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the tolbooth

The Tolbooth, Stirling
Jail Wynd Stirling, FK8 1DE

The Tolbooth, located in the heart of Stirling’s old town, is the major venue for live music, performances, exhibitions and the arts. It has established a reputation as one of the best live music venues in the country. The Tolbooth has always been a feature of Stirling's cultural life and has been a court, jail and even hosted a parliament in the reign of King James VI. Today, it is the base for Stirling Council's Arts and Events Team and the home to some of the best musicians and performers working in Scotland.

When the Tolbooth was a jail, it is said prisoners were held in the tower and hung outside the building for the worst crimes. Some of the victims were said to have been buried under the foundations. As a consequence of its purpose, the Tolbooth is said to be haunted, many people have heard footsteps upstairs and felt themselves suddenly go cold.

Conditions in the prison were condemned by the government inspectors in early 1800s as the worst in Scotland.

Re-opened in 2002, after a sensational restoration and redesign, the Grade A-listed building was extended during earlier restorations, but has retained many of its original features, such as the main auditorium’s dome ceiling.

The completed project includes a theatre (with capacity for 200), recording studio, dance studio, bar and restaurant has brought new vibrancy not only to the Tolbooth but to the local community.

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