1100s - Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle
were built for David I to serve as secure Royal
residences, and large military forts so he
could attempt to take control of all Scotland,
and extend its borders south into lands
disputed with England.
1128 - David I founded the Augustinian
Holyrood Abbey one mile north of Edinburgh
The straight road between the Castle and
Abbey become known as the Royal Mile.
1326 - Robert the Bruce held a parliament at
the Abbey. Bruce had become King of Scotland
during the First War of
Scottish Independence 1296 - 1328.
Robert the Bruce descendants were the Stuart
Kings that ruled Scotland until 1707, and
Scotland and England from 1603 to 1707.
1370 - David II was buried at Holyrood
Abbey. The following years saw a number of
Royals married and buried at the Abbey.
1400s - Royal Apartments were built at
1505 - a Palace was built next to the Abbey
for James IV.
1544 - during the War with England over
Henry VIII wanting the young Mary Queen of
Scots to mary his son to unite the two
countries, Holyrood was looted and burned.
1559 - the Reformation lead to the banning
of Christian Catholicism in favour of Christian
Protestantism, with Reformers destroying the
Holyrood Abbey was left to fall into a ruin
from that time.
1561 - Mary Queen of Scots took up residence
in the Royal Apartments in the Tower of
Mary married her two Scots husbands at
Holyrood, Lord Darnley in 1565, and the 4th
Earl of Bothwell in 1567.
1566 - Mary's private secretary, the Italian
David Rizzio, was murdered in front of Mary in
her private apartments.
stabbed 56 times by Lord Darnley and his
friends as Darnley blamed him for getting Mary
1567 February - Lord Darnley was murdered in
the orchard of Kirk o' Field
house, close to Holyrood, where he had been
Queen Mary and her top nobleman, the 4th
Earl of Bothwell, were suspected of being
behind the murder.
Mary enraged many people after she was seen
playing golf at St Andrews only a few days
after Darnley's murder.
1567 April - Mary was traveling from
Linlithgow Palace to Edinburgh when Bothwell
and 800 men took her to his Castle at
1567 May - Mary married Bothwell in the
Great Hall at Holyrood. It is unclear if this
was a consensual or forced marriage.
1567 July - Mary was forced to abdicate in
favour of her one year old son James, who
became King of Scotland at that time, and King
of Scotland and England in 1603.
Scottish Nobles had rebelled against the
marriage of Mary to Bothwell, forcing Bothwell
to flee the country, and Mary to abdicate. Mary
was imprisoned by the Nobles in Loch Leven
Castle by Perth north of Edinburgh.
1568 - Mary escaped and moved to
1587 - Mary was executed by beheading at
Castle by Peterborough in England.
Mary's cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England,
had her executed as some Nobles in England and
Scotland, were accused of plotting to have the
Catholic Mary replace the Protestant Queen
1603 - Queen Elizabeth died without leaving
an heir. Mary Queen of Scots son James VI of
Scotland, became King of England as well,
uniting the two countries.
The Stuart's then ruled England and Scotland
till 1707, with the exception of 11 years
during the English Civil War.
1660 - Charles II was restored to the throne
after the English Civil War.
1670s - the new Holyrood Palace was
completed for Charles II to serve as the Royals
main residence when visiting Scotland.
The 1670s work on Hollyrood Palace extended
the Scottish Baronial front and added the
larger rear section in Renaissance style.
1707 - the Protestant Queen Anne Stuart died
without leaving an heir. Her Protestant German
cousin George became George I, King of Great
Britain. This was the end of the Stuart Royals
as the next in line Stuart's were Catholics,
with the English Parliament not wanting a
Catholic King as they were seen to be too close
to the French.
1745 - Bonnie Prince Charlie controled
Holyrood for five weeks during the Jacobite
Risings, an attempt to have the Catholic
Stuart's take the throne. The Jacobite's failed
to capture Edinburgh Castle at that time, as
forces loyal to George II repelled the
1746 - the Battle of Culloden saw the
defeat of the Jacobite's, the last major battle
on the British mainland.
1746 to today - Few Royals have stayed at
Holyrood Palace. The present Queen only spends
about one week each summer at the Palace.
The Royals prefer living at Balmoral
Castle in the northeast of Scotland, a
remote peaceful location with more privacy.
2011 - The Queen's granddaughter Zara
Phillips married England rugby player Mike
Tindall at the Canongate Kirk
on the Royal Mile. Holyrood Palace was used for
the wedding celebrations, said to be an
exceptionally lively event.
Holyrood Park Page