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- Category: B
- Date Added: 28/10/1976
- Local Authority: Stirling
- Planning Authority: Stirling
- Burgh: Stirling
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 79636 93454
- Coordinates: 279636, 693454
John McLean 1879-1882; 1964, theatre converted to shop; Honeyman, Jack & Robertson, early 1980s restoration; circa 2000 further restoration. Rare classically-detailed shopping arcade on ground sloping to NE, with entrances at King Street (former Temperance Hotel) and Murray Place (former Douglas Hotel) and incorporating shell of Alhambra Theatre (former Arcade Theatre).
1. 32, 34 KING STREET (originally Temperance Hotel) late classical 4-storey and mansard attic, ashlar, plain slim pilasters flank bipartite central bay, tripartite outer bay with canted bays 1st and 2nd floors. Ground floor shop at left. Slated roof with dormers, acroters.
2. SOUTH-WEST ARCADE MALL (36-50, 31-43 Arcade) 2-storey 4-double-bay shopping arcade with glass roof carried on timber transverse arches, ground floor altered.
3. CENTRAL SQUARE (26-34, 15-19 Arcade) 3-storey, 3-broad bays of superimposed orders timber and glass roof braced in wrought-iron, late classical facades of superimposed pilasters, more elaborate treatment on NE side at facade of former Town Hall, now gutted as department store.
4. NORTH-EAST MALL ARCADE (6-24, 5-19 Arcade) Nos 20-24, 15-19, single-storey with flat ceilings; nos 6-16, 5-13, 3 double
bays similar to those in South-West Mall Arcade.
5. FORMER DOUGLAS HOTEL
Murray Place, 2, 4 and 1, 3 Arcade. Free Victorian Renaissance, 4-storey and mansard attic, 3 bays wide, arched window over Arcade entrance, canted 1st and 2nd floor bays to either side. Roofless, burnt 1971, under repair 1975-6.
Statement of Special Interest
This shopping arcade, now known as the Stirling Arcade, is a fine example located between Stirling's principal shopping streets and the Castle. It is one of just five remaining in Scotland. Built for William Crawford, local councillor and china merchant, at a cost of about £30,000, it was also home to the Arcade Theatre.
Crawford's Arcade, as it was known, links King Street and Murray Place. Narrow street facades at each end lead into the ramped shopping arcade. Entering at King Street on higher ground to the SW, the arcade runs down to the NE, it dog-legs to the left into a lofty rectangular-plan level centre court and back again to the right to slope down to Murray Place. The Arcade, together with the Alhambra Theatre and Douglas Hotel were sold by auction in 1920 after the death of William Crawford.
The Arcade Theatre was situated within the arcade above the shops. Access was by the extant elegant cantilevered dog-leg staircase with decorative cast iron balusters and serpentine curved top landing on thin cast iron columns, with some fine decorative plasterwork. In 1964 the space was converted to a furniture showroom for Thomas Menzies Limited. The fine interior detail was removed owing to its poor condition but managing director, Mr Stirling Farquhar, had a pictorial record made. The auditorium 'had two U-shaped balconies, supported on iron columns, with a vaulted ceiling of painted panels. It seated 1,200 and had a chequered start with various short leases' (Peter). It was sold to William Crawford in 1912 and renamed the Alhambra Music Hall. It was then used for cine-variety and became a full-time cinema in 1930. The cinema closed in 1939 due to perceived fire risk owing to limited access.
Scotland's other shopping arcades are at: Central Arcade, Ayr (1880), North Bridge Arcade, Edinburgh (1900), Argyle Arcade, Glasgow (1827), and Market Arcade, Inverness (1860).
References and Notes updated as part of the Cinema Thematic Study 2007-08.
List description further updated as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.
ohn Gifford and Frank Arneil Walker The Buildings of Scotland Stirling and Central Scotland (2002), pp709, 740. Margaret MacKeith Shopping Arcades 1817-1939 (1985), pp131-2. Bruce Peter Scotland' Splendid Theatres (1999), pp226-7.
www.scottishcinemas.org.uk [accessed 31.12.07].
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