Stirling: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 56°07′02″N 3°56′23″W / 56.117222°N 3.939722°W / 56.117222; -3.939722

Scottish Gaelic: Sruighlea
Scots: Stirlin
Stirling City Centre
Stirling is located in Scotland

 Stirling shown within Scotland
Population 41,243 (2001)
OS grid reference NS795935
Parish Stirling
Council area Stirling
Lieutenancy area Stirling and Falkirk
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STIRLING
Postcode district FK7-FK9
Dialling code 01786
Police Central Scotland
Fire Central Scotland
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Stirling
Scottish Parliament Stirling
Mid Scotland and Fife
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Stirling (Gaelic: Sruighlea, Scots: Stirlin) is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area. The city is clustered around a large fortress and mediæval old-town beside the River Forth. Historically it was strategically important as the "Gateway to the Highlands", with its position near the boundary between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands, and its crossing of the Forth, the nearest to the river mouth.

It is a centre for local government, higher education, retail, and light industry. Its population (as of the 2001 census) was 41,243, making it the smallest city in Scotland: indeed it is smaller than many of Scotland's larger towns. The civil parish of Stirling is even smaller, with a population of 15,844.[1]

One of the principal royal strongholds of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was created a Royal burgh by King David I in 1130, which it remained until 1975, when the county of Stirlingshire was absorbed into Central Region. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.



Stirling Castle (southwest aspect)

Originally a Stone Age settlement as shown by the Randolphfield standing stones[2] and Kings Park prehistoric carvings[3] that can still be found south of the town, Stirling has been strategically significant since at least the Roman occupation of Britain, due to its naturally defensible crag and tail hill (latterly the site of Stirling Castle), and its commanding position at the foot of the Ochil Hills on the border between the Lowlands and Highlands, at the lowest crossing point of the River Forth. It remained the river's lowest crossing until the construction of the Kincardine Bridge further downstream in the 1930s. It is supposed that Stirling is the fortress of Iuddeu or Urbs Giudi where Oswiu of Northumbria was besieged by Penda of Mercia in 655, as recorded in Bede and contemporary annals.

A ford, and later bridge, of the River Forth at Stirling brought wealth and strategic influence, as did its port. The town was chartered as a royal burgh by King David in the 12th century, with charters later reaffirmed by later monarchs (the town then referred to as Strivelyn). Major battles during the Wars of Scottish Independence took place at the Stirling Bridge in 1297 and at the nearby village of Bannockburn in 1314 involving Scottish freedom fighters William Wallace and Robert the Bruce respectively. There were also several Sieges of Stirling Castle in the conflict.

The origin of the name Stirling is uncertain, but folk etymology suggests that it originates in either a Scots or Gaelic term meaning the place of battle, struggle or strife. Other sources suggest it originates in a Brythonic name meaning "dwelling place of Melyn".[4] The town has two Latin mottoes, which appeared on the earliest burgh seal of which an impression of 1296 is on record:[5]

Hic Armis Bruti Scoti Stant Hic Cruce Tuti (The Britons stand by force of arms, The Scots are by this cross preserved from harms) and
Continet Hoc in Se Nemus et Castrum Strivilinse (The Castle and Wood of Stirling town are in the compass of this seal set down.)

Standing near the castle, the Church of the Holy Rude is one of the town's most historically important buildings. It was rebuilt in the 1400s after Stirling suffered a catastrophic fire in 1405, and is the only surviving church in the United Kingdom apart from Westminster Abbey, to have held a coronation. On the 29 July 1567 the infant son of Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned James VI of Scotland here. Musket shot marks from Cromwell's troops during the War of the Three Kingdoms are clearly visible on the tower and apse. Another important historical religious site in the area is Cambuskenneth Abbey.

During the War of the Three Kingdoms, the Battle of Stirling also took place in the centre of Stirling on 12 September 1648.

The fortifications continued to play a strategic military role during the 18th century Jacobite Risings. In 1715, the Earl of Mar failed to take control of the castle. In January 1746, the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie seized control of the town but failed to take the Castle. On their consequent retreat northwards, they blew up the church of St. Ninians where they had been storing munitions; only the tower survived and can be seen to this day.

Economically, the city's port supported overseas trade, including tea trade with India and timber trade with the Baltic. The coming of the railways in 1848 started the decline of the river trade, not least because a railway bridge downstream restricted access for shipping. By the mid 20th century the port had ceased to operate.

Famous residents have included Mary, Queen of Scots, King James VI of Scotland, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, documentary film pioneer John Grierson, film music composer Muir Mathieson, animation pioneer Norman McLaren, TV presenter Kirsty Young and footballers Billy Bremner (captain of Leeds United and Scotland) and Frank Beattie (captain of Kilmarnock).

The Barnwell brothers, Frank and Harold, worked at Grampian Motors in Causewayhead, and in 1909 they designed and flew the first powered flight in Scotland. Frank Barnwell went on to design aircraft including the Bristol Blenheim. A small monument to the brothers' pioneering achievement has been erected at Causewayhead roundabout.

Stirling is also famous for its many hauntings, like the Green Lady of the Castle, seen by many a Soldier and "The Settle Inn" near the Castle which is one of the most haunted places in Scotland. Other haunted pubs include "The Golden Lion" and "The Albion Bar" - named after the local football team Stirling Albion.


