Cowane's Hospital

Historic Buildings & Homes

49 St John Street, Stirling, FK8 1ED

    Cowane's Hospital was built by rich local merchant John Cowane in 1637 as an Almshouse for 'decayed members of the Guild of Merchants'. It is also referred to as the Guildhall, dates back to the 17th century and is situated in Stirling's Old Town.

    Referred to as ‘Auld Staney Breeks’, John Cowane was one of Stirling’s richest merchants during the mid 17th-century. Dean of the Merchant Guild, he left funds to build Cowane’s hospital, which originally acted as a place for Guild members to meet. It was constructed between 1637 - 1649 next to the Church of Holy Rude.

    After its time acting as a Guildhall, Cowane’s served as a school and a hospital during epidemics.  To remind everyone of the building’s past, a statue of Cowane is perched above the entrance, while portraits of old Guild Deans pepper the walls. According to local myth, people say the statue comes to life on Hogmanay and does a jig.

    • The Hospital building is currently closed to the public pending the outcome of the Charity's application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
    • For further information regarding Cowane's Hospital or to make a donation please visit Donations towards the buildings upkeep and proposed restoration are welcome.
    • The building can be hired for paranormal investigations, please contact for further details.
    • Private viewing of the Hall for school trips, historical societies or other interested parties can be arranged by appointment. A member of the Trust’s management team or a knowledgeable volunteer will give a history of John Cowane, the Hospital and Garden together with a brief overview of the exciting plans for the restoration of the building and grounds. A small charge will apply.


    • 24hr CCTV
    • Closed Circuit TV


    • City Location


    • On Public Transport Route
    • Paid Parking within easy distance
    • Park and Ride

    Leisure Facilities

    • Garden Historic Garden

    Special Requirements

    • Groups Welcome By prior arrangement
    • School Groups Welcome By prior arrangement

    Wedding Services

    • Able to erect a marquee
    • Can use own suppliers
    • Civil Ceremony
    • Reception Facilities

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