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Stirling Arcade

(Crawford's Arcade)

A covered Victorian shopping arcade which links King Street and Murray Place at the bottom of the Old Town of Stirling, Stirling Arcade opened in 1882. Previously known as Crawford's Arcade, after the china merchant and Town Councillor William Crawford, who constructed the building at his own expense of around £20,000. The Arcade was the work of architect John McLean and is one of just five Victorian Arcades remaining in Scotland.

There are narrow four-storey facades at both ends of the Arcade. At one time, the Arcade included two hotels; the Temperance Hotel in King Street and the Douglas Hotel in Murray Place. The latter was destroyed by fire in 1971 but subsequently repaired. Inside, two storey passages, lined with shops and lit from above, lead to a three-storey inner square. The upper storey is highly decorated and flooded with natural light from the glass roof above. This inner court once gave access to the Alhambra Theatre, which still lies hidden behind. A host of well-known music hall artists performed in this 1200-seater theatre. The space had initially briefly served as Stirling's Town Hall, but later became a cinema. This closed in 1939 and the building subsequently fell into disrepair. It was partially re-used to form a shop in the 1960s.

Today, the characterful shopping centre is home to around twenty diverse independent retailers. It has been B-listed since 1965.

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