ARCHAELOGISTS have uncovered the remains of a lost defensive tower within Stirling’s historic city walls.

Led by Stirling Council archaeologist Dr Murray Cook, the team made the discovery during an exploration of the Old Town Cemetery.

It is believed the tower dates back to around 1547.

It was first used to protect Stirling during a period known as the Rough Wooing when English forces under the Duke of Somerset attempted to force a marriage between Mary, Queen of Scots and England’s Edward VI.

Later, the location served as means to guard the entrance to what later became Cowane’s Hospital – an almshouse established in the 17th century.

The National: The lost bastion was once used to defend Scotland during the Rough WooingThe lost bastion was once used to defend Scotland during the Rough Wooing (Image: Stirling Council)

The towers are thought to have last been in operation in 1746 against Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Uprising before falling into a state of disrepair.

Dr Cook and his team have been researching the city’s walls for the past two years.

He is hopeful that even more discoveries will be made in 2024 when Stirling celebrates its 900th anniversary as a burgh.

“Stirling boasts arguably the best preserved defensive city wall in Scotland,” he said.

“It was long believed that only two of the bastions – the Thieves’ Pot at the Thistles Centre and Allan’s Primary School – had survived.

“However, I have since confirmed three more, with this one at the town cemetery the latest.

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“It is built on levelled bedrock and has two gun loops in it and there’s even evidence of drilling associated with its eventual destruction.”

Stirling Council leader, Chris Kane, added: “It’s remarkable to think, as we prepare for the 900th anniversary of Stirling as a burgh, that our city is still giving up its historic and architectural secrets.

“This is another fabulous find that helps bring to life Stirling’s central role in the power and politics of Scotland.”

It comes after the same team uncovered a 2000-year Roman road in the garden of a cottage in the city.