Stirling Character

After our day in Blair Atholl (see previous post), we settled in for a look-see at Stirling. Staying at a B&B meant we were treated to a whopping Scottish breakfast, which prepared us for a day of rambling around.

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This path from the B&B led to a royal oddity in the greenspace you see on the right. That would be the “King’s Knot,” an octagonal earthwork in a royal park, created sometime before 1633. Now it’s a large, somewhat eerie place for dogs to poop.

The view from the octagon. That’s the castle up there.

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A view from higher up.

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Stirling is full of different levels, old town walls, and the castle.

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This ruined building is Mar’s Wark, an atmospheric shell next to the cemetery at Holy Rude church. It has weathered gargoyles and a carved figure of Jeanne Dark, aka Joan of Arc, tied to a stake. It was here we read about the legend of Auld Staney Breeks, a figure who leaps down from a nearby tower at midnight on New Year’s Eve and causes various kinds of mischief. If someone named you after old stone trousers you’d be irritated too.

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This statue stands outside Stirling Castle.
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E appears to have cut off the head from this photo of Robert the Bruce. Perhaps she was protecting the other Robert from the competition.

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If you look down into Stirling from the place where they used to literally cut people’s heads off (there’s a rock up there called the “beheiding stone”), you can see the location on the river where William Wallace routed the English in 1297. In some ways people seem to still be fighting this battle. (We’re in the midst of the UK election here, folks.)

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