The Gowan Hill is one of Stirling’s largest public parks – covering around ten hectares of land between Stirling Castle and the River Forth. There are two distinct hills in the park: the larger Gowan Hill and the smaller Mote Hill overlooking the river. The park is accessible via a series of paths – some surfaced and some unsurfaced, natural paths. Sturdy footwear is recommended!
The Gowan Hill is rich with local and national history and on your visit you will learn about events spanning two thousand years. The park also has an interesting geological and ecological story and is the site of the Beheading Stone thought to have been used for capital punishments in the 15th Century and was probably used in the executions of various important figures.
Mote Hill is in fact far older and is a vitrified hill fort destroyed by fire around 250 AD. We don’t know who destroyed it, but it was likely to be either the Romans going north or the Picts raiding south. The hill fort controlled the Forth crossing, the only place an army could cross by foot for the next 2000 years!