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Dollar
Dollar - geograph.org.uk - 294410.jpg
Dollar is located in Clackmannanshire
Dollar
Dollar
Population 2,840 (2020)
OS grid reference NS964978
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Dollar
Postcode district FK14
Dialling code 01259
Police Central Scotland
Fire Central Scotland
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • Ochil and South Perthshire
Scottish Parliament
  • Clackmannanshire and Dunblane
List of places
UK
Scotland
56°09′43″N 3°40′26″W / 56.162°N 3.674°W / 56.162; -3.674

Dollar (Scottish Gaelic: Dolair) is a small town with a population of 2,800 people in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. It is 12 miles (19 kilometres) east of Stirling.

The town

The major attraction in Dollar is the 500-year-old Castle Campbell, lowland seat of the Duke of Argyll, where Mary, Queen of Scots once lived in the 16th century. The residence was chosen for its proximity to the court in Edinburgh and to Clackmannan Tower, Alloa, Stirling Castle and Linlithgow Palace.

The walk to the castle is a vigorous ascent by a spectacular series of paths, bridges and walkways in the deep gorges of the glen and its tributaries. Unfortunately, the most spectacular section has had to be closed due to the risk of landslip (a part of which was re-opened Summer 2007), but alternative routes are available. There is also a road to the castle, accessible by car, for the less energetic.

Carved tree trunk in Dollar, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, UK - 20091108
A carved trunk near the burn

At the foot of Dollar Glen is The Mill Green. Here there is also a small museum run by volunteers, which contains a collection of local items, and much information about the former Devon Valley Railway, which closed to passengers in 1964. There are various sports facilities, including an 18-hole golf course (notable for its steep inclines and lack of bunkers), a tennis club, a squash club, a bowling club, and a cricket club. The Ochil Hills that overlook Dollar provide opportunities for mountain biking. The nearby River Devon is used seasonally for trout fishing (by permit). There are three churches, one Church of Scotland, one Scottish Episcopal Church and Ochil Hills Community Church which meets in the Civic Centre.

Dollar is now mainly residential; however, for a long time it was known for its industries. Attempts were made to mine lead and copper in Dollar Glen from the 18th century and possibly earlier, but these were of no economic significance. Coal mining in the area began around the same time and, until 1973, supplied the Kincardine Power Station, and later, the Longannet Power Station with coal from the Upper Hirst seam. A tiny private non-NCB coal mine operated from the Harviestoun estate from the mid-1970s, partly filling the gap that the closed NCB left, whilst there was still local demand for coal.

Playfair Building profil gauche
Dollar Academy (Playfair building)

In common with the other Hillfoots Villages, the textiles industry played an important part in the town's development. The Harviestoun Brewery was established west of Dollar in 1985, before its move to Alva. The town is now largely a dormitory community for people who work in Stirling and further afield — e.g. Glasgow and Edinburgh. Because of the success of its fee-paying school Dollar Academy and its tranquil environment, the town draws young and reasonably well-off families, giving it a slightly different character from the other Hillfoots Villages.

Dollarmap1945
A map of Dollar from 1945

The town has two war memorials, one for each world war. In the grounds of the Academy a bronze figure with outstretched hands faces westwards and commemorates the fallen of the First World War. This also has names added for Northern Ireland. The dead were largely from the Academy; two non-Academy deaths (the Archibald brothers) are indicated by the word "parish" against their names. The Second World War has a far more modest memorial, in the small public garden on the main road, where the road suddenly twists. Both memorials are by local sculptor George Henry Paulin.

Dollar is home of the Dollar Glen Football Club.

Dollar is twinned with the French town of La Ville-aux-Dames, which lies just outside Tours in the Loire Valley.

Origin of name

Possible interpretations are that Dollar is derived from Doilleir, an Irish and Scots Gaelic word meaning dark and gloomy, or from various words in Pictish: 'Dol' (field) + 'Ar' (arable) or Dol (valley) + Ar (high). Another derivation is from Dolar, ‘haugh place’ (cf Welsh dôl ‘meadow’. This word was borrowed from British or Pictish into Scottish Gaelic as dail ‘water-meadow, haugh’). John Everett-Heath, in derives it as 'Place of the Water Meadow' from the Celtic dôl 'water meadow' and ar 'place'.

Economy

Attempts were made to mine lead and copper in Dollar Glen from the 18th century and possibly earlier, but these were of no economic significance. Coal mining in the area began around the same time and, until 1973, supplied the Kincardine Power Station, and later, the Longannet Power Station with coal from the Upper Hirst seam. A tiny private non-NCB coal mine operated from the Harviestoun estate from the mid-1970s, partly filling the gap that the closed NCB left, whilst there was still local demand for coal.

In common with the other Hillfoots Villages, the textiles industry played an important part in the town's development. The Harviestoun Brewery was established west of Dollar in 1985, before its move to Alva.

Sport

Dollar is home of the Dollar Glen Football Club, an 18-hole golf course (notable for its steep inclines and lack of bunkers), a tennis club, a squash club, a bowling club, and a cricket club. The Ochil Hills that overlook Dollar provide opportunities for mountain biking.

Education

Playfair Building profil gauche
Dollar Academy (Playfair building)

Dollar Academy is a fee paying school.

Location and transport

It is one of the Hillfoots Villages, situated between the Ochil Hills range to the north and the River Devon to the south. Dollar is 12 miles (19 kilometres) east of Stirling on the A91 road to St Andrews. The Devon Valley Railway linking Alloa and Kinross closed to passengers in 1964 and to freight in 1973.

Notable people

Dolllartown
A sketch of the town in the 19th century by Wang Tao
RumblingPark
A sketch of the Mill Green in the 19th century by Wang Tao
  • William Auld (1924–2006) poet and Esperanto author, nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, lived in Dollar until his death
  • According to the Pictish Chronicle, Amlaíb Conung, the first Norse king of Dublin, was killed in a battle fought at Dollar around 874, when Constantine I was the king of Scotland.
  • David Taylor (1817–1867) illegitimate poet in the Scots tongue born in Dollar
  • James Legge, Scottish sinologist
  • Dollar Academy was founded in 1818 with a bequest from a Dollar native, Captain John McNabb, who had allegedly made his fortune in the slave trade. Amongst the many notable pupils at the Academy are James Dewar, the inventor of the vacuum flask; the grandsons of Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia; the second Presiding Officer (Speaker) of the Scottish Parliament, George Reid; BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston; and political journalist for The Scotsman, the News of the World and The Spectator magazines, Fraser Nelson.
  • Lavinia Malcolm, Provost of Dollar between 1913 and 1919, was both the first lady provost and first female town councilor in Scotland (see Dollar Town Council 1891–1975).
  • Alan Longmuir, of Bay City Rollers fame, lived just east of Dollar and owned and operated the Dollar Arms public house for a time.
  • In the late 1990s, Michael Kulas and Saul Davies, musicians in the English rock group James, also resided and worked out of the old Tea House Cottage, now known as Brewlands, next to Castle Campbell.
  • The Scottish author Iain Banks studied at the nearby University of Stirling and, in an interview for The South Bank Show in 1997, spoke about using the landscape above Dollar as inspiration for his novels (in particular A Song of Stone).
  • The biologist Alan Grafen
  • The artist Patrick Syme
  • Internationalist footballer, Steven Caulker's eligibility to play for Scotland is from his grandmother Jessie hailing from Dollar
  • Rev James Aitken Wylie, minister of the Secessionist Church in Dollar from 1831 to 1843

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