Red Bridge at Callander Twelve miles North West of the city of Stirling lies Callander, a small town festooned with shops selling an eclectic mix of goods to the visitor. Callander is on the main route to the western highlands and islands of Scotland.
Central to Callander stands the parish church founded by St. Kessog, one of St. Columba’s many missionaries some time between the years 520-560AD. On the south bank of the river Teith the church manse lies close to the site of the old castle of Callander, which was the seat of the Livingstone’s 1st Earl of Callander and Linlithgow.
A stone retrieved from the castle and inserted above the manse door bears the inscription, A.L.E.H. 1596. The stone is dedicated to Alexander Livingstone 1st Earl of Linlithgow and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Hay, daughter of the 9th Earl of Errol.
Evidence dating back to circa 4000BC can be found with a Neolithic site at Claish farm and the largest chambered burial cairn in Scotland lies next to Auchenlaich farm.
There are signs too of Roman activity in the Callander area with remains of an earthworks camp clearly visible from Bochastle farm. The site can be dated to around 80AD when Gnaeus Julius Agricola was Imperial Governor of Britain.
Callander’s population boomed in the 1800’s with the introduction of the railway between Stirling and Callander and then continuing on to Oban. Callander was ideally situated to cater to what was fast becoming a vibrant tourist industry and many houses in the Victorian style were built.
Little has changed today and Callander remains a major attraction to the casual day-tripper and holiday maker.