Stirling Castle, one of the most important and grandest castles of Scotland. Sitting 80 metres high on an extinct volcano it is surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides it became the strategic military key to the kingdom during the 13th and 14th-century Wars of Independence. And Stirling Castle was the favourite residence of many Stuart monarchs.
Try to be there as early as possible especially during the busy season! I was actually considering just turning around when I saw the masses of people! But as I had free entry with the “Explorer Pass” and turning around wasn´t possible I just waited for a free parking spot and went inside.
Stirling Castle was first mentioned around 1110, and many royal dramas unfolded here. Until the Union of the Crowns in 1603, almost every Scottish monarch had either lived in the castle, or been crowned or died here. (Historic Scotland)
In 1543 Mary, Queen of Scots was crowned at Stirling Castle, like many Stuarts were.
Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. (Scotlandinfo.eu)
Royal Palace on the left and the Great Hall on the right – a bird flying above! The Royal Palace was the first Renaissance palace in the British Isles, built by James V. The Great Hall is the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland.
It is possible to walk around the walls and the view is breathtaking to all sides.
The King’s Knot is on the grounds of the ancient King’s Park, Crown property from at least the 1100s, where Scotland’s royalty partook in jousting, hawking and hunting. (Historic Scotland)
The King´s and Queen’s knot were part of the formal garden, remodelled in1633 for Charles I coronation and extensively renovated on order of Queen Victoria.
I left the car at the car park and walked a little bit around the area looking for Argyll´s Lodging which was closed for renovations. It´s a Renaissance Townhouse which must be pretty amazing inside, the outside isn´t that bad either.
While walking around I also came across Mar´s Wark an impressive townhouse from the 16th century.
Mar was governor of Edinburgh Castle during the regency of Mary of Guise, from 1554 to 1560. He turned against her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, after the murder of her second husband Lord Darnley in 1567.
He lost his governorship in Edinburgh, but became hereditary keeper of Stirling Castle – a position his ancestors had occasionally held since the reign of King Robert I. Mar was given custody of Mary’s infant son, James VI, after the assassination of Mary’s brother, Regent Moray, in 1571. (Historic Scotland)