Stirling Castle is situated on the
west side of the City of Stirling,
most historic Castle in Scotland due to
its location, in central Scotland from
where many old Military Roads lead up
into the Highlands. The Battles of
Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn took
place within 2 miles of the Castle. Many
Scottish Kings lived at Stirling Castle
with its Palace, Great Hall, and Chapel
Castle, 36 miles southeast on the
coast, is also a Royal Castle, similar in
Stirling Castle can be visited in
Summer, 9.30am to 6.00pm. Winter, 9.30am
to 5pm, with an entrance fee. Postcode:
See also a large Click On Map for Top Attractions in
The image top is from a Car Park on the west
side of Stirling where you get great views of
the Castle. The sun comes round to this side in
Hop On Hop Off Buses run between Stirling,
The Battle of Bannockburn Experience,
Stirling Castle, & the Wallace
Monument between July & September.
The second image is from the grounds of
Church built from the 1400s, a scenic area
with great views of the Castle.
The third image is from the vast Car Park at
the entrance to Stirling Castle. There are
great views from here to the Wallace
Monument 2 miles east.
The Great Hall is painted in a colour named
Kings Gold. This colour helps the Building
stand out, making the Castle easy to see from
miles off. The Hall is said to have been built
between 1501 to 1504 for James IV (Stuart).
The Great Hall interior with its impressive
Hammerbeam Roof, was the largest ever built in
Scotland at 138ft by 47ft. The Great Hall at
Edinburgh Castle is 95ft by 41ft. This was the
setting of the top Celebrations from 1504 until
James VI of Scotland became King of Scotland
and England in 1603. Stuart Kings from that
time were mainly based in London.
The Chapel Royal in Stirling Castle that was
built around 1594. This Building replaced a
smaller Chapel from much earlier.
King James V died in December 1542. His 9
month old child Mary was crowned Queen of Scots
in the Old Chapel 9th September 1543.
This new Chapel was intended to be the place
of Worship and for Religious Ceremonies of the
Scottish Monarchy over the following
James VI son Henry was the first Royal to be
Baptized here soon after the Chapel was
completed in 1594.
James VI was the only son of Mary Queen of
Scots, who became King of Scotland in 1567, and
King of England and Scotland from 1603 to 1625.
After only 7 years, the Chapel was never used
again for the main purpose it was built. The
Stuart Kings from then on were normally
Baptized, Crowned and Buried in London.
The Military Museum is situated in the Kings
House, next to the Chapel Royal, built for
James IV in the 1490s.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum
covers the Regiments history from 1759 to the
present day. The Regiment was involved in the
Napoleonic Wars 1803, Crimean War 1853, Second
Boer War 1899, WWI 1914, WWII 1940, Falkland
Islands 1986, and Iraq 2004.
The Palace in Stirling Castle was built from
1538 for James V after he married the daughter
of the King of France, Mary de Guise. This
Building was built next to the Kings House as a
grander residence for the Kings and Queens.
The Queens Bedchamber is one of many
impressive rooms that can be visited in the
In the Palace Building is a Museum covering
the Royals that used Stirling Castle over the
centuries, also with imformation on Stone and
Wood Carvings used around the Castle.
There is also a Hotel next to the Car Park
popular for drinks and meals with a beer garden
named the Portcullis. The
Shopping Streets in the centre of Stirling are
about a 10 minute walk downhill, a fair bit
longer back up.
Stirling Castle History
The large Castles at Stirling and Edinburgh
were built as Royal residences from the 1100s.
These huge fortresses were needed as Scotland
was at War for centuries with the Norse that
had taken control of the far north of Scotland
and Western Islands, and the English were
fighting over areas in the south of Scotland.
The English also tried to gain control of the
whole of Scotland on a number of occasions.
Scottish Kings were also involved in battles
with Clans around Scotland that wanted to
control their own areas.
Marriage between Scottish and English Royal
Families helped keep the peace at times.
Marriage between Scots Clans also helped end
decades or centuries of killings between
Scottish Clans had smaller Castles or Tower
Houses, built to withstand attacks by other
Stirling Castle is built on Castle Hill in
Central Scotland, at the gateway to the
Highlands. This is the most strategic castle in
Scotland, from where the Country could be
The first recorded Wooden Fort built on this
site is in the 600s.
The first records of Stirling Castle are
from when King Alexander I had a Chapel built
there and died at the Castle in 1124. The early
Castle defenses would have been built mainly of
King David I (1085 – 1153), son of Alexander
I, used the Castle as his Royal Residence.
King William I / William the Lion (1165 -
1214) formed a Deer Park to the southwest.
King William I was involved in wars with
England over land in south Scotland and north
England. He was also involved in wars with the
Norse in the north of Scotland.
King William I died at Stirling Castle in
Alexander II (1214 - 1249) and Alexander III
(1249 - 1286) used Stirling Castle at a time
referred to as relatively peaceful.
Alexander III was credited with the
withdrawal of the Norse from Scotland.
1286, the death of Alexander III, and that
of his sole heir, the child Princess Margaret
in 1290, left Scotland without a Monarch.
