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Stirling Castle, Scotland

Friday, October 02, 2009

Today, we took a trip up to Stirling Castle from Glasgow.

This is one of Scotland's top tourist attractions which has much to offer the visitor including:

  • Superb views from the high elevation ( in good weather!)
  • The Great Hall with its gold coloured exterior (to indicate wealth and power)
  • Former Royal Palace (currently undergoing restoration).
  • The usual architecture and functions of a medieval castle, on a large scale.
  • Tapestry weaving.
  • A Renaissance inspired Chapel Royal dating from 1594.
  • A military museum, reflecting the long connection with the British Army.
  • Close proximity to two historic battle sites, namely Bannockburn in 1314 and Stirling Bridge in 1297.
This image shows the interior of the Chapel Royal with tapestries which have been woven by hand using old techniques.


Exterior of the Great Hall dating from 1503. The largest such hall ever built in Scotland.
This video shows the exterior of the Royal Palace and the Forework.

video

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Visit Stirling Castle, Scotland

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today, I am posting a video and images taken during a tour/visit to this historic castle which has played a pivotal role in Scotland's history.

The castle is located on a conveniently situated volcanic plug which affords a superb defensive position for guarding access to the Central Highlands of Scotland.

First records of a castle on the site date from the 12th century. During subsequent centuries the castle suffered sixteen major sieges and oscillated between Scottish and English control.

Two major battles occurred in the vicinity of Stirling Castle:

  1. The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 when William Wallace ( aka 'Braveheart') defeated a superior English force.
  2. Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 when a force under Robert the Bruce defeated a superior English force under Edward II.
The Castle's golden age occurred during the 16th century when it became a royal palace of the Stewart age and benefited from lavish spending by King James IV and V but was little used by royalty after the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

View of castle entrance from bowling green.


Royal Palace which is currently undergoing an extensive, long-term refurbishment programme.
Close up of statute of King James on the Royal Palace.

Chapel Royal built for the baptism of Prince Henry Stewart in 1594. This building contains a collection of stunning tapestries.

The Great Hall built 1500. External covering in a gold coloured protective coat to give an impression of great wealth.

Close up of statues on the Royal Palace of King James V. (1540)

video

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Scottish Castle Tour Stirling

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stirling Castle is an excellent example of a Scottish castle and well located for the visitor to Scotland. It is situated on the rock of Stirling (an ancient volcano) and was the key to medieval Scotland. All invading armies had to come to the rock of Stirling to to enter Scotland's hinterlands.

The first record of a castle date from Alexander I who died there in 1124.

Close by were fought two major, decisive battles in which the Scots beat the English:

  • Stirling Bridge in 1297
  • Bannockburn in 1314
The Stewart age brought stability, and money was lavished to tun the castle into a symbol of royal authority:

  • The Great Hall of 1500
  • Gatehouse 1510
  • Royal Palace of King James V 1540
However, the palace was little used by royalty after 1603 but witnessed action in 1651 during a siege by Roundheads and was badly damaged.

Here is a recreation of the Castle kitchens.


Here is the main entrance
Here is the Palace (interior of which is being refurbished)

Another view of the entrance
Palace view

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Stirling Castle Tour

Monday, January 07, 2008

Today, is not very pleasant, so I have marshalled some images of a previous tour of Stirling Castle. This one was taken in side the chapel and incorporates 17th century decoration with a Charles I motif.


This is an external view of the Royal Palace. The castle dates from the 15th and 16th centuries when it was a palace of the Stewart dynasty.

This is the Great Hall.The external colouring is deliberate-to replicate the original.
Bullet and cannon holes in the principal entrance.These date to the civil war of the 17th century.

Main entrance to the castle
Stirling Castle holds a superb position, sitting on an old volcanic plug.It has witnessed two key battles in Scotland's history-Bannockburn and Stirling Bridge.It is close to both Edinburgh and Glasgow and well worth a visit.

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