In terms of local government, the city of Stirling is a part of the wider Stirling Council area, which governs on matters of local administration as set out by the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994. Elections to the council take place every four years. The Council is currently controlled by the Scottish National Party.[6] The Provost of Stirling is Fergus Wood.[7]

In terms of national government, there is a Stirling constituency of the Scottish Parliament with the MSP being Bruce Crawford of the Scottish National Party and a Stirling constituency of the House of Commons represented by Anne McGuire of the Labour Party. As Scotland comprises a single European Parliament Constituency, Stirling participates in electing seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation every four years.


A map of Stirling from 1945

Stirling is renowned as the Gateway to the Highlands and is generally regarded as occupying a strategic position at the point where the flatter, largely undulating Scottish Lowlands meet the rugged slopes of the Highlands along the Highland Boundary Fault. The starkness of this contrast is evidenced by the many hills and mountains of the lower Highlands such as Ben Vorlich and Ben Ledi which can be seen to the northwest of the city. On the other hand, the Carse of Stirling, stretching to the west and east of the city, is one of the flattest and most agriculturally productive expanses of land in the whole of Scotland.

The land surrounding Stirling has been most affected by glacial erosion and deposition. The city itself has grown up around its castle which stands atop an ancient quartz-dolerite sill, a major defensive position which was at the lowest crossing point on the River Forth. Stirling stands on the Forth at the point where the river widens and becomes tidal. To the east of the city the Ochil Hills dominate the skyline with the highest peaks in the range being Dumyat and Ben Cleuch. The Ochils meet the flat carse (floodplain) of the River Forth to the east of the distinctive geographical feature of Abbey Craig, a crag and tail hill upon which stands the 220ft (67m) high Wallace National Monument.[8]

The climate of Stirling differs little from that of much of the rest of central Scotland. The warm Gulf Stream air current from the Atlantic Ocean is the predominant influence, with a prevailing southwesterly wind. It does, however, receive significantly less snow in Winter than many of its very close neighbours such as Denny and Dunblane.

Areas of Stirling

Top of the Town

Top of the Town and consists of Broad Street, Castle Wynd, Ballengeich Pass, Lower Castle Hill Road, and St Mary's Walk. These streets all lead up to Stirling Castle and are the favourite haunt of tourists who stop off at the Old Town Jail, Argyll's Lodgings and the castle. Ballengeich Pass leads to the graveyard at Ballengeich and the Castle Wynd winds past the old graveyard. The Top of the Town from Broad Street upwards is renowned for its unique cobblestoned roads, and cars can be heard rattling over the cobblestones on the way down. Craft shops and tourist focused shops are evident on the way up and once at the top one is treated to a panoramic view of Stirling, without having to pay to get into the castle.

Broad Street at the heart of Stirling's Old Town area (called Top of the Town by locals)
Other areas


The city of Stirling had a population of 41,243 at the 2001 census, which has risen to 44,460 according to mid-2004 population estimates.[9] The wider Stirling Council area had a population of 86,370 in 2004. The city is reputed to be the third fastest growing area of Scotland in terms of population.[10] According to the 2001 census, 52.7% of the population was female compared to 47.2% male. Stirling had both a smaller proportion of under 16s, at 16.7% compared to the Scottish average of 19.2%, and a smaller proportion of those of pensionable age - 17.8% - compared to the Scottish average of 18.6%.[11] The highest proportion of the population, at 24.3%, was concentrated in the 16-29 age group. Stirling also had a higher proportion of non-Scottish born residents at 16.5%, compared to the Scottish average of 12.8%. The population was also slightly younger than the Scottish average of 37 - the median age for males was 34; and the median age for females was 36, to the national average of 39. The population peaks and troughs significantly when the students come and go from the city.


The main courtyard inside Stirling Castle. It is said that the ghost of a soldier has been seen walking out from under the stairs (centre bottom.)

At the centre of a large rural agricultural hinterland that encompasses some of the flattest and most productive land in Scotland, Stirling principally functioned as a market town, symbolised by its Mercat cross, with farmers coming to sell their products and wares in the large agricultural market that was held in the town. Today, agriculture still plays a part in the economic life of Stirling, given its focus at the heart of a large rural area, but to a much lesser extent than previously.

With Stirling's development as a market town and its location as the focus of transport and communications in the region, it has developed a substantial retail sector serving a wide range of surrounding communities as well as the city itself. Primarily centred on the city centre, there are a large number of chain stores, as well as the Thistles shopping centre. However this has been augmented by out-of-town developments such as the Springkerse Retail Park on the city bypass to the east of Stirling, and the development of a large Sainsbury's at the Raploch.

A major new regeneration project on the site of the former port area and the 40-acre former Ministry of Defence site, adjacent to Stirling Railway Station, is currently underway.[12] Known as Forthside, it has the aim of developing a new waterfront district linked to the railway station via a new pedestrian bridge. The development comprises retail, residential and commercial elements, including a conference centre, hotel and Vue multiplex cinema, that will ultimately expand the city centre area, linking it to the River Forth, which has been cut off from the city centre area since the construction of the A9 bypass under the railway station in the 1960s.[13] For the first time in 100 years, local people will have access to the banks of the River Forth in the city centre with landscaped public areas, footpaths, cycleways and an improved public transport network.

