History

The Clackmannan Tolbooth, built in 1680 and Market Cross, dating from the 17th century, are of national importance because of the early origins of each part as well as being significant to the history and evolution of the town and shire.

The Tolbooth building itself was originally built in the 1590’s, with the tower being added in 1680. This tower is an example of the civic architecture and is one of the earliest tolbooths in Scotland.

Located in the square, the Clackmannan Stone can also be found. Dating back to the second or third millennium BC, the stone was broken in pieces and bound together with iron rods. It is believed to have been originally located in Lookabootye Brae, close to the River Forth and is thought to be associated with the foundation of the town and shire.

Tolbooth

The Tolbooth in Clackmannan was built in the late 16th century primarily due to the wishes of William Menteith, the local sheriff, who was no longer inclined to hold prisoners in his own dwelling house. All that remains now is the belfry tower.

By 1792 the Tolbooth was said to be ‘a heap of ruins’ and the main part of it was probably demolished about 1822 when the Clackmannanshire sheriff court was transferred to Alloa.

Market Cross

The Market Cross dates from the 17th century and was donated to the town by Sir Henry Bruce, the Bruces being the superiors of the burgh. The east and west faces of the capital have weathered coats of arms with the chief and saltire of the Bruce of Clackmannan.

The lower part of the shaft of the column shows signs of wear. Some sources suggest that this was caused by the chains of prisoners who were secured to the shaft to await trial before the tolbooth was built.

Clackmannan Stone

The stone is also sometimes referred to as Bruce’s Stone or King Robert’s Stone. 19th century accounts record a local legend that says when King Robert Bruce was residing at the castle at Clackmanna, he happened to be passing one day on a journey, and stopped for a while at the stone, and, on departing, left his glove on it. His servant was sent back to the clack to fetch his mannan, or glove. The servant said, ‘If ye’ll just look about ye here, I’ll be back wi’t directly,’ and accordingly soon returned with the missing article.