Heritage News

Kirkyard Project

Kirkyard Project

Thanks to all those who put their names forward at the Reading Room on 23rd February, Kippen Heritage now have a considerable list of over twenty volunteers which is great news; as our project progresses, assistance will be needed, not just to maintain the kirkyard, but to help at events.

Kippen Heritage would also like to thank all those who have either handed in a donation or donated via the Justgiving crowd-funding website, in order to raise funds to save Kippen Old Kirk. Also, many thanks to Kippen Street Fayre Committee and to Kippen Drama Club who have made substantial contributions and to the many people from home and abroad who have ancestors buried there and who have assisted financially.

The Justgiving website will continue to run until the end of April so, if you wish there is still time to help if you haven’t already done so, but please note that fund raising will continue until we have achieved our target £24,000 needed to save the kirk. To this end we have an exciting year ahead.


Archaeological Dig

First of all, over the weekend of 24th, 25th and 26th of May, Kippen Heritage are holding an archaeological dig at Keir Hill of Dasher; this is all thanks to Kippen Community Windfarm Fund, Murray Cook, Stirling Council’s archaeologist, fast becoming a television celebrity, and Jeremy and Janet Gaywood on whose land the Keir is located.  (Keir Hill of Dasher is an earthwork on the edge of Cuthbertson’s Burn. It is a Scheduled Monument)


Keir Hill of Dasher and the adjacent field have long been purported to have been the site of a Roman camp, a very early Christian church and of course, the Keir itself, given its location, may well have been part of an earlier iron age settlement. The nearby St Mauvais Well suggests that the area was almost certainly the centre of an earlier community. It would be wonderful to find out!

A week before the dig David Smith, the Learning Officer from the Smith Museum in Stirling, will give the Primary School children a talk about the site and on the afternoon of Friday 24th the children will have a chance to come onto the site, when Murray will talk to them about archaeology and what we may find there.

Unfortunately, the site is too dangerous to allow the children to dig but, for a contribution to our fund, we are inviting adult volunteers (16+) to take part over the three days; so anyone who wishes to do so please contact Irene Chapman (kippen.kirkyard@gmail.com) with a note of days available, and preference for morning or afternoon, as numbers will be restricted due to limited working space.


Plant Stall at Kippen Street Fayre


On Kippen Street Fayre day on 9th June, Kippen Heritage will again open the Smiddy and the Kirkyard for guided tours. This year a fundraising Plant Stall will be located at Kippen Cross and, as now is the time to divide up plants, please don’t throw them out – pot them up and label them. A flyer nearer the time will provide more information regarding collection of plants.

Irene Chapman

01786 870701



Heritage News

The King of Kippen

The following is an extract from a “Tourists’ Guide to Kippen, Buchlyvie and Port of Menteith”, published in the early twentieth century.

“The King, with his nobles was residing in Stirling Castle, and having sent a party for some deer to the hills in the neighbourhood of Gartmore, on their return to Stirling with the venison they passed through Arnprior, where they were attacked by the Chief and relieved of their burden. On expostulating with Buchanan for so ruthlessly taking from them what belong to the King, Buchanan replied that if James was King in Scotland, he was King of Kippen.  The messengers reporting the circumstances to the King, he, relishing a Joke resolved to wait on his neighbouring Majesty of Kippen, and rode out one day with a small retinue from Stirling.  Demanding admittance at the Castle of Arnprior, he was refused by a fierce-looking warrior standing at the gate with a battle-axe sloped on his shoulder, who told him there was no admission, as the Chief was at dinner with a large company and could not be disturbed at that time.

VSTR00009 - Buchanan Street (Fore Road) from old postcard

“Tell your master” said James, “the ‘Guidman of Ballengeich’ humbly requests an audience of the ‘King of Kippen.’”

Buchanan, guessing the quality of his guest, received His Majesty with appropriate honours, and became so great a favourite that he had leave to draw upon the carrier as often as he pleased, and was invited, as “King of Kippen” to visit his brother sovereign in Stirling.”

Also, an old photo showing “Buchanan Street” – the old name of Fore Road, indicating that it led to the monarch’s demesne.

Stuart Thomson