Falkirk town stands in an important position at the heart of central Scotland. This position has ensured its central role in Scottish history from the Roman period till today.
The name ‘Falkirk’ originates from the Gaelic EGGLESBRECH, meaning‘the speckled church’. Over the years this has translated into Scots as FAWKIRK. The common belief is that this relates back to the early church in the town made from speckled stone.
Over the centuries the town has given its name to two local battles. The First Battle of Falkirk occurred on 22nd July 1298 between the armies of William Wallace and Edward I of England.The Second Battle of Falkirk took place on 17th January 1746 and is significant as the penultimate battle of the period known as the Jacobite Risings. The Jacobite army lead by Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated the Government forces and the battle was witnessed by locals from both the church and town steeples.
In 1600 Falkirk was made a burgh and a Mercat Cross was placed in the area in front of the town Steeple. The cross was a symbol of the towns’ new status and indicated the town’s right to hold markets. From 1770’s farmers came from all over Scotland and northern England to sell their cattle at the Falkirk Trysts. These were among the largest cattle markets in Scotland and by the end of the 18th century Falkirk was one of the most important market towns in Scotland. In the following century there was a shift in the town’s economy from agriculture to an industrial manufacturing centre. Many iron foundries had established in the area including Carron Ironworks. Transport links across the central belt had improved with the building of the Union and the Forth and Clyde Canals and the railways. This meant manufactured goods could be exported internationally.
From the 20th century there was a steady decline in demand for iron goods and Falkirk as an industrial centre began to decline. The town’s role in Scottish history is echoed in its historic buildings and local folklore. It is a unique place with a strong sense of belonging in the community.
Let’s make Falkirk centre stage! As an attractive, vibrant and prosperous town – a place where people wish to live, work and visit.