King Street

King Street, in the heart of Stirling, connects the steep historic streets leading to the Castle with the bustling city centre. 

Creamy local sandstone intersperses with red Dumfries masonry, contrasting with blue-grey slates and whinstone setts. It is a beautiful street with an impressive business pedigree.

Known in medieval times as the High Gait, the street formed part of the historic route which led from the Barras Yett up through the winding streets of the Royal Burgh to the market place on Broad Street and the Castle beyond. By the 18th century it was known as Quality Street but in 1821 it became King Street in celebration of the coronation of George IV.

The opening of the new bridge across the Forth in 1833 led to the creation of Murray Place crossing the foot of King Street. Together with the coming of the railway in 1848, commercial activity shifted to the lower town heralding new opportunities for businesses. By the early 20th century, the street boasted no less than six banks, three hotels and numerous established Stirling family businesses including Graham & Morton, Thomas Menzies and McAree Brothers together with an entrance to the Stirling Arcade.

King Street was very much the place to be and to be seen. In recent years, the focus of the street has changed again as banks have moved to modern shop premises. The traditional banking halls have been converted into cafes, restaurants and shops. Sadly, none of the long-established family businesses have survived. In spite of these changes, the street remains a jewel in Stirling’s crown and its grand buildings reflect its past as the commercial heart of the burgh.

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