Stirling and Central Scotland, Volume 8
Stirling and Central Scotland straddles the divisions between Highland and Lowland, rural and industrial Scotland. Castles range from Stirling, its fortifications enclosing a Renaissance palace of international significance, to the strongholds of medieval magnates at Doune, Blackness and Castle Campbell, from tower houses at Clackmannan and Alloa to the Georgian barracks complex of Dumbarton. Many buildings fully explained for the first time include Kinneil House, which developed from tower, to palace of the Regent of Scotland to Restoration showhouse; and the huge spread of Callendar House, aggrandized over four centuries with many changes of dress. Other major houses include Bannockburn House, with its superb plasterwork, and the eighteenth century mansions of Strathleven House, Touch House and Robert Adam's castellated villa of Airthrey Castle. Dunblane Cathedral and Stirling's Church of the Holy Rude magnificently represent medieval churches while post-Reformation successors range from the rural simplicity of Baldernock to the sumptuously fitted Alloa West Church. The buildings of the many towns and picturesque villages are just as varied, from Stirling's medieval Old Town, to the Victorian townscapes of Alloa and Falkirk, the prosperous villadom of Bearsden and Lenzie, and the redevelopment of blitzed Clydebank. Industrial memories of the collieries, mills, shipyards and ironworks are also recalled, not least by the contrast between the workers' housing and the industrialists' mansions. Notable twentieth century buildings include the boomerang-shaped Bannockburn High School, the University of Stirling's lakeside campus and the evocative development of Lomond Shores while the twenty-first century has opened with construction of the Millennium Wheel at Falkirk.