Kirkintilloch started to grow in the mid 1700s with the development of textile based industries such as bleach works. A further boost arrived with the building of the Forth and Clyde Canal in 1785 which passed through the centre of Kirkintilloch.
Kirkintilloch in the 1900s was perhaps most famous for being one of the few totally dry areas of Scotland: alcohol was prohibited from sale as a result of the strength of the local temperance movement. This situation lasted right through to the 1970s when the influx of population from Glasgow changed the balance of local opinion, and Kirkintilloch's period of prohibition was voted down.
Today's Kirkintilloch is an interesting mixture of different elements. The restoration of the Forth and Clyde Canal has brought a steady flow of water-borne tourists to a town which seeks to blend the old and the new. Perhaps most successfully this blend finds the magnificent new William Patrick Library looking across the road at the equally magnificent Barony Chambers. The chambers were built in 1815 to provide a meeting room for the Town Council, jail and parish school. Today it is used as offices by the museum service.
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