Edinburgh Castle is a a large fortress in the
centre of Edinburgh in Scotland. The image top is
from the Scott Monument looking south along Princes
Street, and Princes Street Gardens with Edinburgh
Castle sitting high above.
The top attractions in Edinburgh Castle are the
Palace, Great Hall, Crown Jewels, St Margaret's
Chapel, National War Memorial building, Military
Museum, Prison Cells, huge Mons Meg cannon, 1 O'clock
gun that is fired each day, Soldier’s Dog Cemetery,
and amazing views in all directions from the
ramparts. Prices & Opening Times.
Google Map . Edinburgh Pages .
Large Images .
The earliest parts of Edinburgh Castle were built
for David I in the 1100s. The tiny St Margaret's
Chapel is the oldest remaining building in the castle
from the 1100s in honor of his mother Saint
Edinburgh Castle and Stirling
Castle 36 miles northwest, are two similar large
fortresses, both built as Royal residences, and to
Most of the Edinburgh Castle that can be seen
today was built from the late 1500s, as the earlier
defenses were damaged by English cannon during wars
between Scotland and England.
The wars were over Mary Queen of Scots, first in
an attempt to have her mary Henry VIII of England's
son, then later to have her removed as Queen.
James VI became King of Scotland in 1567, after
his mother Mary Queen of Scots was forced to
abdicate. This led to more peaceful times with James
becoming King of England and Scotland in 1603.
The Great Hall in Edinburgh Castle was completed
in 1511, and the Palace around 1615. The Scottish
Crown Jewels are displayed in the Palace. They are in
a small room where no photos are allowed.
The statues of Robert the Bruce and William
Wallace were placed at each side of the entrance to
the castle in 1929.
History of Edinburgh Castle
Early Kings of Scotland were descendants of
Malcolm III (Canmore)
1031 – 1093.
These were the first Kings to control most of
Scotland. Before this time, many areas of Scotland
had different rulers.
Malcolm III and his wife Margaret, later Saint Margaret, used
Dunfermline Abbey and Palace as their main
Royal residence, now a partial ruin.
1100s - Edinburgh Castle is built for David I to serve as a
secure Royal residence and military fortress.
1100s - Stirling Castle is also built to serve as
another secure Royal residence and military fortress
35 miles west of Edinburgh. Stirling Castle Palace
and Great Hall are slightly larger than the ones at
Edinburgh and Stirling castles were ideally
situated from where to control most of Scotland.
1153 - King Malcolm IV is the first king to use
Edinburgh Castle as his main Royal residence.
1174 to 1186 - the English took control of
Edinburgh Castle after capturing King William the Lion
at the Battle of
Scots/ English wars at that time were over where
the border should be between the countries.
1286 - the death of King Alexander III without
leaving an heir led to the Wars of Scottish
Independence. This was the end of the Canmore
Edward I of England took this opportunity to gain
control of Scotland. Edinburgh Castle changed hands a
few times until the Treaty of Berwick was signed in
1357, ending the wars.
Bruce became King of Scotland during the Wars of
Scottish Independence, with his descendants being the
Stuart Kings that ruled most of the time until
1430s, Sir William Crichton was the Keeper of
Edinburgh Castle for the boy King James II Stuart.
Crichton had William Douglas and his younger brother
David executed at Edinburgh Castle after inviting
them to have dinner with James II.
The killings were believed to have been because
the Douglas Clan were regarded as too powerful,
suspected of wanting to overthrow the king, and they
were the neighbouring Clan of the Crichton's, with
long running feuds between the two Clans.
1420s - work to build Linlithgow
Palace 18 miles west of Edinburgh begins. This
was to be a much larger Palace than could be built
inside a castle.
1430s - construction of the Palace at Edinburgh
1457 - the huge cannon Mons Meg arrives at
Edinburgh Castle for part of its defenses.
1458 - the Great Hall is completed at Edinburgh
1530s - Linlithgow Palace is completed as a vast
Royal residence with little defense. The Palaces in
Edinburgh and Stirling castles are still used,
especially during times of conflict.
1540s - wars with England begin over Mary Queen of
Scots. Edward VIII of England wanted Mary to mary his
son so Scotland and England could be united.
1567 - James VI became King of Scotland after
Scottish Nobles forced his mother Mary Queen of Scots
1603 - James VI Stuart of
Scotland becomes King James I of England as well,
uniting the two countries.
1633 - King Charles I Stuart visited Edinburgh
Castle to host a feast in the Great Hall for his
Scottish coronation, the last time a reigning monarch
stayed in the castle.
1640s - Linlithgow Palace falls into
1640s - wars break out in England and Scotland
over religion. Edinburgh Castle changes hands a few
times to various forces in this period.
The Reformation of the late 1500s saw Christian
Catholicism become illegal, being replaced by
Protestantism split into a number of forms, with
Anglican adopted by most churches in England, with
the King head of these churches.
Presbyterian was adopted by most churches in
Scotland, with elders the head of these churches.
1630s, the Presbyterian elders were accused of
running Scotland from this time. Their followers were
known as Covenanters.
1639, Charles I, king of England and Scotland,
attempted to force his Anglican beliefs on the Scots,
so he could gain more control over Scotland.
This led to the Wars of the Three
Kingdoms, between Scotland, England and Ireland,
leading to the Stuart's being removed from power and
the English Civil War.
Edinburgh Castle changed hands a number of times
during these conflicts with the Covenanters taking
1660, Charles II Stuart is restored to the throne
of Scotland and England, leading to more peaceful
Charles II bases a full time army at Edinburgh
Castle at this time. The castle is then used to hold
high profile prisoners, thought to be involved in
plots to overthrow the Royals.
1678 - Holyrood Palace is completed about 1 mile
north of Edinburgh Castle, becoming the main Royal
residence in Scotland.
1687 - James II, king of England and Scotland,
brought an end to fighting over religion by allowing
all to serve God in their own way and manner.
1707 - the Acts of Union merged the English and
Scottish Parliaments. This led to Edinburgh becoming
one of four Scottish castles permanently garrisoned
by a new British Army, the others being Stirling,
1714 - Queen Anne Stuart dies without leaving an
heir, leading to her German cousin George I Hanover
being elected King of Great Britain.
This led to a series of wars as a number of
Stuart's believed they had a greater claim to the
1715 to 1746 - the Jacobite Risings took place in
an attempt to restore Stuart's to the throne of Great
Britain. Edinburgh Castle was attacked a number of
times during the risings, but was never taken.
1746 - the Kings Hanoverian troops defeat the
Jacobite's at the Battle of Culloden, the last major
battle on the British mainland, ending any hopes of
the Stuart's regaining the throne.
1818 - Sir Walter Scott searched Edinburgh Castle
and found the Crown of Scotland in a sealed room.
1845 - Edinburgh Castle and the Crown Jewels are
opened to the public, becoming by far the most
visited attraction in Scotland. Edinburgh Castle may
be the second most visited attraction in the UK,
after the Tower of London.
1996 - the Stone of Scone also
known as the Stone of Destiny, was returned to
Scotland so it could be displayed next to the Crown
Jewels in Edinburgh Castle.
This was the Coronation Stone of many Scottish
Kings. It was taken by the English forces of Edward I
from Scone Abbey in 1296. It was
kept at Westminster Abbey in
London for 700 years.