town's notable past.

“I am sure many artefacts still lie hidden beneath the burgh and the survey should help make sure archaeological remains are sensitively handled as the town develops.”

The Scottish Burgh Survey series is intended to identify the archaeological potential of Scotland’s historic towns to provide information to planning authorities when considering development proposals within these areas.

Editor Mark Watson of Historic Scotland added: “Kirkintilloch people clearly have a strong attachment to their patrimony, and particular the transport links that run through the town. While there have been a lot of changes, Historic Scotland is pleased to support well researched and illustrated books such as this that help inform future development."

The book is published by the Council for British Archaeology and can be bought from Central Books on 0845 458 9910 or by emailing


Notes for editors

  • A limited number of copies of Historic Kirkintilloch are available as competition prizes. Please contact Lesley Brown to arrange. The usual retail price is £9.50.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873