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Mar's Wark, Stirling

3.7
#10 of 13 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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30 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Now pass the tolbooth with cute clock from Stirling train station. It is like only a little wall remains in the ruins. Architecture is perfect for old Sterling evident in many old buildings.
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  • Whilst walking up in the direction of the Castle yesterday I was drawn towards these ruins. Mar's Wark, now ruins, was built between 1570 and 1572 by John Erskine, Regent of Scotland and Earl of Mar. ...  more »
  • These ruins sit in town, was hard to figure out just what they were. All neat and clean of rubble. Beautiful old stone construction, plus a beautiful gate.  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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