In terms of the service sector, financial services as well as tourism are the biggest employers. The financial services and insurance company Prudential have a large and well-established base at Craigforth on the outskirts of Stirling. In terms of tourism, the presence of such historical monuments as Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument and other nearby attractions like Blair Drummond Safari Park, the key role which Stirling has played in Scottish history, as well as the scenery of the area, has bolstered Stirling's position as an important tourist destination in Scotland.

The University of Stirling and Stirling Council are two of the biggest employers in the area. Knowledge related industries, research and development as well as life sciences have clustered around the university in the Stirling University Innovation Park, close to its main campus. Other public sector agencies that are major employers in the city include Central Scotland Police, Scottish Prison Service, NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Stirling is home to national construction companies Ogilvie Group, chaired by Duncan Ogilvie, who is listed in the Times Rich List as being worth £35 million.

A Bank of Scotland survey in 2009 found that workers in Stirling had the highest average earnings of £716 a week[14].



Public transport to districts within the city and to the surrounding towns, like Bridge of Allan and Alloa, is almost completely provided by buses operated principally by the First Group, although there are also railway links to Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, and, since 2008, Alloa. At the heart of Scotland's Central Belt, Stirling has direct road connections to the major cities of Glasgow, via the M80 motorway, and Edinburgh, via the M9 motorway, as well as inter-city rail links from Stirling Railway Station. Transport infrastructure in the area will be further improved with the completion of the Upper Forth Crossing and the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine rail link, as well as a planned upgrade of the A80 Trunk road to Motorway standards. The City of Stirling is home to a large number of commuters, with 12,000 residents commuting to work in other areas, with 13,800 workers also travelling in to the city.[15]

Sports and recreation


The headquarters of the Scottish Institute of Sport in Stirling.

ClubSport Stirling is the area's voice for sports clubs and is managed by volunteers from its affiliated sports clubs.[16] It was one of the first in Scotland to set up a Charter status which is only granted after certain criteria has been fulfilled. This Charter Status promotes good practice including structure, aims and a safe environment to coach in. Charter Status is awarded at ClubSport Stirling's annual awards ceremony which is held during November in the Albert Halls.

Local sporting teams include the football team Stirling Albion F.C. who play at Forthbank Stadium. Fans of the Club are attempting a buy out on behalf of the community.[17]

Other sports include the rugby union team Stirling County and the athletics team Central Athletic Club based at University of Stirling. Stirling Wanderers Hockey Club have also moved to a brand new (international standard) pitch at Forthbank for season 2008/09.[18] Next to this pitch there is also the ground of Stirling County Cricket Club, whose pavilion captured an architectural award in June 2009,[19] three years after its opening.

Footballers Billy Bremner and Duncan Ferguson were born in Stirling, as were rugby internationals Kenny Logan, Allister Hogg and Alison McGrandles, jockey Willie Carson, and cricketer Dougie Brown.

Stirling is also a major centre of sports training and education in Scotland. The Scottish Institute of Sport is headquartered in a purpose built facility on the campus of Stirling University which opened in 2002. Also at the university in the state of the art Scottish National Swimming Academy as well as the Gannochy National Tennis centre which is seen as a tennis centre of excellence.[20]

Furthermore, the university itself has its own dedicated Sports Studies department and was ranked amongst the best in the United Kingdom for its provision of sports facilities, with the maximum 5 star award, shared by 16 other universities in the UK.[21] Stirling University also currently hosts the Scottish men's lacrosse champions.

Stirling and its surrounding area has a number of 9 and 18 hole golf courses, the largest of which is the Stirling Golf Course, located in the Kings Park area of the city.

The Peak, a new Sports Village, was opened in April 2009 to cater for a range of Sporting activities.[22]


Looking out over Airthrey Loch on the main campus of The University of Stirling

The University of Stirling opened in 1967 on a greenfield site outside the town. Currently there are 9000 students studying at the university, of which 7000 are undergraduates and 2000 are postgraduates. Students of over 80 nationalities are represented at the university, with 14% of students coming from overseas.[23] It has grown into a major research centre, with a large science park - Innovation Park, located immediately adjacent to the main university campus. Innovation Park has grown since its initiation in 1993, and is now home to 40 companies engaging in various forms of research and development.[24] In January 2008 it was announced that students from Singapore would be able to gain degrees in retail from the University of Stirling in a tie-up with the country's Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).[25]

Stirling is also home to part of the wider Forth Valley College which was formed on 1 August 2005 from the merger of Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannan colleges.

There are four main high schools in Stirling itself - Stirling High School, with a school roll of 940 pupils, Wallace High School with 950 pupils, St Modan's High School, and Bannockburn High School in Broomridge. All the city's secondary school premises have been redeveloped as a result of a Public-private partnership scheme.

