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Last Updated September 21, 2019, 2:46 pm
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Stirling Scotland - (Read by 'Angelic')

With its mighty castle perched dramatically on a ridge above its rooftops, Stirling is one of Scotland's most historic towns. Once upon a time it was Scotland's capital and is still known as the "gateway to the Highlands". It's also a thriving modern city, Scotland's newest in fact with excellent arts provision, a go-ahead university and excellent shopping.

Stirling Castle

Also dominating the skyline is the National Wallace Monument. These are the two cues for the visitor to find out more about the city's history, and its heroes. Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. The latter was brought to the big screen by Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" and the film's appeal has increased Stirling's already considerable status as a tourist attraction.


  1. Who does the word "latter" refer to?
  2. What word would we used to refer to the other person?
When you tire of the city there is some of Scotland's most fabulous scenery right on the doorstep. The Trossachs to the northwest have been described as the "Highlands in Miniature" it's a beautiful area, Scotland's first National park, with breath-taking hills, forest parks and the inspiring Loch Katrine. The Campsie Fells to the southwest are a range of low rolling hills where quiet country inns and lovely parish churches are to be discovered in the gentle glens, and further west, of course, is the magnificent Loch Lomond and the gateway to the magic of the West Highlands.

Perched high on a hill


Grey Friar's Bobby - Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is not the biggest city in Scotland but it is the capital city. Edinburgh is an old and beautiful city, full of fascinating places to visit. One of these is a church called Greyfriars Kirk. Kirk is a Scottish word for church.
GreyFriars's Bobby
The church was built on land which was once a Franciscan monastery. The Franciscan monks wore grey clothing, and so it became known as Greyfriars. Greyfriars Kirk had an important role in the 17th century, and was a centre for Protestant opposition to the king. However, these days, people visit Greyfriars Kirk in their thousands, not because they are interested in 17th century Scotland, but to see a little statue of a dog, called Greyfriars Bobby.

Bobby belonged to a man called John Gray (or auld Jock as he was commonly known.) Auld Jock was a night watchman, and Bobby went with him everywhere. Then, in 1858 Auld Jock died of tuberculosis.
He was buried in the churchyard of Greyfriars Kirk. For the next 14 years, Bobby sat beside his master's grave waiting for him to return, until at last in 1872 Bobby himself died. Soon after that, a wealthy lady paid for a statue to commemorate the dog, and tourists have come to visit the place ever since. There have been books and a film about Greyfriars Bobby, and in Edinburgh you can buy all sorts of Greyfriars Bobby souvenirs. Bobby is indeed one of the most famous dogs in the world.
  1. What adjectives describe a typical dogs character?
What do you think about this story? Perhaps you find the story of Greyfriars Bobby very moving. Perhaps there are tears running down your cheeks as you think of the poor little dog waiting for his master who never returned. Or perhaps you are thinking, What a stupid dog! Why didn't he go away and chase cats or chew bones or do other things that make a dog happy

Or perhaps you are wondering whether this story about Greyfriars Bobby is true or not? It may have been made up by the tourist industry of Edinburgh. Jan Bondeson of Cardiff University has recently published a book about Greyfriars Bobby. Jan thinks that Bobby was a stray dog and that the man who looked after the graveyard invented the story about Bobby sitting beside his master's grave. People in 19th century Britain were often rather sentimental, and a stories like Greyfriars Bobby appealed to them. The man who looked after the churchyard used to tell the story to visitors, and the visitors would put their hands in their pockets and pull out a few coins to give to him. The owner of a nearby restaurant and other local businessmen helped to spread the story, in order to encourage more visitors to come. When the original Bobby died (probably in 1867), they even found another dog to take his place. In other words, Mr Bondeson thinks that the story of Greyfriars Bobby was a publicity stunt by the Edinburgh tourist industry.

So, fact or fiction? I cannot possibly say what I think. Scottish history is full of romantic stories. Wealthy American tourists who imagine that they have Scottish ancestors believe these stories. The Scottish tourist industry depends on them. It is one of the unwritten laws of our country that English people like me are not allowed to say that a Scottish story, no matter how implausible, is not true. So, if you want to believe that Greyfriars Bobby sat for 14 years beside his master's grave, you can believe it. I am not going to stop you.


  1. Which words in the text have a similar meaning to invented?
  2. What is this man wearing ? He is wearing a _____ KLIT
  3. What is this Scottish material pattern called?
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