Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Clackmannan Tolbooth, Mercat Cross and Clackmannan Stone, Main Street, ClackmannanLB1947

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
09/06/1960
Last Date Amended
14/02/2017
Local Authority
Clackmannanshire
Planning Authority
Clackmannanshire
Parish
Clackmannan
NGR
NS 91113 91894
Coordinates
291113, 691894

Description

Clackmannan Tolbooth: The belfry tower, built about 1680, with attached crowstepped gable wall is the surviving west end of the tolbooth which was first built in 1592. It is approximately square in plan and is built of buff-coloured rubble with sandstone dressings and grey off-set quoins, the plain walls rise to a moulded cornice. The roof has an ogival spire surmounted by a weathercock. There is a door on the south wall and rectangular openings at the lower stages with round arched openings at the belfry stage. There are clock faces, probably 19th century in date, on the east and west sides. The gable wall of the tolbooth has strip quoins.

Clackmannan Market Cross: The cross, probably dating from the 17th century has a square stone shaft with chamfered corners. It is tapered at the bottom and has a trefoil capital. The east and west faces of the capital have weathered coats of arms with the chief and saltire of the Bruce of Clackmannan, that on the east still discernible as such. The ball finial is a replacement of 1887 (or 1897). The cross is raised on an octagonal eight-coursed stone base which replaced similar steps in 2007. The second step from the top on the south side is inscribed 'MMVII'.

Clackmannan Stone: The capstone, thought to date from the third or second millennium BC, was broken in pieces at an early date and bound together with iron rods. It is supported on a massive irregularly shaped whinstone block erected in 1833.

Statement of Special Interest

This group of structures is of national importance because of the very early origins of each part as well as the fact that they are significant to the history and evolution of the town and shire. The Tolbooth was built originally in 1590s with the tower added in 1680, the tower being a significant example of civic architecture and an important survival of one of the earliest tolbooths in Scotland. The Market Cross dates from the 17th century and is a good example of an early cross, with the Bruce arms still discernible in the unusual trefoil capital. Clackmannan Stone is also a very unusual monument, potentially dating from the 3rd or 2nd millennium BC, with associations with the foundation of the town and shire.

Age and Rarity

Clackmannan Tolbooth was originally erected in 1592, though the belfry tower that is visible today was built around 1680. William Menteith, Sheriff of Clackmannan, presented a petition to Parliament requesting that a Tolbooth be built as he and his predecessors had been obliged to hold courts in the open air and to keep prisoners in his house. An Act was passed on 5 June 1592 which authorised the construction of the Tolbooth and the collection of taxes to pay for it. The west gable wall may have been rebuilt when the tower was erected about a century later. A bell presented by Sir Lawrence Dundas in 1765 was rung each evening until 1939. By 1792 the Tolbooth was said to be 'a heap of ruins' and the main part of it was probably demolished about 1822 when the Clackmannanshire sheriff court was transferred to Alloa.

The partial remains of the tolbooth at Clackmannan are of outstanding interest because of their early date. There are no surviving tolbooths of medieval date in Scotland, and only a very few from the last quarter of the 16th century, including the steeples of Crail and Dysart and the complete structures of Canongate and Musselburgh.

The Market Cross dates from the 17th century and was donated to the town by Sir Henry Bruce, the Bruces being the superiors of the burgh. The lower part of the shaft of the column shows signs of wear. Some sources suggest that this was caused by the chains of prisoners who were secured to the shaft to await trial before the tolbooth was built. This suggests that the shaft may date from before 1592 but this is uncertain. The ball finial came from the grounds of the Clackmannan Tower in the late 19th century and replaced one removed 40 years before. The current stone steps were built in 2007 and replaced concrete steps that were constructed in 1949. Market crosses are a relatively rare type of structure in Scotland and this combined with the early date of this example make it special in listing terms.

Clackmannan Stone (variously known as Clach Manau, Mannan's Stone or Bruce's Stone) is considered by some sources to date from the 3rd or 2nd Millennium BC, though other sources simply state that it is pre-Christian in origin. The stone is believed to have been originally located in Lookabootye Brae, closer to the River Forth. It may have been moved to Clackmannan Tower before being moved to its current position in 1833. At this time the stone on which it is supported was brought from Abbey Craig and installed in its current position.

