Stirling Tolbooth

Overview

Images

Sources

Comments Print

Overview

Nation   Scotland

County   Stirlingshire

Location   Jail Wynd,  Stirling

Map location   exact or closely approximate

Year opened   Unknown

Year closed   Unknown

Century of Operation   1700-1799, 1800-1899

Building Type   Tolbooth

Remarks   Although the Tolbooth was built in 1703, it is unknown when use as a prison began. Now an entertainment venue. During excavations in 1999-2000, archaeologists discovered the burial of Allan Mair, hanged aged 84 for beating his wife to death in 1843.

Descriptions

'The new tolbooth which faces onto Broad Street was built in 1703-5, extended in 1785 and again between 1806 and 1811 when a jail and courthouse were added. Prisoners were held in the tower and hung outside the building for the worst crimes. Some of the victims were said to of been buried under the foundations...Conditions in the prison were condemned by the government inspectors in early 1800's as the worst in Scotland. The Town Council continued to hold meetings in the Tolbooth until 1875 but by then the prison had been moved to St. John Street.'

Stirling.co.uk, 'The Tolbooth - an historic building in Stirling'

'Harry Livingstone, master mason and John Christie Wright, from draft design by Sir William Bruce of Kinross, 1703-5. Gideon Gray, N front extension eastwards by 3 bays, 1785 (See Notes). Richard Crichton, courthouse and jail added to S, 1806-1811. Richard Murphy Architects, 1999-2001, converted to music focused art venue with courtroom as theatre, robing room as bar and old council chamber as restaurant....INTERIOR: substantial 18th and 19th century interior decoration retained, including following. Ground floor with narrow, vaulted strong room, with cupboards closed with iron doors; small vaulted cell... 1st floor courtrom in early 19th century addition lit by 3 tall windows in round-arched recesses; Gibbsian door surround, circa 1865. Ground floor of court house with vaulted rooms (guard house and cells). High coved ceiling to 1st floor justiciary court room. 2 further cells in attic.'

Historic Environment Scotland, Listed Building, LB41110, 35, 37 Broad Street, Jail Wynd, and 32 St John Street, Tolbooth

'The Stirling tolbooth is a multi-phase series of structures...[containing] a late medieval and early post-medieval core. The exterior of this part of the structure was recast in c.1700-5 to the designs of Sir William Bruce...The existing courthouse range was erected in the middle of the first decade of the 19th century, followed soon afterwards by...a debtors' prison...significant archaeological remains of the late medieval and post-medieaval landscape survive to a considerable depth above the bedrock in the centre of the town...[Excavations found 6 cells in the former courthouse building (Rooms G5-11 on excavation plans)]...The Tolbooth was strategically placed on the main thoroughfare leading to Stirling Castle in an area where nobility and politicians lived...when the Royal Court was in residence...the recovery of an iron key highlight that the Tolbooth was a prision and that security was a priority...'

Bob Will, Tom Addyman, et al., 'The Archaeology of the Tolbooth, Broad Street, Stirling', Scottish Archaeological Journal (Vol. 30, 2008), pp.79-159.

Featured Images

  • Stirling Tolbooth TowerPhoto © Lairich Rig (cc-by-sa/2.0)

SOURCES

    Stirling.co.uk, 'The Tolbooth - an historic building in Stirling'

  • https://www.stirling.co.uk/oldtown/tolb.htm
  • Historic Environment Scotland, Listed Building, LB41110, 35, 37 Broad Street, Jail Wynd, and 32 St John Street, Tolbooth

  • http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/LB41110
  • Bob Will, Tom Addyman, et al., 'The Archaeology of the Tolbooth, Broad Street, Stirling', Scottish Archaeological Journal (Vol. 30, 2008), pp.79-159.

Comments

Is there something you’d like to tell us about this lock-up which doesn’t fit easily into the categories of information above? Perhaps you have a good story about someone who was confined in the lock up. Would you like to start a conversation about the lock-up with others who are also interested in either lock-ups or local history? Or would you like to tell us how you have used the data on this lock-up? Please leave a reply!

Alternatively, if you would like to correct or add to the data in the record, please follow this link. Or, click here if you like to find out more about contributing to this project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *