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Book of Scottish Story
The Kirk of Tullibody


The parish of Tullibody, in Clackmannanshire, now united with Alloa, was, before the Reformation, an independent ecclesiastical district. The manner in which it lost its separate character is curious. In the year 1559, when Monsieur D'Oysel commanded the French troops on the coast of Fife, they were alarmed by the arrival of the English fleet, and thought of nothing but a hasty retreat. It was in the month of January, and at the breaking of a great storm. William Kirkaldy of Grange, commander of the congregational forces, attentive to the circumstances in which his enemies were caught, took advantage of this situation, and marched with great expedition towards Stirling, and cut the bridge of Tullibody, which was over the Devon, to prevent their retreat. By this manoeuvre, the French found themselves completely enclosed. They were driven to an extremity which obliged them to resort to an extraordinary expedient to effect their escape. They lifted the roof off the church of Tullibody, and laid it along the broken part of the bridge, by which means they effected a safe retreat to Stirling.

Such a dilapidation of the church caused the Tullibodians to proceed to the adjacent kirk of Alloa, and in a short time the parish ceased to be independent. The burying-ground round the ancient place of worship, now repaired, still remains; and on the north side of it, where there had been formerly an entry, there is a stone coffin, with a niche for the head, and two for the arms, covered with a thick hollowed lid like a tureen. The lid is a good deal broken, but a curious tradition is preserved of the coffin. It is related that in early times a young lady of the neighbourhood had declared her affection for the minister, who, either from his station or want of inclination, made no returns. So vexed was the lady on perceiving his indifference, that, in a short while, she sickened, and at last died of grief. While on her deathbed, she left it as her last request, that she should not be buried in the earth, but that her body should be placed in a stone coffin, and laid at the entry to the church ; which was done, and to this day, the stone retains the name of the "Maiden's Stone." Chambers Edinburgh Journal, 1832.


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