Clackmannanshire, with its dramatic landscape of flat carseland between the dominant Ochil Hills and the banks of the River Forth, has been a strategic location for settlements since the prehistoric age.
Clackmannanshire's importance continued to grow, and from the 11th century the area was home to many distinguished Scottish families who were required to be in close proximity to the Royal Court at Stirling Castle. Their castles and tower houses are in evidence today, and can be visited as part of the Tower Trail - Alloa Tower, Castle Campbell, Menstrie Castle, Clackmannan Tower and Sauchie Tower.
Each tower has its own fascinating history, and formed part of a wider complex of buildings, including great halls, courtyards and living quarters. Being so close to the royal court, these tower houses witnessed many significant historic moments including playing host to Mary Queen of Scots. Other moments included the plotting of the ill fated Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 led by the 6th Earl of Mar, and coming under attack as a result of war and dispute over the centuries.
The Tower Trail takes visitors on a tour of Clackmannanshire’s four medieval towers and one manor house. Information panels are available at all five sites to explain the fascinating history associated with these magnificent buildings.