Visit Argyll's Lodging, Scotland's best example of a 17th-century aristocratic town house, standing in the shadow of Stirling Castle
Standing almost opposite Stirling Castle, Argyll’s Lodging dates from a period when living as close to the monarch as possible increased your social status.
Originally a two-storey, mid-16th‑century tower house, the building’s stately appearance today is the result of work by Sir William Alexander – Charles I’s secretary for Scotland – and Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll. Anticipating the King’s visit to Scotland for his coronation, Alexander expanded the house in 1630 and was made earl of Stirling for his efforts. It was bought by Argyll in the 1660s and enlarged again with many of the rooms and furnishings visible today dating from then.
The ground floor comprises a relatively spartan set of rooms, primarily used by servants and where visitors would have waited to ascend the magnificent staircase when visiting the Earl. Upstairs the high dining room is entered by a door with the initials AA above it (for Archibald and his second wife Anna) and still has some of the original painted columns on the walls, dating from 1675.
Beyond lies the drawing room, lady’s closet and the bedchamber, done out in sumptuous purple and where the Earl and his wife would have received special guests. The house remained a family home until around 1800 when it became a military hospital. Historic Scotland took over the building in 1996 and has since restored much of its splendour.
Don’t miss: The en-suite toilet with padded seat just off the bedchamber.
01786 450 000
Accessible only by guided tour as part of a visit to Stirling Castle. Tour must be pre-booked by calling 0131 668 8831/8990
Castle open 1 Apr–30 Sep daily 9.30am–6pm
1 Oct–31 Mar daily 9.30am–5pm.
Adults £9.00, concs £7.20, children £5.40
Stirling tourist information: 01786 475019