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John Cowanes Hospital - an historic building in stirling

Old Town

 

John Cowane was a very wealthy Stirling merchant and Dean of the Merchant Guild who left funds for this alms house and the maintenance of 13 elderly Guild members. Originally known as Cowane's Hospital, it was built beside the church between 1637 and 1649. It was not popular with the residents due to very strict house rules.
For many years the building was used as the Guildhall where the Merchants gathered for meetings and dinners. The Guildry fixed the prices of goods, and dominated town council affairs.
Later the building was used as a schoolhouse and a hospital during epidemics. In today's times it is once again being used for concerts, meetings and ceilidhs, but the statue of John Cowane above the entrance and the portraits of Guild Deans inside remind us of its history.