Welcome to The Stirling Arcade
A Landmark of the City
A stunning Victorian shopping arcade that dates back to 1882, the Stirling Arcade has been an important hub in the city centre for more than 100 years. Winding its way from Murray Place to the foot of the Castle Rock on King Street, it once housed two hotels, residential flats, workshops and salons, 40 shops and merchants.
One of only five of its kind in Scotland, the Stirling Arcade is a beautiful place to relax and browse some of its many boutique shops offering some of the best quality alternative shopping in the city. Having survived a period of dereliction around the time of the Second World War, its original period features have been beautifully restored and its ornate glass roof floods the arcade’s central walkway with natural light.
The Douglas Hotel was located in what is now known as the Stirling Arcade, a rare classically-detailed shopping arcade on ground sloping to NE, with entrances at King Street (former Temperance Hotel) and Murray Place (former Douglas Hotel) and incorporating shell of Alhambra Theatre (former Arcade Theatre).
Stirling Arcade is one of just five such arcades remaining in Scotland and is arguably the most interesting in terms of architecture. Built for William Crawford, local councillor and china merchant, at a cost of about £30,000, it was also home to the Arcade Theatre. The Alhambra Theatre often played host to some of Scotland’s finest and best loved song and dance acts including the legendary Sir Harry Lauder – plans are taking shape to bring his legacy to life within the Arcade.
The Arcade Theatre was situated within the arcade above the shops. Access was by the extant elegant cantilevered dog-leg staircase with decorative cast iron balusters and serpentine curved top landing on thin cast iron columns, with some fine decorative plasterwork. In 1964 the space was converted to a furniture showroom for Thomas Menzies Limited. The fine interior detail was removed owing to its poor condition but managing director, Mr Stirling Farquhar, had a pictorial record made. The auditorium ‘had two U-shaped balconies, supported on iron columns, with a vaulted ceiling of painted panels and originally seating 1,200 people. It was then used for cine-variety and became a full-time cinema in 1930. The cinema closed in 1939.