History of the Dobbie Hall

The Dobbie hall was gifted to the district by ironfounder Major Robert Dobbie of Beechmount, to be used as a meeting place etc.  The Drill Hall in Tryst Road had served that purpose for years, but by the end of the 19th century was deficient in many ways.

Dobbie tried to purchase this hall from the trustees with a view to extending it, but was unsuccessful.

So, in May 1899, he bought ground at the corner of Main Street, Stenhousemuir, and Burnhead Lane (Burnhead Road) from the trustees of Mary Ramsay or Blair, an Innkeeper from Ramshorn near Dollar. This was where the Dobbie Hall was to be built.

On Saturday 23rd June 1900, a grand procession of all the Friendly Societies and Trade Guilds left the Tryst Ground and met with representatives of the Masonic Lodges at the Central School (old Larbert High).

They then marched with bands and banners through Stenhousemuir and Larbert, opening the new public thoroughfares at Pretoria and Victoria Roads. Upon returning to the site, the foundation stone was laid with full Masonic honours.

The Hall was opened in August 1901 by the Duchess of Montrose, who unclipped a jewelled bracelet from the handles of the entrance doorway. The Duke and Duchess had previously been entertained at Larbert House by J. H. N.  Graham, who then accompanied the couple to the hall.

The Dobbie Hall was designed by A and W Black of Falkirk in baroque style and built by J. J. and P McLachlan of Stenhousemuir, at a cost of about £12,000. The first concert to take place within the hall on the opening night, was for the benefit of the wives of the soldiers in the war in Africa. The Larbert Carnegie Public Library, also designed by A & W Black, was erected on part of the ground given by Robert Dobbie for the hall. It was opened by Dr William Jacks, former MP for Stirling County, on the 27th October 1904. The War Memorial by George Washington Browne, was erected in front of the hall and the unveiling and dedication took place on the afternoon of Sunday 24th September 1922.

Text about the Dobbie Hall was extracted from the Falkirk Local History Club website. If you would like to read more about Larbert and the Great War you can find it from this link https://falkirklocalhistory.club/publications/larbert-and-the-great-war/.