IN DECEMBER 1925, the idea for opening up Tillicoultry Glen was proposed by the Town Council.

A resolution was passed at a meeting to ‘purchase, rent, or otherwise acquire a right of access to Tillicoultry Glen’.

It was an untapped resource that was hoped not only to encourage locals to walk among the hills but day trippers and hill walking enthusiasts to come to the village. It was to be used as ‘a pleasure ground or place of public resort or recreation’.

The opening of the glen was the brainchild of William Jamieson, the provost between 1921 and 1927.

Accompanied by the burgh architect Arthur Bracewell, they inspected the area, and both believed that if it were redeveloped properly, it could become a key attraction.

The ground had been granted by Major Arthur Balcarres Wardlaw Ramsay who owned the land on which the Glen Road would be built. In addition, he granted permission of the right of way through the glen, which he also owned.

Furthermore, at a time when unemployment was rising, it would provide work for local men creating the infrastructure required to make it viable.

New bridges were necessary as were new roads, and it was known that the Unemployment Grants Committee would look favourably on the project. They agreed in April 1926 to pay three quarters of the wages of those engaged in the works.

Plans were drawn up by Bracewell which included the layout of the bridges, roads, and the earthworks to make it safe.

On May 5, 1926, construction of the Glen Road got underway, just 24 hours before the beginning of the General Strike. These workers, now in steady employment for the next two or three months, bucked the trend and continued working.

Tillicoultry’s completed new glen was officially opened on August 21, 1926, by Wardlaw Ramsay. In the opening address Jamieson stated the work had resulted in people having easy access to ‘the abounding beauties’ and attractions of the district.

Music was played to entertain the guests followed by a social gathering at the now demolished Popular Institute, also known as the Town Hall.

Among the dignitaries in attendance were Walter John Francis Erskine and his wife Violet, the then Lord and Lady Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire, along with provosts from the other local burghs.

In 1927, a subscription was opened to help finance the rest of the Glen Road with money coming from overseas as well as at home, as the council was against rising rates to pay the remaining costs.


TILLICOULTRY-BORN emigrants to Toronto in Canada sent over £60 to Jamieson for the Glen Fund and two years later, to mark its 3rd anniversary, they also presented an indicator to be placed in the Glen to show the positions of local landmarks and relative distances.

Following its opening, the glen featured in tourist brochures and attracted holiday makers to the village. Guides printed adverts enticing people to the glen and to stay locally.

The Glasgow Fair fortnight saw most visitors to Tillicoultry and to entice more holidaymakers, from 1928, the Glen Committee organised brass bands from all over the central belt to play concerts at the glen entrance.

In February 2011, the glen was closed to the public due to the position of a loose rock near to the disused quarry workings

It remained closed for five years due to haggling over costs between Clackmannanshire Council and the landowner. Work finally got underway with a view to it reopening in August 2016 but there were further delays as the workmen had to carry tools and equipment up by hand.

The rock was stabilised, but more money was required to repair the path network, the bridges, and railings to make it safe.

The council spent nearly £440,000 on the project, but finally in the late autumn of 2016, walkers returned to the glen.

However, in August 2020, it was closed once more due to heavy summer floods which caused damage to the infrastructure.

A 15ft section of the path was washed away, with the waters in Tillicoultry Burn turning thick and black with the earth being washed down from the glen as it surged down towards the River Devon.

The glen itself is carved out of the Ochils with the main burn running through it with its beautiful waterfalls and steep gorges.

Two burns, the Gannel and the Daiglen meet at the top of the glen and close to the entrance of the path that leads up it is what is known locally is the Lion’s Den, a small cave.

The water from the burn once powered the local mills, but they are long gone. Among the wildlife are woodpeckers, blue tits, foxes and roe deer.

Today, the Tillicoultry Mill Green Action Group, set up in the summer of 2017 and made up from members of the Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton and Devonside Community Council, volunteer their services to maintain the glen, most notably the entrance.

Almost 100 years since its opening, it continues to attracts visitors to the area.