April 15, 2024

Together Brisbane

Brisbane City Queensland Australia Local News

5 Things to Do in Largs Before the Olympics

3 min read

Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympics presents an exceptional opportunity to strengthen ties between Scotland and Brisbane. Leverage the exposure given to Sir Thomas Brisbane who gave it its name or exploit relics from his first Australian observatory which catalogued over 7,000 stars – there are numerous avenues available.

Largs History

Largs was the birthplace of Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane (1773-1860), an esteemed Scottish laird, soldier, astronomer and Governor of New South Wales in Australia. There are more than 10 places named after him in Largs itself and beyond that – including his birthplace Largs itself!

He was born at Brisbane House, an elegant mansion situated within a wooded glen on Noddsdale Water and overlooking Knock Castle’s peak. After finishing school he studied astronomy and mathematics at Edinburgh University.

He served in both Ireland and Scotland during most of his military career before making a name for himself as a politician. Returning home in 1825 and living out his final years at Largs, where amongst many charitable works he founded the Brisbane Academy and saved locals from cholera and typhoid by installing a new sewage system – later dying there in 1860 at home before being interred at Largs Old Kirk vault.

Largs Museum

At the heart of Largs is an exceptional museum offering visitors an insight into its rich past and its vibrant fishing and shipbuilding industries. Here visitors will discover an exhibit dedicated to early inhabitants as well as history related to fishing and shipbuilding industries; something for all!

The museum also houses an incredible statue of Magnus, the Viking warrior who defeated Scots at the Battle of Largs. It’s an exquisite reminder of Largs’ rich Viking heritage and one of its many unique attractions.

The museum also houses an astronomical and magnetic observatory constructed by Sir Thomas Brisbane – who gave his name to Brisbane Australia – which no longer functions but still makes for a fascinating historic site to visit.

Largs Cairn

Fiona Watson of Archaeology Scotland has taken on the initiative of improving the area surrounding an ancient chambered tomb that dates back 5,500 years – also known as Haco’s Tomb. Fiona urges local people to join her this summer and volunteer at Haylie Cairn in Douglas Park which dates back to Neolithic or ‘New Stone Age’ times and provides a reminder of Largs’ distant human past.

Originaly it would have appeared much more prominent, featuring a substantial mound of stones covering its top. Its capstone closely fits with side slabs while an opening at its base provided support for the headstone.

The Battle of Largs was an integral event in Scottish history, shaping clan histories such as those belonging to Boyds and Cunninghames who participated. Today, its memorial still attracts visitors; for optimal viewing times visit between November and May when marine stinger season has subsided.

Largs Golf Course

An 18 hole parkland course located along the Irish Sea offers an oasis of serenity. Though its surrounding region features plenty of outstanding links courses, this oasis of green is worth making time to experience first hand. Don’t hesitate – make sure you play here soon.

Noddsdale Water presents an immense challenge: set high in the glen of Noddsdale Water and dominated by The Knock, this course offers an extremely demanding course to challenge participants. Here, Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane was born in 1773 before going on to have an extraordinary life as soldier, astronomer, governor of Australia – his name still bears significance today as it still names Brisbane city!

Start off on a lacklustre uphill par three before being treated to an exceptional drive to an elevated green that’s surrounded by trees on hole two. Further highlights can be found at holes nine and 10, two doglegs with nearly burn-like hazards guarding both greens.