Stirling Old Town
Stirling is an old Scottish ‘burgh’ – a community with status and trading rights – the characteristic Tolbooth and Mercat Cross still survive in today’s Old Town.
Another important building is the Church of the Holy Rude, its nave, at least in part, dating from 1546. It is the only Scottish church still in use which saw the crowning of a Scottish monarch: King James VI in 1567. Close by the church is the Guildhall with its old bowling green. Known originally as Cowane’s Hospital it was built in 1639 as an almshouse for merchants.
Other buildings which add to the ambience include the extraordinary Mar’s Wark, once the fine Renaissance mansion of the Earls of Mar.
Nearby is another Renaissance mansion, Argyll’s Lodging. One of the finest of its kind in Scotland, it was built by Sir William Alexander, founder of Nova Scotia. It later came into the hands of the Earls of Argyll and is currently furnished as it might have been during the 1680s.
The former Old Town Jail, built in 1847 to replace the notorious Tolbooth Jail, is now a visitor experience giving an insight into prison life. Finally, back on Broad Street, The Tolbooth, built 1703-5 by Sir William Bruce, is now a music-focussed arts venue. See the listings for Stirling Old Bridge and Stirling Castle.