Stirling Castle is one of the most amazing places I have visited. The castle is located on top of a hill (which was a pain to climb) which back in the day, was a very defensible position. According to my tour guide most of the building date back to the late sixteenth century and only a few of the fourteenth century structures remain.
Several sieges took place at the castle due to its strategic location on the River Forth. Mary, Queen of Scots was crowned queen in the castle in 1452. However, according to my guide book the castle was first recorded in 1110. During that time, King Alexander built a chapel on the site.
I was lucky to have visited the castle on a Monday afternoon in January, which according to the tour guide is a very slow month. This of course allowed me to take several pictures of the castle without a lot of people in the shots. Honestly, I felt like a little kid again. I was roaming around the grounds with a lot of excitement and interest in the castle’s history.
The castle played an important role during the Wars of Independence. Of course the movie Braveheart comes to mind. The battle of Stirling Bridge took place near the castle and a large monument is dedicated to Sir William Wallace near by.
The castle also has a refurbished Great Hall. This building is absolutely amazing. The amount of work that went into its refurbishment is astounding. I was impressed with the depth and detail of the hall. In addition, the roofing was rebuilt from the original version in the late 16th century. The Great Hall was built by the first Stewart King, James IV.
The palace was also refurbished to its former glory. I could have spent days wandering the halls and studying every ornate detail on the ceiling and walls.
There are several other rooms inside the palace that are not displayed here. However, this should provide you with an idea of how stunning the palace is and the effort that went into the restoration. As you walk along the palace you will encounter people dressed in renaissance clothing. These people are actors that work for the castle and they can provide you with information and answer your questions. I spent 30 minutes with just one guide asking about the Stuart Kings.
Three sides of the castle have large cliff walls that are stunning to see. The pictures above was taken on the back wall. The wind was blowing extremely hard and I had a hard time focusing on the shot. It was a bit scary, but like I said earlier, I felt like a kid playing in a tree house.
Walking out of the castle was hard. I did not want to leave. I wanted to stay and keep walking the grounds and keep thinking about the history and the things that took place in the castle. I was sad to leave, but glad I experienced this wonderful historic treasure.
For more on the castle visit: www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk
I arrived in Stirling from Edinburgh via train. The cost was about eight pounds. The trip lasted around 35 minutes.