John Cowane’s House, a Category A-listed structure in St Mary’s Wynd, is described by Historic Environment Scotland as a 17th century ruin. It is in historic city core of the city and also in the Stirling Conservation Area.
Part of the building may be as old as the second half of the 16th century; at which time the Cowane’s Trust owned the property. The structure is not all of the same date and part of it may represent the house known to have been built by Andrew Cowane in 1603. Further additions were made in 1633 and 1697.
It is rubble built with a square staircase tower and the remains of a corbelled corner turret facing the street. The house was used as a merchant’s house between 16th to 18th centuries and later in 19th century it was used as a wright workshop and tenement. By the late 19th century, it was a three-storey high structure with attic and laid out in a U-plan.
The house was much dilapidated by the end of the 19th century; its roof and upper storey were then removed in 1877 after it was found to be unsafe. The Trust took back ownership of the house in 1921 and in 2015 a lintel within the house was also determined to be unsafe with access to the house restricted.
The Trust was delighted that John Cowane’s House was included in Stirling Council’s successful Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) application.
More information on the CARS can be found at https://investinstirling.com/initiatives/stirling-cars/
The site not only features the ruin of the historic tenement house, but also an elevated garden space which will be a key focus of the CARS Project at John Cowane’s House. The CARS project seeks to support Cowane’s Trust in making safe and accessible the house as a community resource and visitor destination. This includes ensuring the garden provides a rich resource for Stirling residents and supports the wider regeneration of the city’s Top of the Town area.