The beautiful village of Cambuskenneth
|Cambuskenneth lies in a loop of the river Forth, adjacent the City of Stirling in Central Scotland. |
Access by road is from the A907 Causewayhead to Alloa road, 500 metres from the
Causewayhead roundabout, then proceeding
1 kilometre from the railway crossing.
Hood Farm is a working farm. If you are coming by car, please ensure that you park
without blocking the access to the farm (by the cattle grid).
If you are walking from Stirling town centre, take the bridge over the railway line
(to the left of the Station as you look at it).
Bear left at the roundabout and continue straight until you come to a left turn
with a bridge over the river. It's a pleasant 15 minute walk!
Please also note that the Abbey Inn no longer exists.
Stirling Council have produced a leaflet on the Cambuskenneth Heritage Trail, which can be accessed here.
Cambuskenneth village owes its existence to the foundation by King David 1 of an Abbey in 1140. Cambuskenneth Abbey was known throughout Europe, and was strategically important during the Scottish wars of independence in the 13th and 14th centuries. Here Robert Bruce held the first Scottish parliaments, and it has been said that this is the least-known important historical site in Scotland.
Pillaged during the Reformation, all that is left now is the impressive three-storey bell tower, and the low foundations of the nave, cloister, garth, refectory, chapter house and church. At the site of the altar is a monument-memorial erected by Queen Victoria to King James 111 and his wife Margaret, who were both interred in the Abbey precincts.
The alternative access to Cambuskenneth is by the footbridge over the river Forth from the Riverside area of Stirling. Until 1935 the river crossing was by a rowing boat ferry and the “ferryman’s cottage” remains today, refurbished and occupied. The bridge was opened on 23rd of October 1935, by when the once busy river traffic – both pleasure boats and cargo had ceased.
For centuries the ferry was a vital link for the residents of the village, providing a direct route to the town without the need to travel via the Stirling Bridge. During the 19th century the ferry was at its busiest in July when the berry fair was held in the village. The village was renowned for its market gardens, and gooseberries and strawberries were sold on fair days. Italian ice cream sellers and musicians added a carnival flavour to the day.
With the demise of the Abbey at the Reformation, Cambuskenneth was slow to develop as a village, but the rich fertile soil was farmed and the famous apple orchards were tended with only a small number of houses being built. The first big “development” was the building of two rows of cottages to house the miners working the coal pit at Manor Powis. The Public Footpath still exists and crosses the farmlands to Broom Farm and onwards towards the new Eastern bypass road.
To artists the village of Cambuskenneth is associated with the “Glasgow Boys” school of Scottish colourists. Edward Arthur Walton (1876 – 1941) acquired a studio in Cambuskenneth with Arthur Melville (1854 – 1904) attracted here by the orchards. Other “boys” included Sir John Guthrie, George Henry, Arthur Melville, Sir John Lavery. William York MacGregor is buried at Logie old Church.
The now growing village was able to support some industry such as a bakery, a rope factory, and a one teacher school (now the village hall), and a shop (now a private house opposite the village hall).
Serious development began in the 1950s when the orchards were lost to buildings: St.James Orchard and Ferry Orchard for example. Ladysneuk Road too is now fully built up and indeed the whole village has reached capacity.
The village is surrounded by “green belt” zoning to protect its individuality and historical importartance.
The population numbers about 300, and is a good mix of all ages from new born to old age, and a wide spectrum of occupations.