08 Feb. 2000 - Stirling, Scotland -
Clan Stirling Online has been waiting for a sunny day to showcase the castle and top of the town for all of you. The weather in Scotland is always iffy, as one local resident quipped "Summer, it comes on a Tuesday anna Wednesday." It was too windy for an umbrella today, so our jacket lapel is rolled up, and lets head out on this virtual tour of Stirling.
Baker Street - 1902
It's a pretty good climb up to the top of the town as you can see here. If you have trouble walking up hills an alternative is to get a taxi or bus ride to the castle and walk down, although with my bad knee I find walking down the hardest.
The view of the forth valley through the trees and buildings is well worth it however, and there are some wonderful and historic buildings to see along the way. With these views you can get an idea of what it looks like on Baker Street, looking up the hill from The Book Shop, then looking back down
As we continue up towards Broad Street you can see there are fewer cars and the buildings are older. Some of them are original, but quite a few of these buildings are reproductions or more correctly interpretations of the original buildings. The view is spectacular on any account however, take some time to enjoy the architectural features of some of the buildings.
Darnley's House - This home has traditionally been referred to as the home of Lord Darnley who was married to Mary Queen of Scots. The home is in the late 16th century style with barrel vaults on the ground floor. In Cromwell's time a pub was located here called Janet Killbowie's, this is where the government troops surrendered to Cromwell. Today it houses a coffee shop.
Pudgy The Unicorn - All cities in Scotland given burgh and market status have a statue of a unicorn to show the world they had authorization from the king to tax and conduct business. The locals call their unicorn "Pudgy", and when I asked why I got a VERY rare "I don't know" from both Bob and retired archivist and trust supporter George Dixon. I suspect I'll have an answer to that query soon however. The light and weather conditions are not the best, ol' pudgy is actually pretty entertaining. There are some ceremonial cannons placed nearby your children might enjoy playing on.
Tollbooth - The toll booth is currently slated for a complete demolition inside, and conversion into a movie screen theater of some kind. Personally I think it would have been better if the Stirling council had restored it, as this building used to house the city offices, and the town jail. A tollbooth building has stood at this location in Stirling since the mid 15th century. This version features a pavilion roof designed by Sir William Bruce in 1703
Holy Rude Kirk - This ancient chapel is historic for many reasons. John Knox once preached here. Future Kings and Queens of Scotland have been christened here. More than a few Stirling ancestors were also baptized married and had their funerals here too, this is a must visit spot on your tour of the top of the town. In 1998 my daughter Emilie had a wonderful opportunity to perform a Christmas concert inside the Kirk, a special moment for our family.
Mars Wark (See the Doom of Mar)
This building, now in ruin, was build by the Earl of Mar in the mid 15th century. The crests and other faces and details on the building are spectacular, you can see them better if you have a telephoto lens. Stand inside one of the gates to experience 15th century life in a cold stone building
Up We Go - This shot is looking up Broad Street towards the castle. On the right barely visible are the chimneys of Argyll's Ludging, one of the finest surviving examples of life in the 1640's in Scotland.
Tomorrow Argyll's Ludging and The Castle. & A Return Trip To The Mitchell Library in Glasgow.