Twinned cities

See also


  1. ^ General Register Office for Scotland : Census 2001 : Usual Resident Population : Stirling Civil Parish Retrieved 14 March 2010
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ RM Urquhart, Scottish Burgh and County Heraldry, London, 1973
  6. ^ "SNP take control of Stirling Council". Stirling Council. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  7. ^ "Council votes to remove provost". BBC News. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  8. ^ Gazetteer for Scotland Abbey Craig
  9. ^ Settlement Population Estimates 2004General Register Office for Scotland, 2004
  10. ^ Stirling Council City Profile Stirling Profile
  11. ^ "Browser Population". Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  12. ^ Stirling Council: Council » Latest News
  13. ^ InStirling report on Forthside project
  14. ^ Aberdeenshire tops health and wealth living survey
  15. ^ Stirling Council, Property and the economy Keeping an eye on your business
  16. ^ "ClubSport Stirling sports development promotion Scotland UK". Stirling Sports Council. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  17. ^ BBC Web site report
  18. ^ "Stirling Wanderers Hockey club: The website for field hockey in Stirlingshire". Stirling Wanderers. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  19. ^ "Judges bowled over by club". Stirling Observer. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  20. ^ "sportscotland serves communities with Lottery funding". sportscotland. 2004-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  21. ^ Stirling University External Visitor Information
  22. ^ Sports Village
  23. ^ Visitor Information - Useful facts and figures Stirling University Facts and Figures
  24. ^ Stirling University Innovation Park About us
  25. ^ "Stirling in degree deal with Singapore polytechnic". The Scotsman. 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 

Mair, Craig (1990). Stirling: The Royal Burgh. John Donald Publishers. ISBN 0-85976-420-6. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle

Stirling [1] is one of Scotland's most historic cities and the county town of Stirlingshire. In 2002, Stirling became Scotland's sixth city.

Overview of Stirling
Overview of Stirling

Also known as "The Gateway To The Highlands", Stirling used to be the only connection to the Highlands and has therefore a significant position in history. Major battles for Scottish independence took place in and around Stirling. Stirling Castle is one of the great royal residences of Scottish history.

  • The nearest major airport to Stirling is at Edinburgh, [2], - 29 miles/47km.
  • From Edinburgh you can get to Stirling either by bus, which runs every hour and is very slow or by train. Trains are every 30 minutes (every hour after 2000 and on Sundays) from Waverley or Haymarket. The Citylink bus costs £4 and takes about an hour, departing from the bus station at St Andrew Square.
  • From Glasgow buses also run hourly and take about 45 minutes. Trains depart at least 3 times per hour, expresses take 27 minutes (See the First ScotRail website for timetable information).
  • Easily reachable by car from both Glasgow(M80/A80/M9) and Edinburgh (using the M9).

Get around

There are several buses leaving to towns close by, but for Dunblane the train is a better bet. In summer there is a sightseeing bus which is a cheap way to get to the sights, as you can "hop on and off" at any time.

Wallace Monument
Wallace Monument
  • Stirling Castle [3], at the head of Stirling's Old Town, open daily (closed Christmas and Boxing Days), 25 March-30 September 9.30AM-6PM, 1 October - 31 March 9.30AM-5PM, last admission 45 mins before closing, admission adults £8, child £3, concession £6, entrance and parking free for Friends of Historic Scotland - one of the best preserved castles in Scotland, it features the Great Hall, the Palace and the Royal Chapel. In summertime, the castle is crowded with tourists and therefore lacks the medieval flair. Parking is available in front of the castle.
  • Wallace Monument, Abbey Craig (1 mile North East of Stirling in Bridge of Allan), tel 01786 472140 - rising on a hill above Stirling, this monument honors William Wallace who led the Scottish to victory over the English. Inside you can find various displays about the Battle of Stirling Bridge and about important Scottish persons. You have a great view over Stirling and its surroundings from the top. Opened all year until at least 4PM. £6.00/2.75/3.00 (Adult/Child, Senior/Student), Friends of Historic Scotland qualify for a 10% discount.
  • Cambuskenneth Abbey [4] - ruin of an abbey with only the bell tower remaining. You can see the grave of Margaret of Denmark and James III on this site. The site can be entered at all times.
  • Stirling Old Bridge [5] - the site of one of the major battles where Scotland (under the lead of William Wallace) defeated the English in the struggle for Scottish independence. Although this is not the original bridge, which was made of wood, it gives a good impression of where the battle may have been.
  • Church of the Holy Rude, at the head of St John Street. Beautiful church with impressive stained glass. No admission fee, but donations welcome.
  • Bannockburn [6], Glasgow Road, Stirling, 01786 812664 - the battlefield is the site of another major victory for the Scots over the English in 1314. The Bannockburn Heritage Centre gives you detailed information about the battle on well designed displays. A path leads to a statue of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, who led the Scottish forces. From the statue you have a great overview of the landscape
  • Argyll's Lodging [7], Castle Wynd (on the right as you approach the castle) - the well preserved 17th century town house, erected by the 1st Earl of Stirling, is a fine example of renaissance architecture. Admission fee included in the Stirling Castle ticket.
  • Stirling Old Town Jail [8], St John Street (next to Stirling Youth Hostel and opposite of the Tolbooth). Open all year, Apr-Sep 9.30AM - 6PM, Oct & Mar 9.30AM - 5PM, Nov - Feb 10.30AM - 4.30PM. £5.95/3.80/4.50 (Adult/ Child/Student) - This building used to be the jail during Victorian times. A guide will show you through the building taking on different roles.
  • Smith Art Gallery and Museum [9] Dumbarton Road, Stirling, FK8 2RQ Tuesday-Saturday 10.30AM - 5PM, Sunday 2 - 5PM Admission Free. Small art gallery, local museum and popular cafe - Stirling Store Exhibition gives a good intro to the history of the area and local industry, would fill a couple of hours on a wet day.
  • Hillwalking -- behind the university (near Bridge of Allan) is a path up to a hill called Dumyat with a summit cross.
  • Maize Maze Scotland's finest maize maze is at Briarlands Farm [10], on the A84 4 miles west of Stirling, right next to the Safari Park [11].
  • Safari Park [12] Scotland's only genuine African Safari Park can be found just a couple of miles to the west of Stirling on the A84 at Blairdrummond [13]Blair Drummond, FK9 4UR (Tel: 01786 841 456) next to the Maize Maze. You are able to go on safari through the game reserve, on the boat to chimp island, and stop off at the sea lion show or even have a free bar-b-que (you supply the food) next to the enormous children's play area. The park is open daily 10:00AM - 5:30PM. Last admission 4:30. The park is closed in winter, reopening in March.
Siberian Tiger at Blair Drummond Safari Park
Siberian Tiger at Blair Drummond Safari Park
Closest B&B to the park offering mid-week specials for customers of the Safari Park is Hillview Cottage B&B [14]

