History

A fuller history will soon be available to download from this page, but in the meantime, here is a short historical summary (slightly edited) of the Kirk, including in the wider context of Fintry village, by Trevor Walters.

Fintry Kirk sits on a site of Christian worship that has existed for several hundred years. It is a small, simple, and quite beautiful wee Kirk. Its windows, which are currently being renovated are among the finest in Scotland. It also has one of only two cantilever staircases in the area. But, it is above all a wee alive house of God, just to come and sit in it, is to be at peace. Fintry Kirk is open at service times and during the afternoons of the occasional Guild teas held during the summer.

There are two Covenanter sites in the vicinity, one on the hill to the west of the village, other is to the east along the Denny road. Here, adjacent to the Carron reservoir, a service organised by St Ninian’s parish, is held on the first Sunday in August every year.

Further down the Endrick is our sister Church at Balfron. Also in Balfron, Baptists, Catholics and Episcopalians, with all of whom we enjoy ecumenical occasions, also have places of worship.

No matter the season, always a beautiful wee Kirk, it is particularly so now as the stained glass windows have recently been renovated. This included our war memorial window (there will soon be some photographs of the church interior on these pages, including the windows).

Fintry Kirk is surrounded by hills, foothills of the Highlands proper away to the north.  The remnants of at least three volcanoes surround Fintry Kirk, all less than a mile away. Less than half a mile away is the Endrick, the local river which issues from hills to the east, drains the plain and eventually flows with its salmon into Loch Lomond, reached by car in about twenty five minutes. Fintry Kirk still has farm land on two sides and seen from the incoming Crow Road, one of the highest passes in Scotland, an alternative, but popular route to Glasgow, nestles peacefully amongst pasture and trees, a predominant vista of green.

Fintry Kirk is about twenty minutes from Stirling, half an hour from Glasgow airport and an hour from Edinburgh airport. It is part of what knowledgeable locals call Old Fintry, though no such place ever officially existed. The Kirk’s near neighbour was traditionally the Clachan, now a dwelling house, it’s former role was a droving inn on the ancient cattle trail from the Highlands to Falkirk market. Today in addition to the old Manse, where the minister lived, there is a ribbon of development on alternate sides of the road.

During the nineteenth century the locus of settlement moved west to house workers for a water driven spinning mill. A new school was built and a village hall. The population, still in the region of six hundred, remains centred there, this being where the majority of post war housing is concentrated, which in turn necessitated a larger school. In recent years a sports facility was built, this being shared with the surrounding area. Rugby, football, squash, indoor bowls, and a gym are available for a modest subscription. These facilities are available to visitors.

After WW2 there were four buses a day connecting Fintry to Stirling, Balfron and Glasgow. Due to increased private transport, today only a taxi service remains. The village enjoys three licensed eating places, Culcreuch Castle, now a hotel specialising in weddings, the Inn, and the Sports Club. Accommodation is provided by Culcreuch Castle and number of well appointed B&Bs. The Courtyard Cafe at Knockraith Farm also offers light meals and a variety of ice creams. Fintry may have lost its distillery, now the nearest is Dumgoyne on the other side of the Campsie Hill, but has recently started brewing its own beer. This small brewery produces Dunmore Pale Ale and is located at the Inn.

In recent years the village lost its shop, the post office has been replaced by a twice weekly van and the garage no longer sells petrol, but we retain our travelling library and in spite of it all, Fintry remains a healthy, vibrant community that people love to visit and where many would wish to remain. Those of us who live here, know that we are privileged.

© Trevor Walters