Get ready to party at Falkirk’s Steeple shindig

Alastair Mitchell is helping to organise Steeple 200 celebrations''Picture: Michael Gillen
Alastair Mitchell is helping to organise Steeple 200 celebrations''Picture: Michael Gillen

The Kelpies and Falkirk Wheel may be in the limelight, but this year marks a special anniversary for the district’s original landmark.

Falkirk Steeple is 200 years old and a family celebration is planned next month to allow everyone to join in the party.

Guided tours of the High Street structure, live music, ‘horrible histories’ and an exhibition in the Howgate are all planned, culminating in a live concert by Scotland’s top ‘bagrock’ band, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

A special Steeple 200 beer is also being brewed and will be on sale in Behind the Wall.

The fun takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 20 and 21, when Falkirk Bairns of all ages will be able to enjoy the fun in and around the High Street.

Town centre manager Alastair Mitchell is one of those on the organising committee, which also includes Provost Pat Reid, historian and Falkirk Community Trust chairman, Ian Scott and Pete Reid from Falkirk Council.

Alastair said: “The Steeple is a focal point for everyone coming to Falkirk, whether they live here or are visiting. It is a key priority for regeneration as part of the townscape heritage initiative and this two-day family celebration is the perfect opportunity to mark both its importance to the town and longevity.”

Opened in 1814 after a public appeal to raise the £1460 required to build it, the current Steeple replaced the structure which was built in 1697 but was brought down after it began to lean over when its foundations were disturbed.

It contained two cells above a jailer’s room and a shop, which was rented out to a local shoemaker.

In 1927 it was struck by lightning and one casualty was Irn Bru, a delivery horse for the soft drink manufacturers A.G. Barr, while a family living nearby were trapped by falling masonry.