Regeneration Project

Snowy Courtyard

After nearly 400 years supporting others this 17th century almshouse needs urgent repairs just to survive. A £3 million project is now being developed to save Cowane’s and give it a great new future, back at the heart of Scottish life as a national visitor attraction featuring:

  • Restored historic rooms and kitchens
  • An exhibition about the hospital, Scottish trade and charity
  • Gardens and bowling green returned to their 18th century splendour
  • Costumed guides and fun family activities.

Our plans would also make it a place for community use and education – and an even better venue for events and weddings.

It will become a hub of activity for young and old alike, providing opportunities of all kinds for local residents and people from all over Scotland and beyond. The project would also play a valuable role in the social, cultural and economic regeneration of Stirling, further adding to its appeal as a great place to visit.

While we have pledges for much of the investment we still need to raise around £300,000 to save Cowane’s Hospital – see below for how you can help.

The Cowane’s story

The history of Cowane’s is all about the making of modern Scotland and its people. It is important for the building to be saved and for the story of its charity to be told. Back in the 17th century poor men were given refuge here, and down the centuries many others have received pensions to support them in their own homes.

Designed by Scottish architect John Mylne IV, the building reflects strong Dutch influences. The garden was created by the Earl of Mar’s gardener, Thomas Harlaw, in the early 18th century and is a rare survival with terraces, Dutch parterre and bowling green. The hospital was also a guildhall, headquarters of the once-powerful Merchant Guildry of Stirling.

Nowadays it is in a state of decline, the structure of the building is deteriorating fast, it has suffered from vandalism. Even the statue of John Cowane has not escaped, with one hand having fallen off. Without swift action things will only get worse.

Help our hospital

Please help save Cowane’s Hospital and create a new visitor attraction for Scotland. To join our list of supporters and receive more information about the work to save Cowane’s Hospital just email

For information about CHMT and the regeneration project contact project administrator Mylene Smith-Herd on 01786 472247 or email 

Thanks to our supporters

The Cowane’s Hospital Maintenance Trust wishes to express its thanks to all those who are supporting our plans to repair this historic building and return it to the heart of community life. Special thanks go to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, the Architectural Heritage Fund and Stirling Council. It is only thanks to past funding by organisations such as the AHF that we have been able to move forward with our ambitious plans for the future. And it is due to the pledged support by other bodies, and the AHF, that we are now able to move forward and make our proposals a reality.

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‘Lend a Hand’ – To help maintain our historic building for future generations and give Auld Staneybreeks his hand back you can make a donation via the PayPal button at the top of the page.  All donations go towards to the regeneration of Cowane’s Hospital to secure it’s future. The Cowane’s Hospital Maintenance Trust, Scottish Registered Charity, SCO42873.