John Cowane was Stirling’s wealthiest merchant, though some say he was involved in piracy. In the 1630s he left a remarkable 40,000 merks to build Cowane’s Hospital for the care of fellow members of the Merchant Guildry of Stirling who had fallen on hard times.
Fine craftsmen were employed for its construction, including the king’s master mason, John Mylne. Renowned gardener Thomas Harlaw designed the garden and bowling green – one of the world’s oldest. The building and gardens are a remarkable survival, and the extensive archive contains a wonderful record of the lives and times of Cowane’s.
The Cowane’s Hospital Maintenance Trust took ownership of the hospital in 2012, to care for the property and provide it with a viable future.
The statue of Cowane, known as ‘Old Staneybreeks’, has been welcoming people to this wonderful building for nearly four hundred years and is rumoured to come to life at Hogmanay!
Limited on-street parking is available in Spittal Street, St John’s Street, Broad Street, St Mary’s Wynd, and a little further away in Baker Street and along Upper Castle Hill along the north side of Stirling Castle.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Cowane’s Hospital are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.
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