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- Stirling Castle
- Alt Name:
- United Kingdom
- High Medieval (1000AD–1300AD)
- 1100AD - 1199AD
- Mary Queen of Scots
- Stirling, Glasgow, Edinburgh,
- Bannockburn Battlefield, Edinburgh Castle,
about Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle is an iconic royal palace and stronghold, seen to represent Scottish independence and a focal point for many of the most important events in Scotland’s history.
Famous Events at Stirling Castle
It was the site of royal deaths such as that of King Alexander I in 1124 and William I in 1214, the subject of a tug of war between the English and the Scottish during the Wars of Scottish Independence and even the scene of an assassination. This latter event, the murder of William the eighth Earl of Douglas, occurred when he was invited to dinner there in 1452. A skeleton found at the castle in the eighteenth century is believed to have been his.
During the Wars of Scottish Independence, Stirling Castle was fought over by some of the most famous figures in Scottish and English history, including William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.
Royal events at Stirling Castle included the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots (1543) and the baptism of her son, James VI (1566), both at the Chapel Royal.
At least part of the reason for the prominence of Stirling Castle over the centuries must be attributed to its location. Situated atop the flat top of an ancient volcano, it forms an imposing sight and a formidable stronghold. Furthermore, it is located at a vital strategic point at the centre of various routes across Scotland.
The first mention of Stirling Castle dates to 1110, when Alexander I endowed a chapel there, but many believe the site has been fortified since prehistoric times (although this is disputed).
The current grand incarnation of Stirling Castle mostly dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries onwards. Some of the highlights include the King’s Old Building, constructed in 1496 for James IV, the Great Hall, which was medieval Scotland’s largest banqueting hall built by James IV in the early sixteenth century and the Royal Palace, built by James V in around 1540.
One of the most well-known parts of Stirling Castle is its Forework Gate, a turreted stone fortification built by James IV in the early sixteenth century.
Visiting the castle
Today, Stirling Castle offers tours around its buildings and grounds. Visitors can tour with an audio guide or with a tour guide and there are a range of exhibitions to see. Not least of these is the Regimental Museum, a military museum dedicated to the Argyll
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Stirling Castle is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Stirling Castle, Castle Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EJ
Phone: +44 (0) 1786 450 000
Stirling Castle is centrally located in Stirling, Scotland, approx 30 miles northeast of Glasgow and 40 miles northwest of Edinburg (easily connected to both by rail and road).
Stirling Castle is open daily 9:30am-5pm (to 6pm Apr-Sept). Last entry 45 min. before closing. Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The Regimental Museum closes at 4:45pm (also closed 18 Dec - 2 Jan). Entry costs £9 for adults, £5.40 for children (5-15), £7.20 for over 60s and unemployed, free for under 5s.
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