Stirling - The Home of World Football. The oldest known football was discovered at Stirling Castle. [15]

  • Europa Music [16], Address"10 Friars Street, Stirling, FK8 1HA, Tel.01786 448623" "OPEN 7 DAYS 9.30PM-5.30PM mon - sat, 12PM-5.30PM sun" - An excellent Independent music store specialising in everything they can.

Get your music fix here on all main formats: cds, vinyl records 78s/7"/12"/LP, dvds, cassette tapes, videos, books, memorabelia, accessories, Magic The Gathering and sheet-music.

They have Scottish music being broadcast outside for tourists and more or less whatever you want them to inside! The staff are as helpful as possible and have a fair bit of knowledge of most genres between them all.

  • Jimmy Chung's Menu and prices [17], 14 Friars Street, tel 01786 469911, - a Chinese restaurant which offers buffets at variable prices (e.g. all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet) 7 days a week.
  • Hot & Spicy, Baker Street - tasty food to go.
  • Willawan, Baker Street - a new Thai restaurant.
  • Longhorns, Friars St - American style restaurant known for its steak.
  • Lee's, Bridge of Allan - an inexpensive Chinese takeaway, but surprisingly good.
  • Port Street Grocer's, Port Street - superb gourmet sandwich lunch menu and amazing cakes.
  • Greggs various locations, including opposite of Post Office and one if you follow the pedestrian area to the west. They sell great valued sandwiches and bakery.
  • Mary's Kitchen Fresh Strawberry Tarts at Briarlands Farm [18] Also home made cakes, soups and wonderful sandwiches. 4 miles out of town in Blairdrummond.
  • Lake of Menteith - Hotel and Restaurant (Lake Hotel), The Lake of Menteith Hotel Port of Menteith Perthshire Scotland FK8 3RA (From either Edinburgh or Glasgow follow the motorway to Stirling. At Stirling come off at junction 10 signposted for Callander and The Trossachs (A84). Take this road for approximately 4 miles and take a left fork to Aberfoyle and Port of Menteith etc (A873). Once on this road follow it through Thornhill towards Aberfoyle for approx 9 miles and you will reach The Port of Menteith. Once in the village take your first left onto the B8034 and we are approx 200 yds on the right.), 01877 385258, [19]. When eating in our dining rooms, you will realise that good food is just one of the reasons to remember us. You'’ll find the finest Scottish produce simply prepared to perfectly compliment the breathtaking surroundings.  edit
  • Lake of Menteith - Hotel and Restaurant (Lake Hotel), The Lake of Menteith Hotel Port of Menteith Perthshire Scotland FK8 3RA (From either Edinburgh or Glasgow follow the motorway to Stirling. At Stirling come off at junction 10 signposted for Callander and The Trossachs (A84). Take this road for approximately 4 miles and take a left fork to Aberfoyle and Port of Menteith etc (A873). Once on this road follow it through Thornhill towards Aberfoyle for approx 9 miles and you will reach The Port of Menteith. Once in the village take your first left onto the B8034 and we are approx 200 yds on the right.), [20]. When eating in our dining rooms, you will realise that good food is just one of the reasons to remember us. You'’ll find the finest Scottish produce simply prepared to perfectly compliment the breathtaking surroundings.  edit


Stirling has three night-clubs - two in the city center and one out near Bridge of Allan - all of which require you to be at least 18 and to have proper ID with you. Usually, the bouncers won't let you in with sneakers, but you can try.

