The historic Christie Clock Tower, a prominent landmark in Stirling for 117 years, has been met with controversy as the local council decided to demolish it due to safety concerns. The clock’s instability was identified during an inspection by structural engineers just last week, prompting immediate action by Stirling Council.
In response to the urgent safety concerns, the council attempted to stabilise the clock tower. However, given the severity of the situation, it was ultimately decided that removal was the safest course of action, leading to its demolition on a Friday evening.
While officials have assured that the clock itself has been saved, plans for restoration work are now being considered. Despite this, many local residents have expressed frustration and disappointment with the council’s handling of the situation. They criticise the council for conducting the removal during the night and without prior notice to the community.
One resident voiced their outrage, stating, “They made a half-baked attempt to take it down, and then under cover of darkness, they brought in a demolition machine and demolished it in an act of crass vandalism. No attempt to shore it up, take it down carefully – these mindless idiots did this to Stirling’s heritage. What was done here was disgusting.”
The Christie Clock Tower, originally erected in 1906, served as a memorial to George Christie, who held the position of Provost of the Royal Burgh of Stirling from 1870 to 1879.
In response to the criticism, Stirling Council defended its actions, asserting that the decision was made in consultation with structural engineers and stonemasons. A council spokesperson stated, “At all times, we worked with conservation officers and had all historic records in place before any work progressed. Contractors tried valiantly for five hours to remove the crown of this well-loved landmark but, unfortunately, due to the lack of stability within the clock structure, the pillar also had to be removed from site.”
The spokesperson further added, “Sections of the clock have been removed intact, and all stonework associated with the clock tower has been removed from site and stored to allow further investigation and work.” Repair work on the tower’s base is set to commence in the coming weeks, and a review of a restoration project for the pillar, crown, and clock is planned for the near future.