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Index of first names

Stirling Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Situated on a volcanic outcrop guarding the lowest crossing point of the River Forth, Stirling Castle is a great symbol of Scottish Independence and a source of enduring national pride. The castle’s long, turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland’s past, such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. It has seen many royal dramas and witnessed the lives and deaths of almost every Scottish monarch up to the Union of the Crowns in 1603. of Stirling’s long history is a complex monument of diverse buildings and spaces. At its heart lies the Inner Close, around which are ranged the most important buildings – the King’s Old Building (built for James IV in 1496), the Great Hall (James IV around 1503), the Palace (James V around 1540) and the Chapel Royal (James VI in 1594).

Around the OutAround the Outer Close are the Great Kitchens (early 16th century) and later Army buildings. The Nether Bailey occupying the lowest part of the castle rock houses 19th-century powder magazines. The Outer Defences (Queen Anne around 1710) and Forework (James IV around 1500) guard the main entrance from the town.

Stirling Castle is first mentioned around 1110, in Alexander I’s reign; he died here in 1124. Throughout the Wars of Independence with England (1296–1356), Stirling was hotly fought over, changing hands frequently. Bloody battles were fought in its shadow – Wallace’s great victory over Edward I at Stirling Bridge (1297), and Bruce’s decisive encounter with Edward II at Bannockburn (1314). Bruce then destroyed the castle to prevent it falling into enemy hands again.

Stirling was the favoured residence of most of Scotland’s later medieval monarchs. Most contributed to its impressive architecture. In James IV’s reign (1488–1513), Scotland was increasingly receptive to Classical ideas spreading across Europe from Renaissance Italy. James spent much time and money making the castle fit for a European monarch, chiefly to impress his queen, Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England.

His legacy was continued by his son, James V, equally determined to impress his second bride, Queen Marie de Guise. Their daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, was crowned here in 1543, and Mary’s own son, the future James VI, was baptised here in 1566. The celebrations culminated in a fireworks display on the Esplanade, the first seen in Scotland. James VI hosted a great three-day celebration here in 1594 to mark his own son’s baptism.e head of the increasingly powerful Douglas family, William, 8th Earl of Douglas, was invited under the protection of the king to Stirling Castle. The intention was to persuade William to break some alliances felt to be against the royal interest. When he refused James could not contain his anger, the king drew his dagger and stabbed William twenty nine times before throwing his body from the window. This is traditionally said to have taken place in the King's Old Building but this had not yet been built. It may have been in an earlier building on the same site.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: Friday, 12 September 2014