The Clyde Valley Web Site, Scotland

Failte! It is

in The Clyde Valley, The Garden of Scotland.

You are Exploring Scotland - The Clyde Valley and visiting Biggar.

East Kilbride
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Balfron Heritage Group

The heritage site about Balfron, Stirlingshire.

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... famed for It's People! (Continued)

· A Brief History · Famed for It's People · A Home of the MotorCar · Historic Buildings · Traditions and Festivities! ·

The War Memorial on Biggar's High Street. There was a Prisoner of War camp in Biggar during the Napoleonic wars.
Years later General Sikorski's Free Polish Army was billeted around the town during World War II.

Literary and political figures from more recent times are also associated with Biggar. The popular author John Buchan and poet Hugh MacDiarmid have strong connections with the burgh.

The late John Buchan wrote over fifty books including some very well known novels including Greenmantle, Prester John, Witchwood, and - perhaps the most famous of all - The Thirty-Nine Steps. Buchan, who was a Minister of Parliament, later went on to become the Govenor General of Canada. He spent much of his time as a child in the village of Broughton near Biggar, where a museum maintained by Biggar Museums Trust commemorates his work.

Doctor Christopher Grieve was better known as Hugh MacDiarmid, the pen name under which he founded a Scottish literary renaissance. The poet lived just outside Biggar in Brownsbank Cottage for the last twenty-six years of his life. Brownsbank Cottage has been preserved by Biggar Museum Trust and is used as a base for a writer-in-residence for most of the year.

Known for a different type of creativity was James Gillray, whose home was in Coulter, three miles from the Royal Burgh. He created over 1500 satirical artworks of political figures such as King George III and Napoleon. James Gillray is regarded as having been the first artist to create British political cartoons.

A towering creativity that is still a prominent feature of the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland's Capital City, had its beginnings in Biggar. The Scott Monument was designed by George Meikle Kemp, who was originally from Hillriggs, Biggar. He was the architect for the commemoration of Walter Scott, and his second design of the monument was accepted in 1838. Sadly, Kemp did not live to see the full dramatic effect of his architecture on the centre of Edinburgh - he died before the monument was completed.

The family of William Ewart Gladstone, who was once a British Prime Minister, came from here, and the family name can be seen on Gladstone Court museum, which portrays small town life as the old remember it and as the young imagine it.


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Scotland from the Air

Old Biggar
Ann Mathieson

This fascinating book features 48 pages with 51 black and white illustrations of Biggar early this century. Well-written and interesting, Old Biggar makes a worthwhile purchase for anyone with an interest in Biggar past or present. [48pp b/w illus. paperback]

200-001-01 Our Price 7.00

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Encyclopedia Alba & The Clyde Valley Web Site © Biggar-Net 1996 - 2001.
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