Argyll's Lodging

Argyll’s Lodging is the best surviving example of a 17th century aristocratic townhouse in Scotland. It has been in the care of Historic Environment Scotland since 1996.

Built in four phases, Argyll’s Lodging started life in the 1500s as a two-storey house built for John Traill, a wealthy burgess of St. Andrews. Around 1600, Adam Erskine purchased the house and added a further two storeys, as well as the North-East wing. In c.1629, Sir William Alexander, who was made 1st Earl of Stirling in 1633, extended the building and created a u-plan mansion house, adding a boundary wall which gave it some privacy from the bustling street outside. Expecting a visit by Charles I, he spent a fortune making the building palace-like. Unfortunately, Charles never did visit, and William died insolvent in 1640.

Around 1670, Archibald the 8th Earl of Campbell purchased the building and completed the courtyard layout we see today. However, the Scottish Royal Court had removed itself to England after James VI was also crowned James I of England in 1603, so the building was not used as frequently and began to fall into disrepair. In the 1800s the building was acquired by the crown and it became part of the military base at Stirling Castle, serving as a military hospital until the mid-20th century.

When the army moved out of the castle in 1964, Argyll’s Lodging became a youth hostel until it was taken into the care of Historic Environment Scotland and opened to the public as a visitor attraction in 1996.

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