Heritage Plaque Trail for Doune and Deanston given go ahead

A new tourist trail that celebrates the fascinating history of Doune and Deanston has been approved by Stirling Council planners.

An aerial view of two villages nesting among fields, with a river running in the foreground
Organisers believe the new Heritage Trail will encourage tourists to spend more time in the villages of Doune and Deanston.

A total of 17 plaques will be erected on buildings and structures in both villages, detailing the characters, events and properties that have shaped their history over several centuries.

The Heritage Plaque Trail is a collaboration between Kilmadock Community Council and the Kilmadock Development Trust (KDT) and aims to fill the gap between existing plaques and signage. Local people drew up the potential sites to be recognised and a shortlist was devised following a public survey, which asked people to pick their favourites.

Locations given approval for plaques to be erected include:

  • Old Ardoch Bridge – Built in 1735 to replace a wooden bridge on the old road to Dunblane and used by Bonnie Prince Charlie and his troops during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 when they occupied Doune Castle
  • Graham Street – formerly known as ‘Sweetie Lane’ and the birthplace of Alexander Ferguson (1798-1871) who invented Edinburgh Rock and was known as ‘Sweetie Sandy’
  • Second Division – one of a series of buildings constructed to house the growing number of workers at the expanding Deanston Cotton Mill in the 19th century
  • Thomas Cadell’s pistol factory – A Doune pistol is said to have fired the first shot in the American War of Independence and Cadell’s factory, just off Main Street, was renowned as the best in Britain when it started producing its weapons in 1646

Organisers say the Heritage Trail will provide an extra layer of interest to Doune and Deanston and highlight hidden details of the community that could otherwise be missed.


They also believe the Heritage Trail will encourage tourists to spend more time in the villages after visits to popular sites such as Doune Castle, Doune Ponds and Deanston Distillery, generating an even greater footfall for local businesses.

It is hoped the circular plaques will be erected in the summer, with the Heritage Trail to be publicised via online maps and a visitor guide available from local businesses and the Doune library.

Ken Russell, community councillor and director of KDT, said: “This is just one of a number of current community projects to improve life locally and provide a better visitor experience. It shows what can be achieved when community organisations get co-operation and support from players like Stirling Council and Historic Environment Scotland to help drive forward improvements on the ground.”

Neil Fergusson, the community’s Development Officer employed by KDT adds: “Planning was an important milestone to clear before making the trail a reality, but we wouldn’t be here without the support of others, particularly the community for their suggestions and shortlisting help and other individuals for volunteering with research and drafting.

“We’re also very grateful for grant funding received from Forth Valley and Lomond CLLD, Kilmadock’s Windfarm Trust and the Development Trust Association Scotland’s Strengthening Communities Programme.”