Visit Stirling Attractions and see where William Wallace defeated the English. See the macabre Beheading Stone and the National Monument of Scotland (The Wallace Monument). Stirling once capital of Scotland with looks not dissimilar from Edinburgh. At Cambuskenneth see the tomb of King James II and Princess Margaret of Denmark not to forget Stirling Smith Museum and Art Gallery which is full of history and treasures.
Visit Stirling Attractions
Stirling Scotland Stirling was and important area with a castle looking over many miles and with a great view of the river forth, which was once the border of Scotland and Northumbria England. The old stirling bridge was important as it was the easiest place to cross the river. Stirling was so important the town changed hands many times firstly when it was used to release William I from the English in 1174. The town became less important when the King left Stirling as a residence moving to England. The castles of Edinburgh and Stirling had the same influences. With the sons of Malcolm III. Alexander I dedicated a chapel in Stirling 1110 and David I his brother dedicated St Margret's chapel in Edinburgh 1130. Alexander died in Stirling Castle 1124.
Battle of Stirling Bridge
The inscription on the stone reads;
On 11th September William Wallace and Andrew De Moray led the Scots in Victory against the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
The bridge is a modern structure with four arches.
On Wallace’s instructions a carpenter John Wright
removes pins causing the bridge to collapse,
thereby ensuring victory.
Thereafter all first born sons of the Wright family are nick named “Pin”
until the last of them dies in 1900. The victory was almost unthinkable,
England had the greatest fighting machine in the known
world and could not have foreseen that a “peasant
army of spearmen” would be any threat to them.
Old City Wall Stirling
Stirling was the Royal Court of the Stuart’s and was a target for the English Kings. In 1547 a wall was built around the town to protect it from English invaders after the disastrous battle at Musselburgh (The Battle of Pinkie Cleuch). There is a wall walk which gives amazing views of the countryside and Old Stirling Town. The wall is up to 8 meters high and 2 meters thick.
The Wolf of Stirling has been its protector for over 1000 years when a band of Vikings came in the dead of night to take the town, but were chased off by a pack of Wolves. The Wolf is in the Stirling coat of arms and can be seen on the mercat cross and tolbooth as well as other buildings in Stirling.
Claymore and Targe Stirling
The Claymore and Targe were weapons used in battle for over 300 years 14-17 hundred. A claymore is a two handed sword like the one William Wallace used. The Targe is a small round shield for the head of the Vikings
Rob Roy MacGregor
Rob MacGregor was born in 1671 in Glengyle in the Trossachs in sight of Ben Lomond. He fought in many battles for the Jacobite cause. He was a cattle rustler and outlaw that became an icon due to Daniel Defoe publishing the novel
“Highland Rogue” in 1723, and 3 years later the book caused him to become a hero of the people and by public acclaim Rob Roy received a Royal Pardon. A redheaded Scotsman with an entrepreneurial skill turning to crime and becoming a hero. He died of old age in Balquhidder Glen in 1734
The first Tolbooth built circa 1530 was demolished in 1689 and replaced by the present Tolbooth was built circa 1704 in Jail Wynd, Stirling where it stands today. With extensions in 1785 and 1808 when a jail and courthouse were included.
The tower was the prison for offenders prior to being hanged at the gallows outside the Tolbooth. The dead were buried under the Tolbooth and their ghost are said to haunt the building to this day.
Hardie and Baird
Murdered in Stirling
In 1813 in protest at their reduced standard of living 40,000 weavers went on strike for over two months. A dispute that only ended when the government arrested the leaders of their union and forced the men back to work.
Andrew Hardie and John Baird were tried for their beliefs.
At their trial the judge said "you Andrew Hardie and John Beard can hold out little or no hope of mercy as you are the leaders".
He then made an example of them and sentenced them to death.
They were betrayed for their views and beliefs and by the establishment that they had sought to reform.
The rest of the rebels were sentenced to be transported overseas to penal colonies in New South Wales and Tasmania
Baird and Hardie were executed on 8th September 1813 in front of a crowd of 2000 people.
They were left hanging for over 30 minutes and then decapitated.
Stirling Mercat Cross
A Mercat Cross has stood close to the Tolbooth since it was built circa 1530 and in 1704 the present building was completed The cross was take away in 1792 and was re-erected in 1891. A Mercat (Market) Cross was the centre of the town where a market would be held and any news was proclaimed from the Cross. The Stirling people call the unicorn on the top of the cross ‘The Puggy’. The Unicorn is the only original part of the first Mercat Cross.
Old Stirling Jail House Stirling
The Old Town Jail was first opened in 1847 to replace the Old Tolbooth which was dubbed the worst jail in Britain. Take the Jail tour and hope there are no ghosts.