  • Fubar. £8 entry at weekends. 2 floors, upstairs you'll find the 70's dancers BOOGIE EXPRESS on a Saturday night!
  • Dusk, Baker Street, tel 01786 464904 - New card system in place for Fridays and Saturdays, allow free entry before 12 and cheaper drinks. Mondays and Thursdays entry from £3 with drinks from £1.
  • The Meadowpark and The Beat. The Beat is the club near Bridge of Allan, it's near the main entry for the University, and tends to be popular on Tuesday and Wednesday when the town centre clubs are closed.
  • Nicky-Tams, 29 Bakers Street Stirling's Most Haunted Bars - a bar with a friendly atmosphere, mostly visited by students of the university. Monday night is Wii Night upstairs on the big screens,Wednesdays 9PM is jam night, Saturday & Sunday 4PM til 6PM local musicians are featured.Sun night is ever popular Quiz/D j Night,great prizes and bubbly on offer!! Fresh Food is served from 12PM-9PM daily, and all food is sourced locally from Farm Assured Farms for the best tastes.Beer from £2.50a pint.Cocktails from £2.Shots from £1. Student prices Sun, Mon & Thur night. One of Stirling's best bars!
  • The Corn Exchange, Corn Exchange Road - Used to be Pivo, recently taken over. Decent food and good meal deals.
  • Cape, Corn Exchange Road - Formerly Varsity. A bar with a great atmosphere, good selection of cocktails. Free live music on Sunday evenings.
  • Lake of Menteith - Hotel and Restaurant (Lake Hotel), The Lake of Menteith Hotel Port of Menteith Perthshire Scotland FK8 3RA (From either Edinburgh or Glasgow follow the motorway to Stirling. At Stirling come off at junction 10 signposted for Callander and The Trossachs (A84). Take this road for approximately 4 miles and take a left fork to Aberfoyle and Port of Menteith etc (A873). Once on this road follow it through Thornhill towards Aberfoyle for approx 9 miles and you will reach The Port of Menteith. Once in the village take your first left onto the B8034 and we are approx 200 yds on the right.), 01877 385258, [21]. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets are just two of the many reason to enjoy a stay at the Lake of Menteith.  edit
  • Stirling Youth Hostel, St John Street (''turn 2nd left after Highland Hotel''), (), [22]. Built behind the façade of an old church, it offers 2 to 6-bedded rooms, good self-catering kitchen, internet, friendly staff and TV-room. Book ahead during summer. £11.50-13.50/5.00-11.50 (Adult/Child). Open all year.  edit
  • Willy Wallace Backpackers Hostel, 77 Murray Place, (), [23]. Located in the centre of the old town, mixed dorms, lounge. £12.00-15.00.  edit
  • Kilronan Guest House Kilronan House [24] Elegant Victorian House. Spacious ensuite rooms. Rated number one on Trip Advisor. Free Wi-Fi access.
  • Hillview Cottage Hillview Cottage B&B [25] email="" telephone="01786 841679"> Interesting slightly eccentric Stirling Guest House with great woodland and hill views. This is a large comfortable Scottish B&B with en suite bedrooms and a wireless network. Rooms start at £22.00 per person per night and include a full cooked breakfast. Open all year, with Christmas and New Year specials. .
  • Express by Holiday Inn Stirling Express by Holiday Inn Stirling [26] Springkerse Business Park, Stirling, FK7 7XH. From the M9/M80 Junction 9, take the A91 toward Stirling/St Andrews for 6 km. You will find the hotel on the A91 at Springkerse. Phone + 44 (0) 1786 449922. Has 80 air conditioned guest rooms, meeting facilities, a licensed bar, coffee lounge and free parking. We've got everything you need and we'll even throw in complimentary continental breakfast with every room rate!
  • Lake of Menteith Lakeside Hotel. [27] Easily accessible lakeside hotel, in Stirling an hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh, you drive through remarkable Scottish scenery and upon reaching Port of Menteith, the Lake unfolds before you with the hotel nestling lakeside. Ideal for Conferences, Weekends away in Scotland and Meetings.
  • Stirling Central Library, Corn Exchange Road - several computer with free internet access available, though you may need to join a queue. Open Mo-Sa until at least 5PM.
  • Hillview Cottage WiFi Hotspot [28] Possibly one of Scotlands more bizarre hotspots.
  • Tourist Information Centre, 41 Dumbarton Rd, tel 08707-200620,
  • Post Office, Located within WH Smith, opposite Marks & Spencer, Thistle Shopping Centre
  • Bridge of Allan. A town north-west of Stirling which is nice to walk around.
  • Lecropt, country area adjacent to Bridge of Allan with its kirk.
  • Dollar (10 miles east of Stirling on the A91) to visit Castle Campbell and walk through Dollar Glen.
  • Doune Castle [29], Doune (10 miles northwest of Stirling off the A84), 01786 841742. 14th century castle with a great view over the landscape. Take a walk along a river right behind the castle. The castle was used during the filming of Monty Python and the Holy Grail to portray most of the castles in the film.
  • Dunblane Cathedral, Dunblane. An impressive cathedral with an early Pictish stone found on the site.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

