Grangemouth, pp.703-704.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

   GRANGEMOUTH, a thriving and important sea-port in the parish of Falkirk, Stirlingshire. Deriving its name from the mouth of Grange-burn, it stands at the confluence of that rivulet with the Carron, half-a-mile above the influx of the united streams into the Forth. Its resources and capacities as a port depend mainly on its commanding the entrance, through the mouth of Grange-burn, of the Forth and Clyde canal. The town, though small, contains some neat and good houses; and, with advantageousness of position, ample appliances of an inland harbour, and a beautiful framework of rich circumjacent scenery, presents a decidedly pleasing appearance. It has a dry dock, commodious quays, and lofty extensive storehouses. The Carron company have here a spacious wharf. Rope-making and ship-building employ a number of hands. The construction of steam-vessels also has been introduced. The maiden-effort of the place in this department was completed in the autumn of 1839 by the launch of the steam-ship Hecla, 80 feet long, 36 feet across the midships, and about 100 tons register, designed for towing trading-vessels over the Memel bar in Prussia. Previous to 1810, all vessels belonging to the port were registered at Borrowstonness: Grangemouth, however, has now a customhouse of its own. It has also a branch-office of the Commercial bank of Scotland, four schools, a quoad sacra parish-church, and a library. In its vicinity, a little to the south-west, stands Kerse house, a seat of the Earl of Zetland. The Carron foundry attracted, after 1760, the maritime trade formerly enjoyed by Airth, long the chief sea-port of Stirlingshire; and the subsequent formation of the Forth and Clyde canal, occasioned, in 1777, the erection of Grangemouth by Sir Lawrence Dundas. The incipient port speedily rose into notice, and acquired an attractive influence; and, from nearly the date of its erection, it has been the emporium of the commerce of Stirlingshire. The Carron company alone drive a very large traffic through its harbour. The Stirling merchants unload their cargoes here, floating their timber from it up the Forth, and transporting their iron by land. An accession of trade is drawn to it by the cheapness of its harbour-dues, compared with the demands made at Leith. All the great traffic along the canal from the Forth to Port-Dundas and the Clyde, makes lodgements on it in passing, or adds, in various ways, to its interest. Timber, hemp, flax, tallow, deals, and iron from the Baltic, and grain from foreign countries, and from the east coast of Scotland and England, are landed on its quays.1 The quoad sacra parish of Grangemouth consists of only a small adjacent district, additional to the town, and containing about 1,500 inhabitants. The church was built in 1838. Sittings about 700. Population of the town, in 1831, 1,155.

1  A Bill is now before Parliament [April 1841] by which the directors of the Forth and Clyde canal are empowered to improve and extend the harbour and basin at Grangemouth; to form a new harbour and wharfs, with an entrance from the river Carron; to alter the course of the Grange-burn; and to improve the entrance from the frith of Forth into the harbour by making a sea-dyke. It confirms and gives effect to an agreement between the Company and the Earl of Zetland respecting the works at Grangemouth, by which all the rates and duties which the Earl and the Company may be entitled to levy for the use of the harbour and wharfs are to be received by the Company; and, after satisfying the purposes mentioned in the agreement, to divide the surplus equally between the Earl and the Company. In consideration of the expense in making the sea-dyke from the harbour of Grangemouth to the mouth of the Carron, the Company are empowered, when the work shall be completed, to take a toll, not exceeding 4d. per ton on all vessels passing into or out of the harbour of Grangemouth, and using the towing path of the Company in navigating the Carron from or to the frith of Forth.