IN DECEMBER 1925, the idea of â€‹â€‹opening Tillicoultry Glen was proposed by City Council.
A resolution was passed at a meeting to â€œpurchase, lease or otherwise acquire a right of access to Tillicoultry Glenâ€.
It was an untapped resource which was to encourage not only locals to walk among the hills, but also day trippers and trekkers to come to the village. It was to be used as “a recreational area or a resort or public recreation”.
The opening of the valley was imagined by William Jamieson, the provost between 1921 and 1927.
Accompanied by bourgeois architect Arthur Bracewell, they inspected the neighborhood, and both believed that if redeveloped properly, it could become a key attraction.
The land had been granted by Major Arthur Balcarres Wardlaw Ramsay who owned the land on which Glen Road would be built. In addition, he granted permission for the right of passage through the valley, which he also owned.
Moreover, at a time of increasing unemployment, it would provide work for local men by creating the necessary infrastructure to make it viable.
New bridges were needed, as were new roads, and it was known that the Unemployment Benefits Committee would look favorably on the project. They agreed in April 1926 to pay three quarters of the workers’ wages.
Plans were made by Bracewell which included the layout of bridges, roads and earthworks to make it safe.
On May 5, 1926, construction of Glen Road began, just 24 hours before the start of the general strike. These workers, now in stable employment for the next two or three months, reversed the trend and continued to work.
The newly completed Tillicoultry Valley was officially opened on August 21, 1926 by Wardlaw Ramsay. In the opening speech, Jamieson said the work made it easy for people to access the neighborhood’s â€œbountiful beautiesâ€ and attractions.
Music was played to entertain the guests, followed by a social gathering at the now demolished People’s Institute, also known as the Town Hall.
Among the dignitaries present were Walter John Francis Erskine and his wife Violet, then Lord and Lady Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire, as well as provosts from other local towns.
In 1927, a subscription was opened to help fund the remainder of the Glen Road with money from overseas as well as from within the country, as the council was against raising tariffs to pay for remaining costs.
Emigrants born at TILLICOULTRY in Toronto, Canada sent Jamieson over Â£ 60 for the Glen Fund and two years later to mark his 3rd birthday they also presented an indicator to be placed in the Glen to show point positions of local landmarks and relative distances. .
As soon as it opened, the valley was featured in tourist brochures and attracted holidaymakers to the village. Guides printed advertisements urging people to visit the valley and stay put.
The Glasgow Fair fortnight saw most visitors to Tillicoultry and to attract more holidaymakers, from 1928 the Glen Committee organized marching bands from all over the central belt to play concerts at the entrance to Glen.
In February 2011, the valley was closed to the public due to the position of a loose rock near the work of the disused quarry
It remained closed for five years due to a cost haggling between Clackmannanshire Council and the landowner. Work finally started with a view to its reopening in August 2016, but delays increased further as workers had to carry tools and equipment by hand.
The rock was stabilized, but it took more money to repair the network of paths, bridges and railings to make it safe.
The council spent almost Â£ 440,000 on the project, but eventually, in late autumn 2016, the walkers returned to the valley.
However, in August 2020 it was closed again due to heavy summer flooding which damaged infrastructure.
A 15 foot section of the path was washed away, with the waters of Tillicoultry Burn turning thick and black as the land was washed out through the dale as it descended towards the River Devon.
The valley itself is carved into the Ochils and the main burn runs through it with its beautiful waterfalls and steep gorges.
Two burns, the Gannel and the Daiglen meet at the top of the valley and near the entrance to the path that leads there, what we know locally is the Lion’s Den, a small cave.
The water from the burn once fed the local mills, but they are long gone. Among the fauna are woodpeckers, blue tits, foxes and deer.
Today, the Tillicoultry Mill Green Action Group, formed in the summer of 2017 and made up of community council members from Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton and Devonside, is volunteering to maintain the valley, including the entrance.
Almost 100 years after its opening, it continues to attract visitors to the region.