The name of the County appears to derive from this stone and in the early 19th century the stone was described as a sort of symbol of power of the town, like the Clachnacudden of Inverness, with the privileges of the town supposed to depend, in some way, upon its existence. Various explanations have been given for the derivation of the name. One interpretation is that the name refers to the Celtic God Manau and the stone relates to worship of this pagan deity. It has also been suggested that Manau refers to the late Iron Age territory encompassing Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire.

The stone is also sometimes referred to as Bruce's Stone or King Robert's Stone. 19th century accounts record a local legend that says when King Robert Bruce was residing at the castle at Clackmanna, he happened to be passing one day on a journey, and stopped for a while at the stone, and, on departing, left his glove on it. His servant was sent back to the clack to fetch his mannan, or glove. The servant said, 'If ye'll just look about ye here, I'll be back wi't directly,' and accordingly soon returned with the missing article. This story explains both the name 'Clackmannan' and the name of the location where the stone is first thought to located – 'Lookabootye Brae'. However, as Clackmannan is recorded from the 12th century onwards, this story cannot explain the derivation of the name.

The stone is of historical importance because of its associations with the origins of the county and town.

Architectural or Historic Interest

Plan form

Tolbooth: The tower and attached gable wall are approximately T-shaped. The plan as far as can be judged was typical of similar structures of this date.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

Tolbooth: The detail of the tower and surviving gable wall are typical of the late 17th century and in many respects relate to the design of other tolbooths of this period. The position of the tower at the west end is similar to that at Crail although in other examples, like Culross, the tower is placed more centrally. The size of the tower is unusual as it is very slender and it is notable that the spire is very similar to that of the Old Parish Church at Alloa. The design may have been based on church buildings.

Market Cross: Market crosses are typically erected in prominent positions and raised on steps, like this example, or placed on a podium. A small number of early market crosses in Scotland have square-section stop-chamfered shafts like Clackmannan, such as the cross in nearby Alloa and that at Lochmaben. However the capitals in both of these cases are treated differently from the trefoil capital at Clackmannan. The unique design of this cross therefore gives it special interest. Some parts have been replaced in the 19th and 21st centuries.

Setting

This group of structures, the Tolbooth, Market Cross and Clackmannan Stone are situated at the west end of Main Street in the centre of Clackmannan within a small grassed area enclosed by a low stone wall. Main Street is flanked by a range of domestic and commercial buildings, mainly of two storeys. The group is a significant focal point in the streetscape.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations

Close Historical Associations

There is a local tradition that King Robert Bruce inadvertently left his glove on the stone after spending the night at nearby Clackmannan.

Statutory address, category of listing changed from B to A and listed building record revised in 2017. The tolbooth and mercat cross were previously listed separately at as 'Clackmannan Tolbooth' and 'Clackmannan Mercat Cross'. The structures were previously scheduled as 'Clackmannan Tolbooth' and 'Clackmannan, market cross & Clackmannan Stone'.

References

Bibliography

Canmore: http://canmore.org.uk/ CANMORE ID 48313, 48318, 48321.

Maps

Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1861, published 1866). Perth and Clackmannan Clackmannanshire Sheet CXL.5 (Combined). 25 inch to the mile. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey (revised 1898, published 1900). Clackmannanshire 140.05 (includes: Clackmannan). 25 inch to the mile. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Archives

Clackmannanshire Ordnance Survey Name Books, 1861-1862, Vol 3 Parish of Clackmannan, p.27.

Printed Sources

Gifford, J. and Walker, F.A. (2002) Buildings of Scotland: Central and Stirling. London: Yale University Press. pp.327-328.

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (1996) Tolbooths and Town-Houses: Civic architecture in Scotland to 1833. Edinburgh: RCAHMS. pp.2-3 and 55.

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of (1933) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Eleventh report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Fife, Kinross, and Clackmannan. Edinburgh. p.319, No. 607, 320, No. 612 & No. 612.

Small, J.W. (1900) Scottish Market Crosses. Stirling: Eneas Mackay.

Swan, A. (1987). Clackmannan and the Ochils: an Illustrated Architectural Guide. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. pp.8-9.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

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Images

Tolbooth, Market Cross and Clackmannan Stone, Main street, Clackmannan, from south, during daytime, on overcast day with grey sky.
Tolbooth, Market Cross and Clackmannan Stone, Main street, Clackmannan, from west, during daytime, on overcast day with grey sky.

Map

Map of Clackmannan Tolbooth, Mercat Cross and Clackmannan Stone, Main Street, Clackmannan

Printed: 25/01/2022 14:10