Top of the hill Stirling old town
Due to the strategic position of Stirling on the river Forth, particularly in the days of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce (as in 'Braveheart') during the Wars of Independence, Stirling castle has always been of great importance to the Scottish nation. It has also been a favourite residence of many of the Stuart monarchs.
The first evidence of wooden fortification here dates to the 11th century, but much of the Castle seen today is magnificent renaissance architecture, with strong French influence. The castle offers various historical displays, 16th century kitchens, guided tours and the superb Regimental Museum of the Argrll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Open: All year. Parking available. MAP
Castle Wynd, Stirling Old Town
This elaborately decorated ruin at the head of the Old Town is in fact the surviving shell of a town house, commissioned around 1569 by the Earl of Mar, Keeper of Stirling Castle and one time Regent of Scotland during the minority of James VI. Following the Jacobite rebellion, in which a later Earl of Mar chose the losing side, the house was converted into barracks. It was further damaged by cannon fire during the 1745-6 rising.
Old Town Jail
St John St, Old Town.
This is the Victorian jail built to replace the 'Tollbooth Prison'. The old Stirling jail can be toured and the effigies of 'inmates' may be seen languishing. Solitary confinement and hard labout was the order of the day and of course the authorities sought to improve the 'moral' attitude of prisoners by enforcing religous attitudes. A viewing platform atop the building affords good views over the town.
Open: All year. Parking available. MAP
The Beheading Stone
This gruesome reminder of capital punishment is thought to have seen the end of many a famous figure in Scotland's harsher days. James I took his revenge for the misuse of power by the Duke of Albany when in 1425, the Duke, two of his sons and his father in law the Earl of Lennox were executed here.
Built about 1630 by the first Earl of Stirling this is an inportant example of a renaissance mansion. It has been restored and decorated as it would have been in its heyday. MAP
Stirling old bridge
This handsome late 15th century bridge was for almost four centuries the lowest bridging point over the River Forth, until Stirling New Bridge opened in 1831. The Old Bridge seen today succeeded earlier structures nearby, including the wooden construction which was at the centre of Sir William Wallaces brilliant victory over the English at the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297
Srirling Ladies Rock
In the castle cemetery, the Ladies Rock was so named as it was the favourite spot from which the ladies could watch the royal tournaments below. The pyramid nearby commemorates those martyred in the battle for religous freedom
Access from castle esplanade.
This was an Augustinian settlement, founded by King David I in 1147, within a meander
of the River Forth near Stirling. The Abbey was closely involved with
the Battle of Bannockburn (1314); Bruces Parliament here in 1326 was the first to
include representatives of Scotlands burghs and James III and his Queen are buried
in the grounds. Much of the building was carried away after the Reformation, but the Bell
Tower or Campanile (originally 1300) survives in restored condition.
Stirling Shopping Galore
On a wet day you could spend a morning (and a few pence) in the twin shopping mall of the Thistle and Marches.
Stores include: M&S, BHS, Littlewoods, Pri-Mark, Dixons, Debenham's,
Waterfords, and a huge selection of the modern fashion stores and the inevitable shoe
shops. Plenty eating places and seats in the mall when the feet get sore!
Map of Stirling Centre. Click the Red text for information.
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