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.
Cowane’s Hospital is a 17th century almshouse in the historic city of Stirling. It is also known as The Guildhall, as the Stirling Guildry have held their meetings here for several centuries. Cowane’s is in the area known as Top o’ the Town, just below the castle and next to the Church of the Holy Rude where King James VI was crowned.
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.
There is a coffee shop on site where visitors can enjoy afternoon teas, light lunches and refreshments. Visitors can also have a look around the great hall and the surrounding gardens free of charge. Donations towards the buildings upkeep are welcome. For further information regarding Cowane's Hospital or to make a donation please visit www.cowanes.org.uk
The building can be hired for paranormal investigations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
A restoration project is currently underway and the hospital will be closed from the spring of 2019 to autumn 2019.
If you have any questions please get in touch.
The Cowane’s Hospital Trust, Registered Scottish Charity SCO19364