1291, King Edward I of England begins to
pressure Scottish Nobles and Landowners into
giving him their support so he could rule
1296, Edward I of England invades Scotland
and finds Stirling Castle abandoned. This time
is referred to as the First War of Scottish
1297, Scots forces led by William Wallace
and Andrew de Moray defeat an English army at
Stirling Bridge on the east side of Stirling
Castle. The Scots took the Castle soon
1298, English forces led by Edward I defeat
the Scots led by Wallace at Falkirk, 11 miles
southeast of Stirling Castle. The English
regain control of the Stirling Castle soon
1299, Scots forces of Robert the Bruce
capture Stirling Castle.
1304, the English take control of Stirling
Castle with the aid of a number of Siege
1314, Scots forces led by Robert the Bruce's
brother Edward besiege Stirling Castle.
1314 June, the Scots led by Robert the Bruce
defeat an English army at Bannockburn, 2 miles
south of Stirling Castle. The Scots take
Stirling Castle soon after and destroy its
defenses so the English cannot use it
1328, the Treaty of Edinburgh is signed
between the English and Scots that declared
Robert the Bruce King of an independent
1329, Robert the Bruce dies and is succeeded
by his son David II.
1332, war breaks out again with the English,
referred to as the Second War of Scottish
1336, the English gain control of Stirling
Castle and extend its fortifications. The
Castle defenses are still mainly built form
timber at that time.
1342, Scots led by Robert Stuart retake
Stirling Castle after a long siege. Robert
Stuart was the grandson of Robert the
1357, the Second War of Scottish
Independence comes to and end with the Treaty
of Berwick where the Scots agree to pay the
English 100,000 merks over a ten-year
1371, Robert Stuart becomes King of Scotland
as Robert II, beginning of the Stuart
1371 - 1603, Stirling Castle defenses are
rebuilt in stone by the nine Stuart Monarchs
that used the Castle.
1452, James II stabbed and killed William,
8th Earl of Douglas at Stirling Castle after
accusing him of being involved in a plot to
overthrow the Monarchy.
1501 - 1504, the Great Hall in Stirling
Castle is built for James IV.
1538, the Royal Palace is built in Stirling
Castle for James V.
1542 8th December, Mary Queen of Scots is
born at Linlithgow
Palace 18 miles southeast of Stirling
1542 14th December, James V, father of Mary
Queen of Scots dies at Falkland
Palace 34 miles northeast of Stirling
1543 9th September, the 9 month old child
Mary was crowned Queen of Scots in the old
Chapel at Stirling Castle.
1566, Mary Queen of Scots gives birth to her
son James at Edinburgh Castle, who became king
James VI in 1567, aged only 13 months.
1567, James VI was Christened at Stirling
1567 29 July, James was crowned King of
Scotland at the Church of the Holy Rude next to
Stirling Castle, and raised at the Castle by
1568, Mary Queen of Scots flees to England
after uprisings of Scottish Nobles against her.
Battles at the time were mainly between forces
loyal to the Catholic Mary, and Nobles in
favour of the Protestant religion.
Mary being accused of being involved in the
Murder of her Husband also led to her
August 1586, the Catholic Mary is imprisoned
in England after being accused of plotting to
overthrow the Protestant English Queen
1587 8th February, Mary Queen of Scots is
executed by beheading by her English captors
for Treason at Fotheringhay Castle in
The 21 year old James VI is advised not to
react to his mothers execution, as he was next
in line to become King of England, as Elizabeth
I had no children.
1594, the new Royal Chapel is built in
Stirling Castle for James VI.
1603, James VI becomes King of England and
Scotland after the death of Elizabeth I,
uniting the two Countries. From this time on,
the Stuart Kings are mainly based in
1642, the English Civil War breaks out after
Charles I becomes unpopular, and Oliver
Cromwell leads Parliamentarian forces to take
control of the Country.
1649, Charles I is executed by beheading at
the Palace of Whitehall in London.
1650, Charles II is Crowned by the Scots and
lives at Stirling Castle.
1651 6th August, Stirling Castle is attacked
by the forces of Oliver Cromwell and captured 8
1658, Oliver Cromwell dies, leading to
Charles II being restored to the English throne
1707 1st May, Queen Anne Stuart oversees
England and Scotland united as Great
1714, the protestant Queen Anne Stuart dies
without leaving an heir.
1714, the German born Protestant George I is
chosen as King of England and Scotland.
1714, Government troops occupy Stirling
Castle as forces around Great Britain fight to
have the Catholic James Stuart replace George
I. This time was known as the First Jacobite
Rising. This rising was unsuccessful.
1745, the Second Jacobite Rising, an attempt
to have Charles Edward Stuart replace George
II, saw Government forces having to defend
Stirling Castle from Jacobite attacks for a
number of days.
1746 16th April, Government forces defeat
Jacobite forces at the Battle of
Culloden by Inverness, 144 miles north of
Stirling Castle. This was the last battle on
the British mainland.
1800 - 1964, Stirling Castle is used as
Barracks for the Argyll and Sutherland
Many of the Buildings, Chapel, Great Hall,
and Palace were divided into rooms so they were
more suitable for accommodating a large number
1964, Stirling Castle ceases to be used as a
Military Base, then used as a Tourist
1988, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Museum is opened in the Kings House.
1996, the Chapel Royal restoration is
1999, the Great Hall restoration is
2011, the Palace restoration is