I know the town of Stirling very well! I attended the University of Stirling, where I met my beautiful wife, and graduated before embarking on a teaching career! Dunblane, which is a couple of miles north of Stirling, is also my historic family seat, and my parents, sister and I used to make regular visits from Glasgow to visit relatives when I was a ‘wee lad’!
Within our family, the story is told that my original family name was Stribling, and that one of my ancestors of this name was a high ranking officer in Robert the Bruce’s army during the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314! He, along with other officers, was supposedly given the honour of changing his surname to that of the nearest town, Stirling, after the battle was won! This is a story that has passed down from my great, great aunt, who was interested in genealogy, and had supposedly researched such matters, but I have no evidence of the truth of the story! It is one of those stories that, as a Scot, one hopes is true!
Anyway, enough about my links with the town of Stirling – here are my ‘historical’ photographic offerings for this post!
Stirling Castle remains the headquarters of the famous Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, although the regiment no longer exists within the British Army. The regimental museum and historic battle honours are housed within the castle.
The Wallace Monument, which lies to the east of Stirling, is dedicated to the memory of the Scottish Patriot and Hero, William Wallace, and it houses an interactive history of his life, as well as being the home of the Wallace Sword. There is much controversy about whether this sword was ever his, but it has become an important symbol of the man himself.
Bannockburn lies on the southern boundary of the town of Stirling, and the battlefield itself is marked by the above statue and the Bannockburn Heritage Centre, which houses the history of the battle. Bannockburn has a significant place in the history of the Scotland Wars of Independence against the occupying English forces!
The history of this period, and its famous characters, is known worldwide and much romanticised by the movie ‘Braveheart’! However fictitious the content of the movie, the people did exist, and there is no doubt that the story of William Wallace (Mel Gibson in the movie) still stirs the heart and soul of every patriotic Scot (including myself)! ‘FREEDOM’!
To finish this post and bring us back to the present time, and to end on a lighter note, here are some photographs of a ‘modern statue’ which I found, totally by chance, in the middle of a minor roundabout near Stirling, surrounded by nothing but fields!
She is beautiful, isn’t she? All done with tiny pieces of metal! Sometimes you find the strangest of things in the most unlikely places!