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Spittal’s Hospital Trust

Prior to dissolution, the Spittal’s Hospital Trust was the oldest of the Stirling charitable endowments originating with Robert Spittal, Tailor to King James IV. The Trust’s charitable purpose was ‘the prevention or relief of poverty’.

Robert’s position at court made him a very rich man, and he chose to spend a great deal of wealth on philanthropic projects across Stirling. Around 1530 Robert Spittal bequeathed certain lands to be held in trust to the Town Council. The income derived from them applied to the support of decayed members of the Seven Incorporated Trades.

The Spittal’s Hospital was founded by Robert Spittal in 1530 and it was noted in 1738 that the hospital building ‘which lately fell down’ was in need of repair. The Almshouse (similar to Cowane’s Hospital) eventually became the site of the old Stirling High School located in Spittal Street.

Robert also funded the building of bridges in Bannockburn and Doune and it’s still possible to make out his coat of arms on the ‘Brig O’ Teith, Doune, and a pair of scissors (his representative trade symbol) in Spittal Street, Stirling.

In January 2023 the charity was wound up with the last remaining pensioner sadly passing away in 2020. The Charity has since been removed from the Scottish charity register accordingly.

Repositioned Memorial Stone located on the Back Walk above and the stone carving in Spittal Street, Stirling, depicting the trade of philanthropist Robert Spittal below.