Beheading Stone

Beheadind StoneThe Stirling beheading stone is thought to have been used for capital punishments in the 15th Century and was probably used in the executions of various important figures. The stone is on Mote Hill (locally known as Gowan hill) which has also been known as Heiding Hill', a reference to the executions.

In 1425, Murdoch, Duke of Albany and former Regent of Scotland and two of his sons were executed. Murdoch's father in law the the Earl of Lennox was also executed here, King James I was taking revenge for Albany's 18 year abuse of his power when the King was held captive in England.

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!

Part of the pathway from the Back Walk will take you past the Gowan Hill, site of the Beheading Stone, access can also be made from Upper Castlehill or from Lower Bridge Street.