Stirling Names

Have you ever wondered why there’s no harbour at Port Street or where the Loch in Raploch was? Stirling Council’s archaeologist, Dr Murray Cook explains the hidden meanings behind some of Stirling’s everyday street and placenames. If you have a question about Stirling’s amazing past please email

Port Street

Barrasyet bronze plaque

Port is the old Scots word for gate, Port Street is actually Gate Street, Stirling being a walled city! The medieval gate was destroyed in 1770 and was known as the Barrasyet (Barra’s Yet, Burgh’s Yett or Gate) and it was here where the limbs of traitors were displayed and where Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived at 2pm on Monday 6th January 1746. This was also where Stirling’s medieval lepers gathered looking for charity as they were banned from the city. Under the bronze plaque in the photo, the yellow circle shows the direction of the nearest air raid shelter from WW2!


well Green

The Well on the Green….most people miss the ancient spring in the north-west corner of the Wellgreen carpark (the low squat building in the corner), but this ancient well,  named St Ninian’s Well was the main water supply for this part of the city in the 17th and 18th century. If you stand at the door you can still hear the water running! Infamously this was also the location in 1659, where Bessie Stevenson confessed to performing an act of witchcraft for which she was subsequently executed!


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