On a hill near my flat, there sits a pair of cannons and a stone with a gruesome past in capital punishment.
History is one of the reasons I love Stirling. I can walk a few feet into my living room right now, look out the window and see the illuminated stone walls of the castle (the same castle that oversaw the Wars of Scottish Independence and Mary, Queen of Scots’ rule, among others). Every time I walk over Stirling Bridge, I can only think of the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. On the way to university, the Wallace Monument, while acting as a beacon, reminds me of how ingrained history is within everything around Stirling, and Scotland itself.
Even at the top of Gowan Hill (or as we affectionately call it, The Cannons), just to the side of the castle there’s history. A caged beheading stone sits beside a pair of retired cannons. The stone had a lot of use back in the day, and you can clearly see the gash in the surface where many an axe made contact with it. Ghastly, I know, but fascinating all the same. Each time I think of the executions, my mind takes a very Game of Thrones view
of the whole situation.
The other day I thought I’d climb to the top of Gowan Hill and make the most of the mist that had come through the Forth Valley earlier in the day. After a busy day at uni, I made it to the top at around sunset and as you can see, the shots I got made the climb well worth it!
Just an aside: my interview for the Study Abroad programme is this Friday! Fingers crossed I’m accepted and I’ll be in North America this time next year!