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Mar's Wark, Stirling

3.7
#10 of 14 in Historic Sites in Stirling
Mar's Wark is a ruined building in Stirling built 1570–1572 by John Erskine, Regent of Scotland and Earl of Mar, and now in the care of Historic Scotland. Mar intended the building for the principal residence of the Erskine family in Stirling, whose chief had become hereditary keeper of the nearby royal Stirling Castle where the princes of Scotland were schooled. Wark is a Scots language word for work, and here it means building. The house is also called "Mar's Lodging."DescriptionThe building fronts the kirk yard of the Holy Rude Church and sits at the head of the processional route to Stirling Castle above the town's tollbooth. The windowless front façade survives lacking its upper storey, access is possible to the first floor. The basement vaults have doors and windows to the street and may have been intended for shops.The façade is nearly symmetrical around a gatehouse frontispiece with two polygonal towers. Liberal carved stone decoration is based on European print-sources or decorative arts with royal and Erskine heraldry, and wry inscriptions. A motif of the letter "A" with the earl's coronet points to a variant version of the family name, as "Areskine," or possibly the initial of Mar's countess, Annabella Murray. Traditionally it has been alleged that the carvings include stones re-cycled from Cambuskenneth Abbey.
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Mar's Wark Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.0
27 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Fun ruin in the center of stirling. I gather that a lot of people pass by on the way to the castle but it's worth a quick visit.  more »
  • If you don't like passing a cemetery is not your place, but the views that have are precious.
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  • The ruins abutting the road are interesting and important in that they contribute to the ambience and atmosphere of this are a between the church of the holy ride, and the castle. Begin the ruins is t...  more »
Google
  • Really interesting remains to explore. Go in via the churchyard. There isn't a lot left, but it's worth checking out. Dolidh Young added some useful info in her review. Judging by the photos uploaded, there is confusion about which bit of this area Mar's Wark is! However one of the photos uploaded shows the information panel. See also my photos.
  • Love to scare tourists here
  • An interesting little piece of history, there's a board out the front giving details of what's happened to Mar's Wark through the history of Stirling. Most people walk past after looking at the empty windows, but it's possible to go up to the other side of the walls and see where the outlines of the rooms are. The building was originally built by the 1st Earl of Mar with some of the stones coming from Cambuskenneth Abbey and even sports some scary gargoyles!
  • The building reminds me of a level from halo 3 multiplayer
  • A stroll through the streets of Stirling. Walk its streets is to move in time.
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Where to stay in Stirling

Stirling's central location in Scotland means most of its many lodging options are quickly reachable from nearly anywhere in the country. Hotels located close to the city's iconic castle offer easy access to all of the area's celebrated historical sites. Though they provide the finest modern conveniences, hotels in this central part of town occupy buildings steeped in history and heritage. Just outside of town, explore a world of boutique hotels and quaint B&Bs, a perfect base from which to explore the picturesque Central Lowlands.
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