Chains and Slavery – The Craigengelt Slave Window

This window in the church of the Holy Rude is dedicated to the memory of Provost John Dick of Craigengelt (died 12 April 1865) and is most unusual in having a black man in chains before Christ.  The subject is ‘Come unto me all ye that labour.’ (Matthew 11, 28)

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Ship’s Compass, 1764

  Stirling was an important port until the 20th century. For that reason, many seafaring men retired here and some left their working tools to the Stirling Smith like this beautiful compass used by Captain James Forrest. The compass is of French manufacture and is dated 1764. Forrest lived in

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The Hay Harvest by M. Fleming Struthers

 Struthers was a prolific artist, who exhibited regularly in the Smith and in other local exhibitions.  Very little is known about him, and this is currently the only work of his in a public collection.  The painting celebrates the glory of a Stirling hay harvest and the construction of hay

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Professor Hans Meidner

Hans Meidner was a well-known and respected figure during his life in Stirling.  He was German by birth but his anti-Nazi activities forced him to flee, and he became a scientist in South Africa, where he was a strong supporter of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement.  Hans came to

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Flodden and the Ring and Sword of King James IV

500 years ago on 9 September 1513, the Scottish army was defeated at Flodden.  King James IV, and an estimated 10,000 men – including two bishops, two abbots, twelve earls, thirteen lords, five eldest sons of lords, and about 300 of Scotland’s most influential men – were killed.  For generations,

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Beer Porters by Frank Brangwyn (1867 – 1956)

This scene may be familiar to older readers of the Observer in more ways than one. Stirling was at one time a brewing centre, and workplace scenes such as this must have been common in breweries like St. Ninian’s Well, Burdens and Duncan’s. The image was sketched as part of

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Alexander Bonar of Ratho (1750 – 1820), Sir Henry Raeburn

Earlier this year, the Stirling Smith received an important bequest of a Raeburn portrait from the late Bruce Ritchie of Allan Park. Sir Henry Raeburn was the foremost Scottish portrait painter of his time, and this is the first Raeburn portrait to come into the Smith collections. The subject of

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Battle of Bannockbur Anniversary Celebrations, 1914

Celebrating Bannockburn

The 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, 23-24 June 1314, is now less than a year away.  Pictured here is a flower covered car from the 600th anniversary in 1914, one of a series of photos in the Smith’s collection showing the great pageant procession through Stirling, from King’s

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Stirling Ale – Cheers to our Beers

In the 15th century, Stirling was so famed for its brewing trade, that the burgh was granted the holding “the Scottish pinte or standard jug of Sterling” by an act of the Scottish Parliament in 1457. The Stirling Jug was the measure by which all other measures in Scotland were

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Unveiling the Raeburn

The Smith’s first portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn, a bequest by the late Bruce Ritchie of Allan Park, was unveiled by the Right Honourable Sir George Reid.  The event marked the end of the building contract to renew the roof of the Smith.  Sir George pointed out that the subject,

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