Stirling Council Provost Christine Simpson is looking forward to honouring an 800-year-old tradition by taking part in Stirling’s historic Walking The Marches on Saturday
Provost Marches walk

This year’s traditional boundary check, led by the Captain of the Birlawmen, starts at the Rotunda on King Street at 11am on Saturday with a welcome from the Provost.

The hour-and-a-half procession visits Stirling Bridge, Lovers Walk, the Engine Shed on Forth Street, Kerse Road, Upper Craigs, Back Walk, The Smith and will then feature a toast to the new March Stone adjacent to the Albert Halls.

Provost Simpson said: “The Walking The Marches is an important part of Stirling’s cultural heritage and I’m very much looking forward to being a part of it.

“Stirling is lucky to be steeped in history and the Walking of the Marches dates back to at least 1611, so is an intrinsic part of our city’s rich traditions.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for the community to get together and celebrate Stirling’s heritage. The numbers participating in Walking The Marches have been rising each year since the tradition was revived in 2014 and I hope this year’s event can continue that success.

“It is a wonderful spectacle and I keenly await the Birlawmen’s report on the status of Stirling’s boundaries once they have finished their annual inspection on Saturday.”

The first documented evidence of Stirling’s historic Walking The Marches dates back to 1611 but the practice is believed to go back as far as the 12th century.

The ceremony celebrates when officials had to inspect the city’s boundaries to check that they had not been encroached on.

Stirling’s inspectors, known as Birlawmen, would use picks and shovels to turn over a sod of grass at strategic points on the Burgh boundary.

In 1723, numbered March stones were introduced so that a count could be kept.

The official annual marches ceased as a result of regionalisation of Scottish councils in the 1970s but Walking The Marches has made a triumphant return since being revived in 2014.

Last year’s procession attracted around 200 marchers, including pipe bands, and £20 tickets for the lunch at the Golden Lion Hotel at 1.30pm are still available on a first come, first served basis.

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