James V’s Palace at Stirling is one of the finest and best-preserved Renaissance buildings in Great Britain. Following a major programme of research and re-presentation, it can now be seen by visitors much as it may have looked on completion around 1545.
The decoration of the Palace’s six main rooms is overwhelmingly colourful, rich and elaborate.
James and his French wife Mary of Guise aimed to present themselves as wealthy, learned and sophisticated.
Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1543. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle.
Under the early Stewart kings Robert II (reigned 1371–1390) and Robert III reigned 1390–1406), the earliest surviving parts of the castle were built.
Robert Stewart, Earl of Menteith, Regent of Scotland as brother of Robert III, undertook works on the north and south gates. The present north gate is built on these foundations of the 1380s, the earliest surviving masonry in the castle. In 1424, Stirling Castle was part of the jointure marriage settlement) given to James I's wife Joan Beaufort, establishing a tradition which later monarchs continued.
After James' murder in 1437, Joan took shelter here with her son, the young James II.
Fifteen years later, it was at Stirling Castle that James stabbed and killed the Earl of Douglas, when the latter refused to end a potentially treasonous alliance with the Earl of Ross and the Earl of Crawford.
James III (reigned 1460–1488) was born here, and later undertook works to the gardens and the chapel royal. The manufacture of artillery in the castle is recorded in 1475.
James' wife, Margaret of Denmark, died in Stirling Castle in 1486, and two years later James himself died at the Battle of Sauchieburn,fought over almost the same ground as the Battle of Bannockburn, just to the south of the castle.
The castle has many outside decorations; the insert shows how it looked with white-wash applied: even nicer!
The 'golden' part of the castle stands out, but can also easily be seen from many miles away.
The interior of Stirling Castle is richly decorated.
Intricate wooden ornaments such as these were widely used throughout the castle.
A decorative detail from the ceiling of a particular room.
| Perched on top of a volcanic rock overlooking the River Forth, Stirling Castle is one of the most impressive castles in Scotland.
Probably best known for its place in the Braveheart story, the castle has a rich history having been attacked on several occasions. It has also seen the baptisms and coronations of a number of Scottish Monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots.
Most of the buildings that remain today were constructed between the 16th and early 18th centuries.
Robert I (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329), often known as Robert the Bruce
(Medieval Gaelic: Roibert a Briuis; modern Scottish Gaelic: Raibeart Bruis;
Norman French: Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys), was King of Scots from
March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.
His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage (originating in Brix,
Manche, Normandy), and his maternal of Franco-Gaelic. He became one of
Scotland's greatest kings, as well as one of the most famous warriors of
his generation, eventually leading Scotland during the Wars of Scottish
Independence against the Kingdom of England.
Today in Scotland, Bruce is remembered as a national hero.
His body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey, while his heart is buried in
Melrose Abbey. His embalmed heart was to be taken on crusade by his
lieutenant and friend Sir James Douglas to the Holy Land, but only reached
Moorish Granada, where it acted as a talisman for the Scottish contingent
at the Battle of Teba.
We rested our weary legs & feet at the lunchroom, enjoying coffee & cakes