Beheading Stone Stirling
On “Mote Hill” is the beheading Stone and cannon. This was the site of a Pictish Fort. Circa 1400 heads have rolled of the stone, most famously in 1425 Murdoch, Duke of Albany lost his head on the order of King James I. Marks that can be seen on the stone come from the Axe of the Executioner. The Stone is in a protective cage and stands on a hill that overlooks Stirling
Stirling Castle Scotland
Stirling Castle Scotland as Edinburgh Castle Scotland stands on a Volcanic Rock that overlooks the city. This castle was where the Stuarts preferred to live. James II was here from childhood and was the place of a horrific murder in 1452 when James II stabbed the eighth Earl of Douglas to death for plotting against him. Mary Queen of Scots spent her first years as a child in the castle before going to France. Her coronation also was performed Stirling Castle’s Chapel Royal in 1543.
For all the attractions and history of Stirling Castle go to
Argyll’s Lodging Stirling
Argyll’s Lodging named by the owner Archibald Campbell 9th Earl of Argyll. Built circa 1630 with further extensions circa 1670 is regarded as the most important town house of its period in Scotland that has survived. It is possible a house was on this site in the 16th century and replaced by the present building. n 1666 the site was purchased by Archibald, 9th Earl of Argyll. It was sold by the John Campbell 4th Duke of Argyll in 1764, and is now owned by the Crown. Duke of Argyll also holds the hereditary titles of chief of Clan Campbell and Master of the Household of Scotland.
Mar’s Wark Stirling
Mar’s Wark was an impressive mansion house built by the Regent of Scotland the Earl of Mar in 1571. The Earl died the next year and the building was never completed. The House has been a ruin since 1777 with no roof.
Holy Rude Stirling
The church of Holy Rude was built in 1129 and is the second oldest building in Stirling. Founded by David I as was Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh. The meaning of “Holy Rude” is Holy Cross. In 1405 the great fire of Stirling engulf the church and most of Stirling. A new church was built in 1414 and in 1567 James IV was crowned here, and this church along with Westminster Abbey are the only two in the United Kingdom that coronations have been held,
that are still in use as Churches today.
Robert Burns Statue Stirling
The statue of Robert Burns stands on the Dumbarton Road with Rob Roy MacGregor standing behind and the cold city wall towering over them both. It was gifted to Stirling by the Provost David Bayne. Erected in 1914 at the time the foundation stone of the Municipal building was laid. A bronze figure of Robert Burns on a granite plinth. There are also bronze plaques with three illustrations of Burns work ‘The Vision’, ‘Cottar’s Saturday Night’ and ‘Tam O’Shanter’ with Robert Burns at the plough. Robert Burns first visited Stirling in August 1787.
This was one of the largest houses in Stirling. Owned by the Cowane family Burgess of Stirling.
John Cowane was born in St Mary’s Wynd Stirling in 1570 to a highly respected Burgess and merchant of Stirling.
Supplier to the Royal Household. John work for his father until his father’s death in 1617 when he took over the business which stood in Broad Street the main area of Stirling at the time. The son John Cowane was the most powerful individual in Stirling a money lender, landlord, and held the most powerful position on the council (Chairman Dean of Guild). He was the man that also gave his wealth back to the people in the form of Cowane’s Trust.
The Hospital he built has a statue of him which is known locally as ‘Old Staney breeks’. He had a son out of wedlock who relied on his father for everything. He died in 1633 leaving everything in a trust.
(Guild Hall) Stirling
On the Death of John Cowane in his will he left sums of money to many charities and to Holy Rude his church. His larges bequest was of 40.000 to build a hospital (Almshouse). The Hospital was built circa 1640 later a statue was added and is said to come alive at Hogmanay (to much drink me think). The statue was removed for renovations and is due back before Hogmanay 2019. Stirling’s Merchant Guild was occupants of the hospital from 1724. The Hospital was used as a Guild Hall It was used for its purpose (hospital) in 1832 during the cholera epidemic which killed around one-third of Stirling’s population. The Hospital as a historic monument is being renovated. (April 2019).
Bruce of Auchenbowie’s House Stirling
Bruce of Auchenbowie House in St. John Street, was built in by Robert Bruce of Auchenbowie as a town house. He was Provost of the burgh in 1555-56. In 1555 he built the Lairds House now Auchenbowie House at Auchenbowie, Stirling
Lord Darnley’s House Stirling
What is called Darnley’s House was the townhouse of Alexander Erskine’s of Gogar who was the keeper of the Keys to Stirling Castle. Alexander was removed from his post in 1578. Previous to Erskine building a house here circa 1590 was a tavern which Darnley was known to frequent. It is more likely that Darnley had resided here as a guest. Lord Darnley born 1545 died Edinburgh 1567. Was the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots and the father of the future James VI of Scotland and 1st of England.
