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.