Conservation Project

Disappointed that an earlier proposed Hospital restoration project could not proceed due to lack of funds, the Patrons of Cowane’s Hospital Trust now propose a major conservation project initially focussing on the repair of the historic fabric of the building.

Benjamin Tindall, an accredited conservation architect, has been appointed to prepare proposals and manage the conservation works. All repairs will be carried out to the highest possible standards and in accordance with conservation best practice. The preparation of the proposals has involved collaboration with the historic environment sector including Historic Environment Scotland, Stirling Council conservation planners, Stirling City Heritage Trust and Graciela Ainsworth, conservator.

Laing Traditional Masonry Group Limited has been appointed to carry out the conservation works including harling and lime washing the external walls, stone repairs and the repairs of the roof, rainwater goods, windows and doors. Specialists will be employed to repair the external lanterns and Graciela Ainsworth, conservator will be carrying out the repairs to the statue of John Cowane and the stone panels inscribed with biblical quotations. The conservation project started on site in April, 2019 and is programmed for completion in late October. The Patrons are currently investigating following the external repairs with a second phase of internal improvements.

Please see below for the conservation plan


In preparation for the repair works, the statue of John Cowane has been removed from the niche in the tower and transported to the conservator’s workshop. This is the first time that the statue has been moved from the Hospital since it was first installed in April, 1650 – apart from the local legend that says that the statue leaves its niche every Hogmanay and dances a jig in the forecourt!

On completion, a free exhibition in the hall will bring to life the stories of John Cowane and his importance to the Stirling area, the history of the Hospital and its role in the Stirling story and the story of Scottish trade, charity and society. The Hospital will also be available for hosting local and national events, community hires, artists’ studios and a thriving café.

The Trust is fortunate to have received grant support towards the project from Stirling Council and the Wolfson Foundation and has further applications pending with a number of funding bodies including Historic Environment Scotland.