1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alloa

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ALLOA, a municipal and police burgh and seaport of Clackmannanshire, Scotland. It is situated on the north bank of the Forth, 32 m. from Edinburgh by the North British railway via the Forth Bridge, and 28 m. from Leith by steamer. Pop. (1891) 12,643; (1901) 14,458. The Caledonia railway enters the town from the south-west by a bridge across the river, and also owns a ferry to South Alloa, on the opposite shore, in Stirlingshire. Between Alloa and Stirling the stream forms the famous “ links, ” the course being so sinuous that whereas by road the two towns are but 6½ m. apart, the distance between them by river is nearly 12 m.

For its size and population the town enjoys unusual prosperity, in consequence of its several flourishing industries. Its manufactures of yarn are on the largest scale, the spinning mills often working night and day for many months together. There are also numerous breweries, and Alloa ale has always been famous. The great distillery at Carsebridge yields an immense supply of yeast as well as whisky. Other thriving trades include the glass-works on the shore, pottery-works in the “ auld toon, ” dye-works and a factory for the making of electrical appliances. There is a good deal of shipbuilding, some iron founding and a brass foundry. The chief article of export is coal from the neighbouring collieries, the other leading exports being ale, whisky, glass and manufactured goods. The imports comprise timber, grain, iron, linseed and flax. The docks, accessible only at high water, include a wet basin and a dry dock. Amongst the principal buildings are the fine Gothic parish church, with a spire 200 ft. high; the town hall, including the free public library, from designs by Alfred Waterhouse, R.A., the gift of Mr J. Thomson Paton; the county and municipal buildings; handsome public baths and gymnasium, presented to the town by Mr David Thomson; the accident hospital; the fever hospital; the museum of the Natural Science and Archaeological Society; the academy, the burgh school and a secondary school with the finest technical equipment in Scotland, given by Mr A. Forrester Paton. There is a public park, besides bowling-greens and cricket and football fields. The old burying-ground was the kirkyard of the former parish church, the tower of which still exists, but a modern cemetery has been formed in Sunnyside. The town owns the water-supply, gas-works and electric-lighting.

Alloa Park, the seat of the earl of Mar and Kellie, is in the immediate vicinity, and in its grounds stand the ruins of Alloa Tower, an ancient structure 89 ft. high, with walls 11 ft. thick, which was built about 1315, and was once the residence of the powerful family of Erskine, descendants of the earl of Mar. The earl who promoted the Jacobite rising in 1715 was born here. Many of the Scots princes received their education as wards of the Lords Erskine and the earls of Mar, the last to be thus educated being Henry, the eldest son of James VI.