Tuesday 14 May 2013

in which one old ruin visits another old ruin



Know what it used to be ? The one in the photograph , I mean.


Ah naw” I hear you groan. “It’s going to be one of his tedious Scotch history posts (little clue there). When will that nice Alan Sloman be back with pages of useful statistics on electricity generation ?”


Well Michael Gove has decreed that history has to be taught chronologically. And who am I to disagree with the pompous, swivel-eyed little sheep-shagger ?


We start today in Clackmannan, the beating heart of The Wee Coonty.








The origin of the name Clackmannan and its motto Look aboot ye is contained in a legend involving Robert The Bruce, a stone, and a lost glove, but the detail of the story is too complex for the limited attention span of readers of this blog.



I headed east through woodland in the old Kennet estate.



The old walled garden



Soon I was approaching the shoreline of the Forth estuary at Kennet Pans.

The Industrial Revolution in Scotland could be said to have started along the Forth in the 16th century.Brine was boiled in huge iron pans to leave salt. Production  centres tended to be close to easily accessible coal supplies and a suitable pow or tidal inlet where ships could dock and take away the finished salt ( presumably packed in little blue sachets). Prestonpans, Culross, and Kennet Pans were at the forefront of this major industry, which in turn drove the development of the coal mining industry.





The invention of ready-salted crisps had, of course meant the death knell for salt panning, many years before local farmer John Stein built the first industrial scale whisky distillery here in 1720.(yes that’s it in the pic!). You can see some of the story on the the information board, and if you are interested in more details try Here







All that’s left of the harbour pictured on the board



For the bridge-fetishist who, I know, read this – an artistic superimposition of the new Clackmannanshire Bridge,and the old Kincardine Bridge behind.


Kit list. What was I wearing ? Well typical mid-May walking outfit of semmit ( baselayer to you) two fleeces,rain jacket wooly beanie hat and Dachstein mitts. And I was frozen.Vicious wind, driven rain, snow flurries and brief sunny spells. Truly you have to suffer for your art.


Chris Knight writes some lovely dark songs


  1. I'm sure there's a "Setabootye Cottage" somewhere in Lanarkshire.

    Oh, and nice bridgework indeed. :)

  2. Excellent write-up - some pretty damned good photographs too!


  3. You, sir, are obviously a gentleman of impeccable taste. :-)