|Arms granted to William Alexander,|
1st Earl of Stirling
Menstrie Castle, Clackmannanshire
Argyll's Lodging, Stirling, Stirlingshire
|Argyll's Lodging, Stirling. Image: M.J. Richardson. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence.|
A 17th century tower house built between the town and castle of Stirling, and regarded as Scotland’s greatest surviving town house. It has a more complex building history than might appear: a modest mid 16th century house was progressively expanded by Adam Erskine, who made it a tower house c.1600; the 1st Earl of Stirling, c.1630 and the 9th Earl of Argyll, c.1670. The two latest phases of work were probably inspired by the expectation of royal visits to Scotland and there is some excellent surviving interior decoration from the 1670s.
|Argyll's Lodging: the entrance wall of the High Dining Room on the first floor of the Lodging with original decoration from 1675. Image: Kim Traynor. Licenced under this Creative Commons Licence|
The house is built round three sides of a courtyard which is closed on the west by a wall and gateway. The oldest part of the house is the north-east corner (mid 16th cent.); the rest of the north range represents the second phase; the main east range and part of the south range Lord Stirling’s work, perhaps designed by his son, Sir Anthony Alexander, who was Master of the Royal Works 1629-37, and the rest of the south range Lord Argyll’s work. He seems to have connected up the end of Lord Stirling’s house with a pre-existing block to the south-west, which was partly demolished c.1862. The house was used as a military hospital and later depot from about 1800 until 1964; it then became a youth hostel for thirty years, and in 1996-97 was restored as a museum.
The Alexanders of Menstrie, Earls of Stirling
(2) Rev. Andrew Alexander (fl. 1529).
(3) Marion Alexander (d. 1595); married Alexander Murray of Woodend (Perths) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died January 1595;
(4) Isobel Alexander; married James Muschet of Burnbank (Stirlings) and had issue.
Alexander, Andrew (d. c.1555). Elder son of Alexander Alexander (d. c.1555) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert (or Thomas) Douglas of Lochleven. He married and had issue:
(1) Alexander Alexander (d. c.1564) (q.v.);
(2) John Alexander (fl. 1572).
He inherited Menstrie from his father in about 1555, but died a few months later.
He died c.1555.
Alexander, Alexander (d. c.1564). Elder son of Andrew Alexander (d. c.1555); born about 1515. He married Elizabeth Forbes and had issue:
(1) William Alexander (d. 1574) (q.v.);
(2) James Alexander (fl. 1584), tutor of Menstrie; married and had issue;
(3) John Alexander (d. 1595) of Pitgogar, Muckhart (Perths); married Margaret Dempsterton and had issue;
(4) Elizabeth Alexander (d. 1607); married John Leishman of Stirling (d. before 1590) and had issue; died February 1607;
(5) Marion Alexander; married 10 August 1589 Duncan Paterson of Stirling, Dean of Guild of Stirling in 1592;
(6) Janet Alexander (fl. 1590), married David Forrester of Logie and had issue.
He inherited Menstrie from his father in about 1555.
He died between 14 February 1564 and 6 January 1565.
(2) Archibald Alexander (d. 1621); merchant of Stirling; Dean of Guild of Stirling, 1599; married 1589, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Alexander and had issue one son and one daughter; died 13 September 1621;
(3) Andrew Alexander (fl. 1625), married and had issue;
(4) Janet Alexander, married John Burne and had issue;
(5) Elizabeth Alexander (d. 1622); married Alexander Barclay, notary of Stirling and had issue one son; died March 1622.
(4) A daughter;
(5) A daughter.
|1st Earl of Stirling|
Location of archives
Alexander family, Earls of Stirling: Berkshire estate and family papers, 18th cent. (Berkshire RO D/ED; D/EZ 91)
Alexander, Sir William (c.1577-1640), 1st Earl of Stirling: family papers 1549-1639, letter book, 1615-35 and correspondence 1612-31 (National Library of Scotland, Adv. MSS 34.2.12-15, MS 2061)
Coat of arms
Quarterly, 1st and 4th, per pale argent and sable a chevron and in base a crescent, all counterchanged; 2nd and 3rd, or, a lymphad sable sails furled and flags flying between three crosses crosslet fitchee gules (for MacDonald).