Menstrie's history, environment and scenery
Use these links for more about our history, our environment and our scenery.
- Menstrie Castle and its history
- Sir William Alexander: our connection with Nova Scotia
- The Holburne Family: owned Menstrie Castle after the Alexanders
- Menstrie and surroundings in 1895: 1 inch to the mile
- Menstrie in 1899: 1 to 2,500
- Menstrie Glen and Burn: We have plans for them
- Menstrie Wood: We have saved it from development
Today's Ochil Hills are composed of rocks from volcanoes active about 400 Million years ago.
In Carboniferous times, about 350 - 300 Million years ago, Scotland lay on the Equator. The Midland Valley was alternately under shallow sea and muddy swamps. Tropical forests grew, fell and decayed forming coal measures interleaved with marine deposits. Movements deep under the Earth forced molten rock between sedimentary layers and, as it cooled, this magma hardened to form the Midland Valley Sill. Also about then, the ground to the North of the Ochil Fault rose as the Midland valley dropped.
By 35 Million years ago, the part of the Earth's crust carrying Britain was moving towards its present northerly latitude.
In the past 2.5 Million years, a series of glaciations exposed and eroded the hard Midland Valley Sill, leaving free-standing crags with tails as at Stirling and Abbey Craig.
About 13,000 years ago, the sea was about 45 metres above the present level, leaving mud and sand at the foot of the Ochils. The sea was at its present level about 10,000 years ago when Scotland's glaciers finally melted. Since then it has risen and fallen again by about ten metres.
The removal of the heavy mass of glacier ice has allowed Scotland to rise slowly, relative to the British Isles as a whole. The ground is still rising, most rapidly over an area centred between Glasgow and Inverness. Clackmannanshire (accompanied by Glasgow and Fort William !) is rising at about 3 millimetres a year. However, this uplift may be overtaken if global warming causes a more rapid rise of worldwide sea level. Recently (1993-2003), sea level has been rising at a rate of about 3 millimeters a year.
At present, Midtown in Menstrie stands about 20 metres above sea level.
Menstrie's ancient history
First settlers in the Menstrie area were people of Baltic or Danish origin around 4-5000 BC.
The Beaker people came to Menstrie around 2000 BC (proved by the discovery of stone coffins found in Menstrie).
Around 500 BC the Celts arrived and one of their tribes, the Maeatae, settled on Dumyat. The name of this hill comes from 'Dun (hill fort) of the Maeatae'.
The Romans came in 80 AD after defeating this tribe, the Maeatae. They left in 209 AD.
In Gaelic 'Menstrie' means 'plain of the strath'. The earliest recorded spelling of its name was Menstreth in 1263.
In 1263 Gilascoppe Cambell, otherwise known as Gilleasbaig (or Gillespie) of Menstrie, was granted the estates of Menstrie and Sauchie in a charter of King Alexander III of Scotland.
Famous People associated with Menstrie
- Sir William Alexander, born 1577, died 1640
He was a poet, a statesman, a coloniser, a pirate, Master of the Mint, Elder Statesman and religious activist. He gave us the phrase "The weaker sex, to piety more prone" in his work "Doomsday" (1637)
More about William Alexander
- Lieutenant General James Holburne, died 1687
A residential area in Menstrie is named after him.
More about the Holburnes of Menstrie.
- Sir Ralph Abercromby, born in Menstrie Castle in 1734
A street in Menstrie is named after him.
More about Sir Ralph Abercromby from Wikipedia.
From Menstrie's War Memorial
More about Menstrie
If you have something to add, whether in words or pictures, we'd love to hear from you.
This is how Wikipedia describes Menstrie.
Updated November 2009
Updated December 2009
Updated January 2010