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Top of the Town, The


(Upper Town)

Comprising the heart of Stirling's Old Town, the Top of the Town (or Upper Town) describes the area beneath the castle, including cobbled streets such as Castlehill, Broad Street, Ballengeich Pass and Mar Place. Part of the area was lost with the building of the Castle Esplanade in 1812. Argyll's Lodging, Mar's Wark, the Tolbooth, Bruce of Auchenbowie's House, the Church of the Holy Rude and Cowane's Hospital are amongst the concentration of historic buildings located in this area. Ballengeich Cemetery, Mars Wark Cemetery, Snowdon Cemetery and Valley Cemetery are collectively known as the Top of the Town Cemeteries.

By the 20th Century, the Top of the Town became known for poor living conditions and neglected buildings. A programme of renewal was begun in the 1930s by Sir Frank Mears (1880 - 1953) and completed by his partner Robert Naismith (1916 - 2004) and Burgh Architect Walter Gillespie (1913-83) in the 1950s. The regeneration was focused on the residential including social housing, which has left the area missing a certain vitality and there is little commercial activity, although this thankfully includes a lack of tacky tourist shops.


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