Digging into Stirling's Past: Uncovering the Secrets of Scotland's Smallest City

Digging into Stirling's Past: Uncovering the Secrets of Scotland's Smallest City

by Murray Cook


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Stirling is Scotland’s smallest city and one of its newest. But, strangely, it’s also the ancient capital and one of the most important locations in all of Scottish history. If you wanted to invade or to resist invasion, you did it at Stirling. It has witnessed Celts, Romans, Britons, Picts, Scots, Angles, Vikings, Edward I, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Edward II, Oliver Cromwell, Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Duke of Cumberland, and even played a decisive role in D-Day.

This huge history has left its mark all over this tiny place. Stirling is Scotland’s best preserved medieval city, boasting one of Europe’s finest Renaissance palaces, the world’s oldest football, Mary Queen of Scots' coronation, James III’s grave and murder scene, the site of a successful 16th century assassination of Scotland’s head of state, Scotland’s first powered and unpowered flights, Scotland’s biggest royal rubbish dump, one of Scotland’s earliest churches, Scotland’s two most important battles, vitrified forts, Scotland’s oldest and best preserved Royal Park, connections to King Arthur and the Vikings, Britain’s last beheading, Scotland’s largest pyramid – and its oldest resident is 4000 years old!

This book tells Stirling’s story through its secret nooks and crannies; the spots the tourists overlook and those that the locals have forgotten or never visited. Join Stirling’s Burgh Archaeologist, Dr Murray Cook, as he takes you on a tour of a fascinating city’s history which is full of heroes and battles, grave robbing, witch trials, bloody beheadings, violent sieges, Jacobite plots, assassins, villains, plagues, Kings and Queens… and much, much more besides.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780995589797
Publisher: Extremis Publishing Ltd.
Publication date: 09/30/2019
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 5.08(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

Dr Murray Cook is Stirling Council's Archaeologist and is from Leith originally, though he also lived and went to school in Edinburgh. He lives in Stirling with a long-suffering wife, three teenage girls and two pesky but loveable cats. He has undertaken numerous excavations across the region and published over 40 books and articles. He won a Stirling's Provost Award in 2018 for his work for the Council, where he has helped raise over £300,000 to be spent on community archaeology and research and has even got invited to see the Queen at Holyrood Palace, along with a few hundred others! He has appeared on several TV programmes, and has sometime even been paid! He writes a regular column in the Stirling Observer and runs Stirling Archaeology a Facebook page dedicated to Stirling's fantastic heritage!: https://www.facebook.com/Stirling-Archaeology-176144165815143/

Murray studied at Edinburgh University worked first for AOC Archaeology, rising from subcontractor to Commercial Director. His PhD, which has a rather long and boring title, was based on 10 years of research in Aber-deenshire on settlement patterns between 2000 BC and AD 1000: https://www.scottishheritagehub.com/content/case-study-kintore-aberdeenshire-shining-light-black-hole

He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Stirling University, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, runs an occasional course at Forth Valley College on Stirling and likes to do it in ditches (archaeology, that is!). He also co-runs regular training digs open to all under the name Rampart Scotland: http://www.rampartscotland.co.uk/

Archaeology is at first glance an off-putting word, easy to say but hard to spell and Murray has been called the Council's Archivist and Architect before. But he believes that archaeology should be open to all, it is our shared past and it belong to everyone, so barriers should be removed. On this basis Murray runs a series of free walks, lectures and digs through the year to allow people to explore their past and its open to everyone... email Murray to join: cookm@stirling.gov.uk

Table of Contents

Introduction (Page 1)

Sites in Stirling (Page 7)

Sites in Stirlingshire (Page 9)

Before Stirling: Prehistory and Early History (Page 11)

The Romans (Page 21)

The City of Stirling (Page 37)

The Old Town (Page 59)

The Battles for Stirling (Page 119)

Beyond Stirling (Page 133)

Further Reading (Page 167)

Closing Thoughts (Page 169)

Acknowledgements (Page 171)

Image Credits (Page 173)

About the Author (Page 175)

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