- PLEAN, lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of St. Ninian's, county of Stirling, 5 miles (S. E. by S.) from Stirling; containing 872 inhabitants. This place is the seat of an extensive colliery, which may be considered as forming part of the great coal-field of the district. The village is on the road from Falkirk to Stirling, and about four miles south-east from the village of St. Ninian's. The late parish was included in the presbytery of Stirling, and synod of Perth and Stirling; the patronage was vested in the male communicants. The church was built to serve the wants of a large rural population who are at a considerable distance from the parochial church of St. Ninian's. The minister has a bond for £80; but as he is in the receipt of a liberal salary as chaplain of Plean Hospital, he makes no demand upon his congregation; the collections at the church-door are expended, partly in defraying expenses, and partly in relieving the poor. The members of the Free Church now hold the place of worship; and there is a good school. The hospital was founded by the late Francis Simpson, Esq., of Plean, for old men, with preference to soldiers and seamen: the endowment amounts to between £900 and £1000 of annual income, produced from lands and money; and it will be augmented by annuities and life-rents as they fall to the institution. There are at present about thirty inmates, who are comfortably lodged, clothed, and fed, and to whom a sum each is annually allowed. Near Plean mill are the ruins of an ancient tower, the greater part of which has been used for buildings on the farm adjoining. The vicinity of the village has been often chosen for the encampment of armies: in 1314, the English lay at West Plean on the night previous to the celebrated battle of Bannockburn; and in 1746, on the morning of the 17th of January, the Pretender assembled his troops on Plean moor, whence he marched to Falkirk.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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