Principal Town: Stirling
Population (1991):
Area (hectares): 225052
Entry Updated: 11-APR-2020
Local Authority Contact Information

Address: Stirling Council

Situated in the Midland Valley of Central Scotland, Stirling is bounded to the south by a series of hills that include the Campsie Fells, Fintry Hills and Gargunnock Hills. To the north the Council Area stretches beyond the Carse of Forth into Highland Perthshire. To the west Stirling is bounded by Loch Lomond and to the east it abuts Clackmannanshire. Within its bounds lie the Trossachs, Braes of Balquhidder and several lochs including Loch Katrine, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Voil, Loch Venachar, Loch Achray, Loch Ard, Loch Arklet, Loch Chon, Loch Drunkie, Loch Dochart, Glen Finglas Reservoir and the Lake of Menteith. The headwaters of the Tay and Forth rivers are located in Stirling Council Area and among its highest peaks are Ben More (1174m / 3852 feet), Stob Binnein (1165m / 3822 feet), Ben Lui (1130m / 3707 feet) and Ben Lomond (974 m / 3195 feet).

With a total area of 427 sq. km (165 sq. miles), just over 20% of the land of Stirling is woodland or forest and 10.5% is arable. The remainder, apart from 1.6% of urban or rural settlement, is rough grazing, improved pasture, wetland or moorland. With a relatively sparse population density of 38 per square kilometre, Stirling carries 1.6% of Scotland's total population and 2.8% of its land cover. The larger settlements are concentrated within a small southeastern corner of the Council Area, the remaining rural settlements being spread from Strathblane and Killearn in the southwest to Killin and Tyndrum in the north. Some 70% of the population is urban.

Straddling the great divide between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, Stirling played a key role in directing the course of Scottish history. Until it was drained and reclaimed in the 18th-19th centuries, the Carse of Forth restricted north-south movement, forcing travellers to pass through the royal burgh of Stirling whose castle guarded a strategic north-south routeway and crossing of the River Forth. The Trossachs, which were immortalised by artists and writers such as Sir John Lavery (1856 - 1941), William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) and Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832), eventually become one of Scotland's leading tourist areas. The former county of Stirlingshire, which also included Falkirk, was absorbed into Central Region in 1975 as one of three districts. In 1996 Stirling once again became a separate Local Government Area.
A largely rural area with considerable water and land resources, the main sectors of employment include faming, forestry, tourism, energy and water, mineral and metal industries, engineering, transport and communications.
References and Further Reading
McKean, Charles (1985) Stirling and the Trossachs: An Illustrated Architecural Guide. Scottish Academic Press and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, Edinburgh
Peck, Sir Edward (1981) North-East Scotland. John Bartholomew & Sons Ltd., Edinburgh
Stevenson, J.B. (1985) Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Clyde Estuary and Central Region. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and HMSO, Edinburgh
Stevenson, Jack (1995) Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Glasgow, Clydeside and Stirling. Second Edition, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and HMSO, Edinburgh

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