CLACKMANNANSHIRE Or, Clackmannan.
Scottish county until 1975;
- A district 1975-96;
- A unitary authority from 1996.
It lies between the River Forth and the Ochil Hills in central Scotland.
It was the smallest of the 33 counties of Scotland, and perhaps arose as a royal estate administered by a local petty noble or thane, for whom the word sheriff was used as Norman influences increased in Scotland. Certainly a sheriff resided at Clackmannan from the 1140s or very early 1150s, but by the time the modern county emerged Alloa had replaced it as the chief town.
In 1975 Clackmannanshire became the district of Clackmannan in the new Central Region. Its survival as such is not surprising, for though it had been the smallest county, its population exceeded that of fifteen of its thirty-two fellows. It also survived ceremonially as a county, keeping its Lord Lieutenant.
In 1996 Clackmannanshire became one of the new unitary authorities in Scotland.