Portal:Scotland/Selected article/Week 9, 2009

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Stirling City Centre

Stirling (Gaelic: Sruighlea, Scots: Stirlin) is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area.

The city is clustered around a large fortress and mediæval old-town. It is a centre for local government, higher education, retail, and light industry. Its population (as of the 2001 census) was 41,243, making it the smallest city in Scotland.

One of the principal royal strongholds of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was created a Royal burgh by King David I in 1130, which it remained until 1975, when the county of Stirlingshire was absorbed into Central Region. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.

Originally a Stone Age settlement, Stirling has been strategically significant since at least the Roman occupation of Britain, due to its naturally defensible Crag and tail hill, which latterly became the site of Stirling Castle, and its commanding position at the foot of the Ochil Hills on the border between the Lowlands and Highlands, at the lowest crossing point of the River Forth, a position it retained until the construction of the Kincardine Bridge during the 1930s.