Boys Club Stirling
The building was restyled in 1929 for use by the Boys Clubs of Stirling. This was originally where the Flesh Market stood 1740 N.L.S Map Castle and town of Stirling. The Market was still present in 1860 map of Stirling.
Municipal Building Stirling
Provost David Bayne had the Municipal Building in Stirling built in 1914. The foundation stone was laid on 11th July 1914 by King George V. The building was officially opened in 1918 in March of the same year. Inside is a stain glass window of Alexander II presenting the town’s charter in 1226.
William Wallace was the peoples champion and became the guardian of Scotland in 1298. King Edward met William Wallace at Falkirk three months later and defeated him but Wallace escaped and went into hiding, where he remained till caught at Robroyston by Sir John Monteith in August 1305. Monteith a Scotsman handed him over to Edward I. William Wallace was tried for treason, which Wallace denied. He said “I have never sworn allegiance to the English king”. This did nothing for his innocence and he was executed on 23 August, where he was hung, drawn and quartered. His head was placed on London Bridge, and his limbs displayed in Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling and Perth.
The Black Boy Fountain
Public executions in Stirling were usually handled by the hangman or staff man as he was known.
Previously in the 17th-century executions took place at the mailing gallows where the black boy fountain now stands.
The Black Boy Fountain is in Alan Park and was erected as a memorial to those from Stirling who died in the Black Plague. The plague circa 1370 killed almost half of the people who lived in Stirling. The fountain was erected 1849.
It was also the place that was known as the 'Gallous Mailing'. Where many executions took place.
Scotland's National Monument
National Wallace Monument was built between 1861 and 1869. The Wallace Monument is a 67 metre tower with three exhibitions within the Monument. The first floor is The Hall of Arms, second floor is the Hall of Heroes the third floor is The Royal Chamber and then there is a balcony around The Crown at the top of the building with amazing views. There is a spiral staircase with 246 steps that takes you to each exhibit and to the top.
Cambuskenneth Abbey Stirling
The Abbey at Cambuskenneth has only the bell tower that still remains standing but is well worth a visit. It is situated between Stirling Castle and the Wallace monument. Cambuskenneth Abbey was founded in 1140 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Abbey was originally named the Abbey of St Mary of Stirling or Stirling Abbey. The abbey was similar to Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh as it was close to the Castle and a road joined the abbey to the Castle.
King James III and Princess Margaret of Denmark’s Tomb.
The Graveyard is of high importance as Margaret of Denmark wife of King James III was buried here in 1486.
When James III was killed at the Battle of Sauchieburn his body was brought to the Abbey to be buried beside his wife.
The tomb can be seen beside the Cambuskenneth Abbey graveyard.
Stirling Clock Tower
Provost David Bayne was a grocer and a member of the Stirling Town Council for 21 years. I his time he donated the clock that stands on the roundabout in 1910, when most people had no watches. This was an important part of people in Stirling’s lives. He also had the municipal building built and donated the statue of Robert Burns to the city.
The White House Stirling
The White House Clan & Craft Gift Shop near the entrance to Stirling Castle. The building was originally built circa 1715 for the workers building fortifications for the castle against invaders. It is uncertain of its uses in history but has stood here for circa 300 years.
Stirling Arms Plaque Stirling
Lettering on the plaque reads; ‘Sterlini’ (Stirling) ‘Oppidum’ (main settlement or Town) with what could be the Wolf on top as the Library and Albert Halls both have shields with the same inscription and wolf.
The Stirling Smith
Art Gallery and Museum
The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum was founded in 1874. A bequest left by Thomas S Smith who died in 1869.
The original name was 'The Smith Institute for the people of Stirling, Dunblane and Kinbuick'.
Today it is a cultural centre of Stirling with a museum Art Gallery and library which is a memorial to the life and work of Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham. The museum covers Stirling from prehistoric times to the present.
With artifacts from through the centuries.
The Bastion and Thieves’ Pot
The Old city wall has two Bastions that remain standing, one of which is below ground. The Port Street bastion, now stands enclosed within the modern 'Thistles' shopping centre. Standing 9 foot in height 7m. The Bastion is a defensive tower and bottle Dungeon (The Thieves' Pot), originally guarding Stirling’s Town Wall. The internal chamber is where you will be told of the past the history of the tower and the gorrie tails of the jail and its inmates.