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This is the small village of Dunipace, about 7 miles drive south from Stirling. Off the beaten path as there is no real reason to go, unless you are wanting a change from the motorway (the M80 to Glasgow passes the village). It is said that Scottish hero William Wallace may have spent his childhood here, under the supervision of his uncle, a priest.
The shot provides a tableau of a typical village from almost anywhere in Scotland:
Bus stop, kebab shop, church, pub, post office.
Ok the snow isn't exactly typical, we're not in the Alps after all ;-)
Dunipace also contains a heritage tree, the 'King Tree': a sweet chestnut believed to be over 400 years old (pic 2).
The derivation of the name Dunipace may be from an ancient Scottish tongue, meaning 'hill of death'; or the Latin, meaning 'hills of peace': both may refer to the same thing, a terrible battle between the Romans (at the very edge of empire) and the Picts. There are two mysterious mounds around 2 miles from Dunipace (where the village may have been in bygone times) which may relate to this. Appropriately, the Hills of Dunipace cemetery is now situated next to these.
Updated Oct 4, 2005
Looks like a scene from the remote Highlands, but is actually between Stirling and Glasgow. The area around here is one of the least populous in the Central Belt. The body of water is actually a reservoir rather than a loch, created several decades ago. A few years ago, the summer was so dry that the farms, which disappeared under the water, emerged again.
The "main" road, the B818 from Denny to Fintry, runs along one side (almost in the water at points) and there are forestry trails (ideal for some off-road biking) to the south side.
There is a Forestry Commission car park, with picnic area and toilets, at the Cairnoch end, about 12 miles from Stirling.
There is an inn here, the Carronbridge Hotel (pic 3), which offers drinks, meals and accommodation. Very much out in the country; but driving, about 20 minutes from Stirling, 40 from Glasgow (over the very mad Tak Me Doon road), 60 from Edinburgh.
Updated Sep 24, 2005
A scene few visitors will see, as you probably have the sense to come in the summer.
The view is from the Herbertshire Castle Park in Dunipace, over to Denny. Once, perhaps 200 years ago, Denny was the major papermaking town in the whole of Scotland. It was also a major ironfounding town. In my lifetime, all of these (except one, much reduced, papermill) have closed.
Behind the wall to the left was one of the mills, now a housing scheme. And the Castle that gave the park its name? Demolished around 40 years ago.
Written Jan 18, 2005
Again, a fairly typical example of a Scottish village kirk (church), stone built, with a steeple. And Celtic cross.
Updated Sep 24, 2005
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