STIRLING, a royal, municipal and police burgh, river port and county town of Stirlingshire, Scotland. Pop. (Igor), 18,697. It is finely situated on the right bank of the Forth, 394 m. N.W. of Edinburgh and 291 m. N.E. of Glasgow, being served by the North British and the Caledonian railways. The old town occupies the slopes of a basaltic hill (420 ft. above the sea) terminating on the north and west in a sheer precipice. The modern quarters have been laid out on the level ground at the base, especially towards the south. Originally the town was protected on its vulnerable sides by a wall, of which remains still exist at the south end of the Black Walk. Formerly there were two main entrances - the South Port, loo yds. to the west of the present line of Port Street, and the "auld brig" ‚over the Forth to the north, a quaint high-pitched structure of four arches, now closed to traffic. It dates from the end of the 14th century and was once literally "the key to the Highlands." It still retains the gateway towers at both ends. Just below it is the new bridge erected in 1829 from designs by Robert Stevenson, and below this again the railway viaduct. According to local tradition, a bridge stood at Kildean, i m. up the river, not far from the field of the battle of Stirling Bridge (1297). The castle crowning the eminence is of unknown age, but from the time that Alexander I. died within its walls in -1124 till the union of the crowns in 1603 it was intimately associated with the fortunes of the Scottish monarchs. It is one of the fortresses appointed by the Act of Union to be kept in a state of repair, and is approached from the esplanade, on which stands the colossal statue of Robert Bruce, erected in 1877. The main gateway, built by James III., gives access to the lower and then to the upper square, on the south side of which stands the palace, begun by James V. (1540) and completed by Mary of Guise. The east side of the quadrangle is occupied by the parliament house, a Gothic building of the time of James III., now used as a barrack-room and stores. On the north side of the square is the chapel royal, founded by Alexander I., rebuilt in the 15th century and again in 1594 by James VI. (who was christened in it), and afterwards converted into an armoury and finally a store-room. Beyond the upper square is the small castle garden, partly destroyed by fire in 1856 but restored, in which William, 8th earl of Douglas, was murdered by James II. (1452). Just below the castle on the north-east is the path of Ballangeich, which is said to have given private access to the fortress, and from which James V. took his title of "Guidman of Ballangeich" when he roved incognito. Below it is Gowan Hill, and beyond this the Mote or Heading Hill, on which Murdoch Stuart, 2nd duke of Albany, his two sons, and his fatherin-law the earl of Lennox, were beheaded in 1425. In the plain to the south-west were the King's Gardens, now under grass, with an octagonal turf-covered mound called the King's Knot in the centre. Farther south lies the King's Park, chiefly devoted to golf, cricket, football and curling, and containing also a race-course. On a hill of lower elevation than the castle and separated from the esplanade by a depression styled the Valley - the tilting-ground of former times - a cemetery has been laid out. Among its chief features are the Virgin Martyrs' Memorial, representing in white marble a guardian angel and the figures of Margaret M`Lauchlan and Margaret Wilson, who were drowned by the rising tide in Wigtown Bay for their fidelity to the Covenant (1685);(1685); the large pyramid to the memory of the Covenanters, and the Ladies' Rock, from which ladies viewed the jousts in the Valley. Adjoining the cemetery on the south is Greyfriars, the parish church, also called, since the Reformation (1656), when it was divided into two places of worship, the East and West churches. David I. is believed to have founded (about 1130) an earlier church on their site dedicated to the Holy Rood, or -Cross, which was burned in 1406. The church was rebuilt soon afterwards and possibly some portions of the preceding structure were incorporated in the nave. The choir (the East church) was added in 1494 by James IV., and the apse a few years later by James Beaton, archbishop of St Andrews, or his nephew, Cardinal David Beaton. At the west stands the stately battlemented square tower, 90 ft. high. The nave (the West church), divided from the aisles by a double row of massive round pillars, is a transition between Romanesque and Gothic, with pointed windows. The crow-stepped Gothic gable of the south transept affords the main entrance to both churches. The choir is in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles and is higher than the nave. The parish church is 200 ft. long, 55 ft. broad and 50 ft. high. Within its walls Mary Queen of Scots was crowned in 1543, when nine months old, and in the same year the earl of Arran, regent of Scotland, abjured Protestantism; in 1544 an assembly of nobles appointed Mary of Guise queen-regent; on the 29th of July 1567 James VI. was crowned, John Knox preaching the sermon, and in August 1571 and June 1578 the general assembly of the Church of Scotland met. James Guthrie (1612-1661), the martyr, and Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1794), founder of the Scottish Secession Church, were two of the most distinguished ministers. To the south-west of the church is Cowane's Hospital, founded in 1639 by John Cowane, dean of gild, for twelve poor members of the gildry; but the deposition of the charity has been modified and the hall serves the purpose of a gildhall. Adjoining it is the military prison. Near the principal entrance to the esplanade stands Argyll's Lodging, erected about 1630 by the 1st earl of Stirling. On his death in 1640 it passed to the 1st marquess of Argyll and is now a military hospital. Broad Street contains the ruins of Mar's Work, the palace built by John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of Mar, about 1570, according to tradition, out of the stones of Cambuskenneth Abbey; the old town house, erected in 1701 instead of that in which John Hamilton, the last Roman Catholic archbishop of St Andrews, was hanged for alleged complicity in the murders of Darnley and the regent Moray; the town cross, restored in 1891, and the house which was, as a mural tablet says, the "nursery of James VI. and his son Prince Henry." The important buildings include: the high school; the trades hall, founded by Robert Spittal, James IV.'s tailor, in the Back Walk; the burgh buildings, with a statue of Sir William Wallace over the porch; the National Bank, occupying the site of the Dominican monastery, founded in 1223 by Alexander II. and demolished at the Reformation; the Smith Institute, founded in 1873 by Thomas Stewart Smith, an artist, containing a picture-gallery, museum and readingroom; the public halls; the Royal Infirmary and various charitable institutions. Woollen manufactures (carpets, tartans, shawls) are the staple industry, and tanning, iron-founding, carriage-building and agricultural implement-making are also carried, on, in addition to furniture factories, cooperage and rubber works. The harbour being accessible only at high water, and then merely to vessels of small tonnage, the shipping trade is inconsiderable.

