Stirling, town (1991 pop. 38,638), Stirling council area, central Scotland, on the Forth River. The center of a large farm district, it has livestock markets and light industries making agricultural machinery, carpets, and meat products (bacon curing). Stirling Castle, on a hill above the town, long rivaled Edinburgh as a royal residence. A mighty fortress 420 ft (128 m) above the Forth, it overlooks several famous battlefields, including Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace routed an English army in 1297, and Bannockburn. The castle may have been built in the 12th cent.; it was the birthplace of James II and (probably) James III and James IV. Many assemblies were held in the castle's Parliament House, built by James III. Other points of interest are the Church of the Holy Rude (13th cent.), where Mary Stuart and James IV were crowned as infants, and monuments to Wallace and Robert I (Robert the Bruce). The Univ. of Stirling (1967) is there.

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