The vast history of Stirling Castle dates back to the early 1000s, however the geographical formation that Castle Hill rests atop, Stirling Sill, is over 300 million years old! And let me tell you, it is a WONDERFUL, strategic location! Many kings and queens were crowned here, including Mary Queen of Scots.
I had the pleasure of visiting this fantastic site on a gorgeous, sunny day in July. I didn’t know much about the structure, nor history before visiting, and unfortunately I am still unable to spout out a bunch of facts regarding its place in British history but I can say that the majority of it has since been restored. And it is beautifully done!
The structure itself is incredible. And the views ain’t bad either.
The rooms are refurbished, housing extravagant tapestries and decor of the day, often complete with an actor who can shed light on the historical significance of the space, as well as common practices of the era.
The kitchens provides us with an example of how food was prepared for royalty centuries ago.
Walking around the grounds, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the previous inhabitants, from the clothes they wore, to activities they practiced. One of my favorite sights was royal graffiti (see ancient Roman graffiti from Pompeii here) believed to have been inscribed by Prince Henry:
“A few years ago…a member of my team discovered some graffiti in the Prince’s Tower including the words “James 6”. The tower was refurbished around 1594, ahead of the birth of James’ son Prince Henry, and before the Union of the Crowns when the Stuarts started using Roman numerals – turning the king into James VI. So this might have been the handiwork of the young, bored, naughty Henry who spent time living in the tower before the move to England, and his death at the age of 18.” -As stated by Director of Kirkdale Archaeology, Gordon Ewart here.
Overall it was a fantastic day spent exploring this impressive fortress. I’ll leave you with a lovely view from the grounds, complete with the phallic dominance of Sir William Wallace‘s monument:
Can you see it? Just left of the middle 🙂