Stirling is under the jurisdiction of a council with provost and bailies, and, along with Culross, Dunfermline, Inverkeithing and Queensferry (the Stirling burghs) returns a member; to Parliament. The Abbey Craig, an outlying spur of the Ochils, 1 1 m. north-east of Stirling, is a thickly-wooded hill (362 ft. high), on the top of which stands the Wallace monument (1869), a baronial tower, 220 ft. high, surmounted with an open-work crown. The Valhalla, or Hall of Heroes, contains busts of eminent Scotsmen. Cambuskenneth Abbey is situated on the left bank of the Forth, about 1 m. east-north-east of Stirling by ferry across the river. The name is derived from the Gaelic and means "the Crook of Kenneth," or Cairenachus. a friend of St Columba and patron of Kilkenny in Ireland. The abbey, which was in the Early Pointed style, was founded by David I. in 1147 for monks of the order of St Augustine. Several Scots parliaments met within its walls, notably that of 1326, the first attended by burgesses from the towns. At the Reformation Mary Queen of Scots bestowed it on the rst earl of Mar (1562), who is said to have used the stones for his palace in Stirling. In 1709 the town council of Stirling purchased the land and ruins. All that remains of the abbey is the massive, four-storeyed tower - which is 70 ft. high, and 35 ft. square, and was painted and repaired in 1864 - the graceful west doorway and the foundations of some of the walls. The bones of James III. and his queen, Margaret of Denmark, who were buried within the precincts, were discovered in 1864 and re-interred next year under a tomb erected by Queen Victoria at the high altar.

Earlier forms of the name of Stirling are Strivilen, Estriuelen, Striviling and Sterling, besides the Gaelic Struithla. It was known also as Snowdoun, which became the official title of the Scots heralds. The Romans had a station here (Benobara). In 1119 it was a royal burgh and under Alexander I. was one of the Court of Four Burghs (superseded under James III. by the Convention of Royal Burghs). In 1174 it was handed over to the English in security for the treaty of Falaise, being restored to the Scots by Richard I. The earliest known charter was that granted in 1226 by Alexander II., who made the castle a royal residence. The fortress was repeatedly besieged during the wars of the Scottish Independence. In 1304 it fell with the town to Edward I. The English held it for ten years, and it was in order to raise the Scottish siege in 1314 that Edward II. risked the battle at Bannockburn. Edward Baliol surrendered it in 1 334 in terms of his compact with Edward III., but the Scots regained it in 1339. From this time till the collapse of Queen Mary's fortunes in 1568, Stirling almost shared with Edinburgh the rank and privileges of capital of the kingdom. It was the birthplace of James II. in 1430 and probably of James III. and James IV. In 1571 an attempt was made to surprise the castle by Mary's adherents, the regent Lennox being slain in the fray, and seven years later it was captured by James Douglas, 4th earl of Morton, after which a reconciliation took place between the Protestants and Roman Catholics. It was occupied in 1584 by the earls of Angus and Mar, the Protestant leaders, who, however, fled to England on the approach of the king. Next year they returned with a strong force and compelled James VI. to open the gates, his personal safety having been guaranteed. In 1594 Prince Henry was baptized in the chapel royal, which had been rebuilt on a larger scale. After the union of the crowns (1603) Stirling ceased to play a prominent part on the national stage. The privy council and court of session met in the town in 1637 on account of the disturbed state of Edinburgh. In 1641 Charles I. gave it its last governing charter, and four years afterwards parliament was held in Stirling on account of the plague in the capital, but the outbreak of the pest in Stirling caused the legislators to remove to Perth. During the Civil War the Covenanters held the town, to which the committees of church and state adjourned after Cromwell's victory at Dunbar (1650), but in August next year the castle was taken by General Monk. In 1715 the 3rd duke of Argyll held it to prevent the passage of the Forth by the Jacobites, and in 1746 it was ineffectually besieged by Prince Charles Edward. In 1773, in consequence of an intrigue on the part of three members of the council to retain themselves in office, the town was deprived of its corporate privileges, which were not restored until 1781.

See History of the Chapel Royal, Stirling (Grampian Club, 1882); Charters of Stirling (1884); John Jamieson, Bell the Cat (Stirling, 1902); The Battle of Stirling Bridge - the Kildean Myth (Stirling Natural History and Archaeological Society, 1905).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

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  1. A Scottish city, formerly in Stirlingshire.
  2. A Scottish habitational surname derived from the town.
  3. A male given name transferred from the surname.

See also

Simple English

Stirling is a city in the middle of Scotland. It used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Scotland. Its name in the Scottish (Gaelic) language is Sruighlea. Stirling was very important a long time ago because it is at the centre of Scotland. Battles were fought at Bannockburn and Stirling Bridge, and there is a castle in the city.

Famous places

  • Bannockburn
  • Braehead
  • Broomridge
  • Cambusbarron
  • Cambuskenneth
  • Causewayhead
  • Cornton
  • Kings Park
  • Raploch
  • Riverside
  • St. Ninians
  • Top of the Town
  • Torbrex

Other pages

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