Alva, Stirlingshire

Historical Description

ALVA, a parish, in the county of STIRLING, 7 miles (N. E. by E.) from Stirling; containing 2216 inhabitants, of whom 2092 are in the village. The name of this place, the orthography of which has successively passed through the different forms of Alueth, and Alvath or Alveth, to that of Alva, is of Gaelic origin, and is supposed to be derived from the term Ailbheach, signifying "rocky": it was probably applied to this spot as descriptive of the general character of its hills. The parish is locally situated in Clackmannanshire, and formerly belonged to that county, by which it is bounded on all sides except the north, where it touches Perthshire. After the beginning of the seventeenth century, it was annexed to the county of Stirling, though four miles distant from its nearest point, and to that county it has since been united in all respects, till associated for political purposes, under the Reform act, to its ancient shire. It comprises about 4120 acres, of which 867 are arable, 3072 natural pasture, including 140 or 150 acres of cultivated grass, and 181 are wood. The lands, on the north, consist principally of the Alva hills, which constitute the most interesting and beautiful portion of the Ochil range, forming here a rich mineral district, traversed in all directions by large flocks of sheep, and ornamented with numerous cascades. At the base of these lofty elevations commences a valley, a part of which, stretching towards the south, covers the rest of the parish, and is replete with richly diversified and highly picturesque scenery, embracing the river Devon, which runs along the boundary of the parish in this direction, and, like most of the burns, contains abundance of excellent trout. The most lofty of the Ochils, Bencloch or Beucleugh, rises 2420 feet above the Devon, and is situated at the north-eastern extremity of the parish, commanding from its summit, not only fine views of local scenery, but, in the distant prospect, the whole Grampian range, with part of thirteen counties, and their villages and towns.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis
Postal districtFK12
Post TownAlva