Kinneil and Roughcastle on new £50 note

The new £50 note TWO Roman sites in Falkirk district are to feature in a new banknote, being launched by the Clydesdale Bank.

The Roughcastle site near Bonnybridge and the Kinneil Roman Fortlet by Bo’ness are featured on the new £50 note, to be launched later this year.

The new note is part of a collection being launched by the Bank to celebrate prominent Scots and Scottish World Heritage Sites – including the Roman Antonine Wall – and coincides with the Homecoming celebrations.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s heritage convener, said he was pleased to see the local area featuring in the new collection of notes.

“It’s great to see the Roman sites at Roughcastle and Kinneil on the new £50 note, to mark the World Heritage Status for the Antonine Wall,” he said. “Anything that raises awareness of this monument, and encourages people to this area, has to be a positive step forward.

“And the more visitors we have with £50 notes to spend here the better!”

Bruce Henderson, the chairman of the Friends of Kinneil, said: “The Roman road into the fortlet is seen on the left of the new £50 note. It’s great to have a bit of history at Kinneil preserved in this way – and will hopefully make more people aware of the fantastic heritage we have in the estate.”

The Antonine Wall became part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage site last summer. Falkirk district includes some of the best preserved sections of the Wall – and is also home to two museums with strong Roman collections: at Kinneil, Bo’ness, and Callendar Park in Falkirk.

The Clydesdale honour for the Antonine Wall follows the decision of rival Bank of Scotland to issue a note featuring its near neighbour, The Falkirk Wheel, in 2007.

Joanne Orr, chair of the Scotland Committee of the UK National Commission for the United Nations body UNESCO, said: “We are delighted to see Scotland’s World Heritage Sites being celebrated in this way. This is a unique and exciting means of raising the profile of Scotland’s five outstanding World Heritage Sites. These sites are rich examples of Scotland’s cultural and natural heritage that we can all be proud of.”

It’s the first time in almost twenty years that the Clydesdale has launched a completely new family of banknotes. New notes are being issued in £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 denominations.

David Thorburn, chief operating officer of Clydesdale Bank, said: “Clydesdale Bank’s new banknote family showcases the best of Scotland – its people and its heritage. We are the largest note issuer in Scotland and I am delighted that we are introducing such an innovative and striking set of notes during the Homecoming. I am particularly pleased that a new portrait of Robert Burns will feature on one of our most popular notes – a fitting tribute in the 250th Anniversary of the year that he was born.”

The new note designs unveiled by the Bank are:

  • £5 Featuring Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, on the front and St Kilda on the reverse.
  • £10 Featuring Robert Burns on the front and The Old & New Towns of Edinburgh on the reverse.
  • £20 Featuring Robert the Bruce on the front and New Lanark on the reverse.
  • £50 Featuring Elsie Inglis, a suffragette and surgeon, on the front and the Antonine Wall on the reverse.
  • £100 Featuring Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect and designer, on the front and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney on the reverse.

Alex Salmond MSP MP, First Minister, said: “Scotland has produced banknotes for hundreds of years, marking the culture, heritage, tradition and resilience of Scotland, its people and our financial sector. Clydesdale Bank’s launch of a new banknote family, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns and Homecoming 2009, is an indication of its strength and commitment to Scotland in the current economic climate.

“I would like to thank Clydesdale Bank, these new designs are a wonderful contribution to the Homecoming celebrations. These commemorative notes will be in circulation, worldwide, forever – I cannot think of a greater start to our year of celebrations nor a better, lasting legacy for Homecoming 2009.”

John Graham, Historic Scotland chief executive, said: “Historic Scotland is closely involved with the care and promotion of some of these sites, like the Antonine Wall and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, and is passionate about the importance of all of them as vital parts of our national heritage.”

Shonaig Macpherson, Chairman for the National Trust for Scotland said – which owns the Roughcastle site – said: “In this year of Homecoming it is fitting that we celebrate Scotland’s natural and cultural treasures.”