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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
1678 - Holyrood Palace is completed
in Edinburgh, about 1 mile north of Edinburgh
Castle, becoming the main Royal residence in
1714 - Queen Anne Stuart dies without
leaving an heir. Her German cousin George I
Hanover became King of Great Britain, leading
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
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