Linlithgow Palace

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Linlithgow Palace is situated 19 miles west of Edinburgh, 33 miles east of Glasgow, in the centre of Linlithgow town. This was the largest Palace of the Scottish Royals in the 1400s and 1500s. The Palaces at Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle were much smaller, having to be built inside castle walls.

After James VI Stuart became king of England and Scotland in 1603, the Royals from then mainly lived in England. Linlithgow Palace was little used after 1603, falling into ruin. The remains are now maintained to serve as a top tourist attraction. Regular trains run between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Linlithgow.

Open - 1 Apr - 30 Sept: 9.30am to 5.30pm. 1 Oct - 31 Mar: 10am to 4pm with an entrance fee. You can view the exterior free any time.

Palace Map 32 Large Images Website

See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

The image top is of Kirkgate leading from Linlithgow Centre to St Michael's Church, with the Spire, and Linlithgow Palace.

The Blue Plaques on Kirkgate are for each Royal that stayed at the Palace.

The second image is of Linlithgow Palace south side with St Michael's Church on the right, one of the largest and most impressive Churches in Scotland.

The third image is of the south and west sides.

The fourth image is of the main east side entrance today. The original larger main entrance is on the north side, that carriages could enter.

The Fountain is in the centre of the Palace, with the Viewing Tower in the southwest corner, accessed via the Royal Apartments.

The Tower gives great views over Linlithgow Loch and Town.

Linlithgow Palace History

1100s - there is a Royal Manor on this site built for King David I.

1242 - the Church of St Michael is completed for King David I.

1300s - the English forces of Edward I take control of the area and build a fort around the Royal Manor. The fort was used as a military base between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle by the English during the First War of Scottish Independence.

Scotland had no King at that time, with the English trying to gain control.

Robert the Bruce and his followers forced the English out of Scotland, with Bruce becoming King of Scots, with his descendants being the Stuart / Stewart Kings. Stewart is the French way of spelling the name.

1424 - many buildings in Linlithgow were destroyed by a vast fire with St Michael's Church partially ruined.

1424 - King James I Stuart begins the building of Linlithgow Palace as the largest Royal Palace in Scotland. Work to restore St Michael's Church begins in the same year.

1453 - King James II took Blackness Castle from the Crichton's. This castle is situated 4 miles north of Linlithgow Palace, with a harbour on the Firth of Forth.

1501 - James IV transformed Falkland Castle into a Palace, 37 miles northeast of Linlithgow, giving the Royals two Palaces that were not inside Castles. Falkland Palace was mainly used for hunting and sport.

1530s - Linlithgow Palace is completed after many Royals added to the original structure.

The Palaces at Edinburgh and Stirling castles were much smaller, as they were contained inside the castle walls. They were still used, especially during conflicts.

1540 - restoration of the Church of St Michael was complete.

1542 - Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots is born in Linlithgow Palace. She was baptized in St Michael's Church.

1603 - King James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots, becomes king of England and Scotland, leading to the Royals mainly living in England from that time.

1607 - the north range of the Palace collapses.

1618 to 1622 - restoration work is carried out for King James VI.

1633 - King Charles I Stuart stays one night at the Palace, the last reigning Monarch to do so.

1640s - the Palace fell into disrepair with only parts being inhabited by the Earl of Linlithgow.

1678 - Holyrood Palace is completed in Edinburgh, about 1 mile north of Edinburgh Castle, becoming the main Royal residence in Scotland.

1714 - Queen Anne Stuart dies without leaving an heir. Her German cousin George I Hanover became King of Great Britain, leading to uprisings.

1745 - Bonnie Prince Charlie Stuart visited Linlithgow Palace during the Jacobite Wars to have the Stuart's returned to the throne, but never stayed at the Palace.

1746 January - the Palace was left as a ruin by the army of George II Hanover, as they set about ending the Jacobite rising.

1746 April - Hanover troops defeat the Jacobite's at the Battle of Culloden, end of the wars in Britain.

The Hanoverian's went on to rule Britain until the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Her successor was her son Edward VII of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, from his fathers side. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha has been known as the House of Windsor since World War One.

Linlithgow Palace has remained an impressive ruin since 1746.

Today - Linlithgow Palace is maintained and run as a visitor attraction by Historic Environment Scotland.

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Linlithgow Palace Photos