DURING excavation works being carried out for a new school at Menstrie in 1874, where School Mews is today, human remains were found relatively near the surface of the ground.

On Wednesday November 11, while the men were carrying out the groundworks, they came across bones.

Thinking nothing of it, they carted a good number of them away, believing they were simply the remains of animals that had at some stage been buried at the site.

However, the foreman took a closer look at the bones and his curiosity led to the discovery that in fact they were human.

Taking his time, he carefully used his spade to remove more earth and dug up a human skull.

Worked slowed as he told the men of his find.

As more bones were collected, they were all then taken into the care the local school master for closer inspection. He, in turn, called on Dr Drew, a local physician.

The doctor arrived at the school and following his inspection, told the school master that it was his opinion that the bones discovered were indeed human.

He believed they were the remains of an adult but because some of the bones were missing, more especially the pelvis, he could not determine the sex of the person.

The skeletal remains had been found facing a south-westerly direction with the head lying towards the Ochil Hills.

The skull had been found at just 14 inches below the surface, although the rest of the bones were found two feet below it.

It was thought that they had been lying in the ground for many years.

The people of Menstrie were soon curious about their dead neighbour. One old woman who had grown up in the village said that when she was young, there had been a row of houses that extended north and south along the east of the school buildings at that time, but they had been demolished while she was still young.

She also described a barn that had once stood at the fringes of the village by the Toll Road.

By sheer coincidence the next day, as the workmen carried out further excavations, they came across what they suspected were the remains of a barn.

This led to much speculation in the village. Had the body been buried beneath the floor of the barn, or had it been there long before the barn was built?

These questions remained unanswered.

What happened to the bones is unknown.