10 June 2013
Immerse yourself in the history of one of Scotland’s most fascinating and historic cities with our guide to ten top historic attractions in Stirling. ...
Immerse yourself in the history of one of Scotland’s most fascinating and historic cities with our guide to ten top historic attractions in Stirling.
1 Stirling Castle
One of Scotland’s largest and finest castles, Stirling Castle stands high above some of the most historic battlefields in the country’s history, including Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn.
The recently refurbished palace shows visitors what life was like in the royal court of the Stewarts, with James IV’s Great Hall and James V’s palace.
Stirling Castle, Castle Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EJ; tel: 01786 450000.
At the Battle of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce gained victory over the forces of England’s King Edward II in 1314. The visitor centre tells the story of the battle using state of the art technology.
Bannockburn Visitor Centre, Glasgow Road, Stirling FK7 0LJ; tel: 0844 493 2139.
3 National Wallace Monument
A Victorian tower on the summit of Abbey Craig which commemorates Sir William Wallace. Exhibits and displays tell Wallace’s story and visitors can also climb the tower for panoramic views over the city. Special living history events are held throughout the year.
National Wallace Monument, Abbey Craig, Hillfoots Road, Causewayhead, Stirling FK9 5LF; tel: 01786 472140.
4 Argyll’s Lodging
Scotland’s most complete example of a seventeenth-century town house. Highlights are the High Dining Room with rare painted decoration and the Drawing Room with recreated tapestries. The house was purposely sited on the approach to Stirling Castle, to allow its owners easy access to the royal court.
Argyll’s Lodging, Stirling Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EG; tel: 01786 431319.
5 Church of the Holy Rude
The church is the second oldest building in Stirling (after the castle) and was founded in 1129 under King David I. The church has had close connections to the Scottish monarchy over the centuries – King James VI was crowned here and tradition says that King James IV may have helped stonemasons with the rebuilding of the church.
Church of the Holy Rude, St John Street, Stirling FK8 1ED; tel: 01786 475275.
6 Old Stirling town
Wander around the historic streets of Stirling to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy Scottish architecture at its most memorable and traditional – with crow-stepped gables, turrets and old paned windows – purple plaques draw attention to buildings of interest including Mar’s Wark, Old Town Jail, the Tolbooth and Darnley’s House.
7 Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum
See the world’s oldest football, the world’s oldest curling stone and curiosities including Wallace memorabilia and drawings from the walls of the Castlerankie Prisoner of War Camp.
Stirling Smith Museum, Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK8 2RQ; tel: 01786 471917.
8 Mar’s Wark
A ruined renaissance mansion built in 1570-1572 for John Erskine, Earl of Mar, regent of Scotland. The building was never completed and today, visitors can explore the façade of the structure.
Mar’s Wark, Stirling FK8.
9 John Cowane’s Hospital
A 17th-century almshouse built by its namesake founder John Cowane and constituted in 1637. The hospital was created to house ‘decayed guild brethern’ and by 1869, had 142 pensioners on its books. Visitors today can visit the coffee shop and see the work of the artist in residence.
John Cowane’s Hospital, St Johns Street, Stirling FK8 1ED; tel: 01786 472247.
10 Old Stirling Bridge
Old Stirling Bridge lies downstream from an older bridge where in 1297, the troops of William Wallace defeated English troops as they prepared to cross. The current bridge was built in the mid sixteenth century and took its own place in history when both Highland and government troops tried to cross in the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. Nearby New Stirling Bridge was built by Robert Stevenson in the nineteenth century.
Old Stirling Bridge, Stirling.
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