infobox UK place
country = Scotland
official_name= Alloa
gaelic_name=Allmhagh Mòr
scots_name= Alloa
population= 18,989 [cite web|publisher=Scotland's Census Results Online|title =Comparative Population Profile: Alloa Locality | url = | date = 2001-04-29| accessdate = 2008-04-02 ] (2001 census)
est. 19,330 [] (2006),
excluding Tullibody
os_grid_reference= NS900920
map_type= Scotland
unitary_scotland= Clackmannanshire
lieutenancy_scotland= Clackmannanshire
constituency_westminster= Ochil and South Perthshire
constituency_scottish_parliament= Ochil
post_town= Alloa
postcode_district = FK10
postcode_area= FK
dial_code= 01259

Alloa ("Allmhagh Mòr" in Gaelic) is a small burgh in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, 6 miles to the east of Stirling, on the north bank of the River Forth. The town was a burgh of barony, and at one time of considerable commercial importance.


During the 18th century, Alloa thrived as a river port through which the products of Glasgow manufacture was exported to continental Europe. At that time, and until the 1950s, the main industry to the north and east of the town was coal mining, and an extensive waggonway existed to take the coal to the harbour. The Earls of Mar owned many of the coal mines, and Robert Bald, an unusually inventive local mining engineer, was instrumental in providing water power from the Gartmorn Dam to operate both the mines and other industries such as weaving. Many traces of the waggonway, and the Gartmorn Dam, can still be seen today, and although the dam is no longer used for energy production, or water supply, it is well used for fishing and leisure purposes.

The town itself was known for its weaving and glassmaking industries. Alloa was long associated with the brewing industry, with at least nine major breweries producing ales. However this industry declined severely during the late 20th century.

Alloa Athletic F.C. are based at Recreation Park in the town.

The burgh population in a mid-19th century census was 6,440.

Notable people from the burgh include the footballer and commentator Alan Hansen and the artists Lys Hansen and Emma Scott-Smith. The Canadian politician George Brown was born here in 1818. The founder of Forte Holdings which later merged with Trust House to become Trust House Forte, Lord Charles Forte, was raised in Alloa.

Interesting places to visit near to Alloa include Alva, Tillicoultry, Dollar, Rumbling Bridge, Culross and Falkirk.

Transport links

Alloa railway station reopened in May 2008. The town had suffered poor transport links since the Stirling-Alloa-Dunfermline rail service was closed in 1968. The Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine rail link project [cite web| accessdate = 2008-05-17|publisher=Transport Scotland|title=SAK Railway Project|url =] was completed in May 2008. [cite web|publisher=BBC|title =First train in 40 years arrives| url = | date = 2008-04-02| accessdate = 2008-04-02 ] This also involved the construction of a new bypass road and bridge so that a major level crossing in the town could be removed in the interests of safety. After much preparatory work, including drainage, and grouting of a large number of shallow mine workings, laying of new track commenced in September 2006.

The new railway opened for traincrew's route learning in early April 2008, followed by the opening to the public on Monday 19 May 2008. This had been preceded by an official opening on 15 May 2008, where Class K4 61994 "The Great Marquess" hauled two specials to Stirling. The return workings were hauled by Deltic 55022 "Royal Scots Grey." Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson officially reopened the line.

First ScotRail now operates an hourly service from Alloa railway station to Glasgow Queen Street via Stirling, Larbert and Lenzie between 0641 and 2241 Monday to Saturday and between 1041 and 2141 on Sundays. Passengers can travel to Edinburgh Waverley with a change at Stirling.


Alloa's most notable visible landmark is the 14th century Alloa Tower (National Trust for Scotland), the surviving part of the ancestral medieval residence of the Erskine family, the Earls of Mar. Though much altered both externally and internally, the Tower retains its original medieval wooden roof and battlements, as well as some internal features. It is one of the largest (and earliest) of Scottish tower houses.

The town formerly contained a large number of 17th and 18th century buildings, but these were unfortunately cleared away as 'slums' from the late 19th century on. However, Alloa does retain some historic architecture in the form of Alloa Tower, Inglewood House, Gean House and Greenfield House.

Alloa Town Hall and Library was designed by the architect Alfred Waterhouse and built in 1886-9 at a cost of £18,008. [cite web|publisher=Dictionary of Scottish Architects|title =DSA Building/Design Report | url = | date = 2006| accessdate = 2008-04-11 ]

Alloa is served by Iceland (supermarket), Tesco, ALDI, LIDL, Morrisons and ASDA supermarkets. The ASDA supermarket, opened in 2007 is adjacent to the site of the new railway station. The station was opened in early 2008 to the public and now runs hourly services to Glasgow via Stirling.


Alloa is currently served by three parish churches in the Church of Scotland, namely the North Parish Church, the West Parish Church and St Mungo's Parish Church (the largest of the three.) In 1978 the Very Rev Dr Peter Brodie (then minister at St Mungo's) was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Alloa is within the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of Stirling.

In addition, the United Free Church of Scotland serves the town centre through the congregation at Moncrieff U.F. Church in Drysdale Street.

There are churches of other denominations in the town, including a Catholic church also named St Mungo's. There are also congregations of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses in Alloa.

The headquarters of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS), the ecumenical organisation linking Scotland's largest churches, is located at Inglewood House, Alloa.

Brewers in Alloa during the 1900s

There were at least nine breweries in Alloa during the 1900s producing a variety of ales for home and export trades. Alloa was well positioned, with a good water supply, close to local supplies of barley and good sea transport links. Alloa ale was sent to London and George Younger had an extensive export trade in the West Indies, Egypt and the Far East. Alloa was also famed for its lager, Alloa Brewery Co developing Graham’s Golden Lager in 1925 and renamed Skol in the 1950s. Closures and mergers in the 1950s and 1960s reduced the number of breweries to 2 and by 1999 there was one, The Forth Brewery. [cite web| accessdate = 2008-05-17|publisher=University of Glasgow|title=Scottish Brewing Archives: FAQ Alloa Breweries|url =]

# Alloa Brewery
# Carlsberg-Tetley Alloa Ltd
# Blair & Co (Alloa) Ltd.
# James Calder (Alloa) Ltd
# Maclay & Company, Limited
# Meiklejohn’s Brewery Ltd.
# George Younger & Sons Ltd
# Thomas Paterson, Forthbank Brewery
# John Thompson & Co, Caponcroft Brewery


* "Alloa and its Environs: A descriptive and Historical Sketch", Alloa Advertiser, 1861

External links

* [ Alloa Community Web Site]
* [ Alloa Tower]
* [ Lys Hansen's "Daily Bread" exhibition]
* [ Alloa West Parish Church]
* [ National Library of Scotland - Town Plan of Alloa (Surveyed: 1861-2)]
* [ ClacksNet - Clackmannanshire's Community Network]
* [ Article about Brewing in Alloa]
* [ Pictures of Alloa]

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