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The Tale of the Stirling Wolf

Wolfcraig 8

Here in auld days

The wolf roam’d

In a hole of the rock

In ambush lay  

As it is National Storytelling Week we’re celebrating one of the most famous Stirling stories, that of the Stirling Wolf.

The tale of the Stirling Wolf dates back to the 9th century, when Stirling was just a small town. At the time it was part of the Kingdom of Northumbria under the rule of the princes Osbrecht and Ella.

One night, while the town was sleeping, a horde of Vikings crept up the crag, preparing to invade under the cover of darkness.

As they approached they disturbed a pack of wolves, who began to howl, waking the whole town. The princes and townsfolk set out to do battle, only to find the Vikings already fleeing, scared away by the wolf pack.

Brick wall with a red a black plaque. Red wolf on top, words The Stirling Arms at the bottom/
Stirling Arms Plaque on 55 Baker Street

As a tribute to the wolves that saved the town from invasion, the princes decorated their banners with images of the protectors of Stirling.

The wolf has remained the symbol of Stirling to this day and can be spotted in many locations around the city. We’ve featured some of our favourite carvings you can find around Stirling in this blog, but there are plenty more.

Do you know of any others? When you next visit Stirling keep a sharp lookout for the Stirling Wolf.

Carving of a wooden wolf howling
The Stirling Wolf wood carving, on the Back Walk trail.
Red brick building with a stone wolf carving and marble plaque with the words 'Here in auld days The wolf roam’d In a hole of the rock In ambush lay'
Wolf carving on the Wolf Craig Building
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