/sterr"ling/, n.
1. Also called Stirlingshire /sterr"ling shear', -sheuhr/. a historic county in central Scotland.
2. a city in and the administrative center of the Central region, in central Scotland, on the Forth River. 29,769.

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Town and council area (pop., 2001: 86,212), south-central Scotland.

Located on the River Forth, Stirling has evidence of early settlement by the British Picts. Made a royal burgh с 1130 and a royal residence in 1226, it was the birthplace of James II of Scotland and site of the coronations of Mary, Queen of Scots, and James VI of Scotland (later James I of England). Two battles were fought nearby: the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297), where Scottish troops routed the English, and the Battle of Bannockburn (1314). The town flourished until the mid-16th century and shared with Edinburgh the privileges of a capital city. After the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, it ceased to play an important national role. The town is now a commercial centre for an agricultural region. The council area is a centre for electronics manufacture, and there are also papermaking, malting, brewing, and distilling industries. Stirling is the council area's administrative centre and largest town.
(as used in expressions)
Calder Alexander Stirling
Moss Stirling
Stirling William Alexander 1st earl of
Stirling Sir James Frazer

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      royal burgh (town), Stirling council area, historic county of Stirlingshire, south-central Scotland, on the right bank of the River Forth. The precipitous 250-foot- (75-metre-) high volcanic plug on which the present castle stands was probably occupied by the early British Picts. The settlement had developed sufficiently for it to be made a royal burgh about 1130. Alexander II of Scotland granted another charter in 1226 and made the castle a royal residence.

      Two famous battles were fought near Stirling. In the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297) Sir William Wallace (Wallace, Sir William), the Scottish national leader, routed the English, and in 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn (Bannockburn, Battle of), 2.5 miles (4 km) south, the English under Edward II were defeated and the Scots regained their independence. From then until the mid-16th century Stirling flourished and shared with Edinburgh the rank and privileges of a capital city. The castle became a regular residence for the Stuart kings, but, after the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, Stirling ceased to play an important national role.

      The old town was built on higher levels and on the steep approaches to the castle, where many fine examples of 16th- and 17th-century domestic buildings still survive. Remains of a town wall still exist, as does the “auld brig” over the Forth, a 14th-century structure of pointed arches that is now used only by pedestrians but was once the “key to the Highlands.” Stirling grew rapidly in the 19th century, especially after the coming of the railways, when it became the commercial centre for an extensive and prosperous agricultural region. During this period much of the new town was laid out, mainly on level land to the south.

      Services are Stirling's most important economic sector, notably financial services. Other industries include electronics manufacture and food processing. The town's position in central Scotland at a natural focus of major roads and railways has favoured its development as a tourist centre. Stirling is the historic county town (seat) of Stirlingshire and the administrative centre of the Stirling council area. Pop. (2004 est.) 44,480.

      council area, central Scotland. The area south of Loch Katrine and the River Forth lies within the historic county of Stirlingshire, and the area to the north belongs to the historic county of Perthshire. It borders Loch Lomond to the west and spans the Highland Boundary Fault, which separates the Highlands in the north and west from the Lowlands. Towering above the Lowlands, with abrupt slopes of about 1,000 feet (300 metres) in places, are the intrusive volcanic Campsie Fells. The Lowlands, which drain into the River Forth, are thickly mantled with glacial deposits, and raised beaches flank the alluvial flats along the Forth. Annual rainfall decreases from 100 inches (2,500 mm) in the northwestern Highlands to 30 inches (760 mm) along the Forth.

      In the wetter north and west, pastoralism predominates; cattle are fattened, and dairying is important. In the southeast, particularly on the alluvial carse (fertile riverine lands), farmers raise crops as well as livestock. The coalfield in the southeast, which underlay the growth of heavy industry in and around Stirling town in the 19th century, is now largely exhausted, and coal mining has virtually ceased in Stirling council area. However, most of the population still lives in the southeast. Services are now the most important economic sector. Financial services are important in Stirling town, and tourism is the most important economic sector in the scenic Highlands. The council area is a centre for electronics manufacture, and there are also papermaking, malting, brewing, and distilling industries. Stirling is the council area's administrative centre and largest town. Area 844 square miles (2,187 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) 87,810.

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Universalium. 2010.

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