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Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire

(56°9′31″N, 3°44′2″W)
NS 9239 9758
pre-1975 traditional (Scotland) Clackmannanshire
now Clackmannanshire
medieval Dunblane
medieval St Serf
  • James King
  • James King
13 Aug 2019

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Feature Sets

Only the old churchyard now survives, within which is a coped grave cover thought to date from the 12th century. Another medieval coped grave cover also exits within the same churchyard, but it is believed to date from a later period. A new parish church for Tillicoultry was built on a different site in 1773. Following this, the old church was taken down, though no specific record of this has been found and the exact site of the church is uncertain. The old churchyard is sited immediately SE of the former Tillicoultry House, built in the early 19th century and demolished about 1960. After 1644, ownership of the Tillicoultry estate changed hands several times. In 1814 it came into the hands of Wardlaw Ramsay family. Ultimately, the area was built up with new housing, leaving the old churchyard as an isolated patch of land.


Although there are no early documents, finds near the site of the old church suggest occupation of the general area from an early date. Sometime between 1189 and 1194 one first hears of the church at Tillicoultry when William I king of Scotland granted the church to Cambuskenneth Abbey, which had been founded by King David I of Scotland about 1147. The grant of the church at Tillicoultry was confirmed by Pope Celestine III in 1195 and again by Pope Innocent III about 1208. A concession took place about 1230 in which the canons of the abbey were allowed to serve the church with chaplains. A reference to the land of Tillicoulty occurs in 1262, when Aleuin de Mes, son and heir of Aleuin de Mes who had been given it by King Alexander II of Scotland, resigned it to King Alexander III, who then passed it to William, Earl of Mar. This royal act also mentions ‘Matheo cleric de Tulycultry’ (from Neville and Simpson, no. 41). Colin Cambell, son and heir of Nigel Cambell, is named as lord of Tillicultry in the early 14th century, and in the same charter is recorded ‘sancto Seruano ecclesia de Tullicultry’ (Registrum Monasterii de Cambuskenneth, no. 222). Cambuskennety Abbey fell to the Reformation in 1560.





Sometimes referred to as a late example of a hog-back grave, the Tillicoultry coped stone can be compared with regional examples at Logie and Tulliallan. Lang has suggested a date in the 12th century for the Tillicoultry stone.


H. Anderson, ‘Parish of Tillicoultry’, New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845, Edinburgh and London, viii (Clackmannan), 70-1 and 74.

G. Barrow, Regesta Regum Scottorum, 2: The Acts of William I King of Scots 1165-1214 (Edinburgh, 1971), 333 no 324.

I. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Edinburgh, 1967), 197.

R. Fawcett, J. Luxford, R. Oram and T. Turpie, Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches, http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/corpusofscottishchurches (accessed 6/7/20)

W. Gibson, Reminiscences of Dollar, Tillicoultry and other Districts adjoining the Ochils, 2nd edn. (Edinburgh, 1883), 154-5.

J. Gifford and F. Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Stirling and Central Scotland (New Haven and London, 2002), 770-1.

Grampian Club, Registrum Monasterii de Cambuskenneth A.D. 1147-1535 (Edinburgh, 1872), xxiii-iv, 44 no. 25, 47 no. 26, 161 no. 123, 162 no. 124, 164 no. 125, 165 no. 126, 313 no. 217, 314 no. 220, 314-4 no. 221, 315-6 no. 222, and 316 no. 223.

J. Lang, ‘Hogback monuments in Scotland’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 105 (Edinburgh, 1975), 206-35.

J. MacKinlay, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland, Non-scriptural Dedications (Edinburgh, 1914), 484.

C. Neville and G. Simpson, eds., Regesta Regum Scottorum, 4 pt 1: The Acts of Alexander III King of Scotland 1249-1286 (Edinburgh, 2012), 86-87 no. 41.

W. Osburn, ‘Parish of Tiilicoultry’, The Statistical Account of Scotland, 15 (Edinburgh,1795), 206-7 and 211.

E. Passe, Who was Lady Anne? A Study of the Ownership of the Tillicoultry Estate (1913), www.ochils.org.uk (accessed 8/7/20)

The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland, Inventory: Fife, Kinross, and Clackmannan (Edinburgh, 1933), xlix fig. 29 and 325-6 no. 616.

A. Wyntoun, The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, 2 (Edinburgh, 1872), 40.