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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of Scotland - Edinburgh Castle






Location
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland

Description
Edinburgh Castle is situated on Castle Rock and dominates the sky-line of the city of Edinburgh. The Castle stands upon the basalt plug of an extinct volcano and is protected to the south, west and north, by 80m high sheer cliffs. Most of the castle now standing was built after Lang Siege of the 16th century. Edinburgh Castle still has a military garrison largely for ceremonial purposes. The New Barrack Block is home to the official headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and 52 Infantry Brigade, as well as home to the regimental museum of the Royal Scots and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. In front of the castle, is a long sloping forecourt known as the Esplanade, where the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place. Statues of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace flanking the entrance were added in 1929. The dry ditch and Drawbridge in front of the entrance date from the17th century. The castle has many features including Crown Square, the Royal Palace, The Crown Room, The Great Hall, Queen Anne Building.

The Castle is now run and administered mainly by Historic Scotland. Historic Scotland have an educational centre in the castle which runs events for schools and educational groups. There are two restaurants in the castle and numerous historical displays.

History
There are records of the castle dating from the 12th century when the bulk of the castle would have been a stone keep. During the First War of Scottish Independence. Edinburgh Castle came under English control in 1300. After the death of Edward I in 1307 England's control over Scotland weakened. In the spring of 1314,the Scots recaptured the castle. Robert the Bruce ordered the destruction of its defences to prevent occupation by the English. That same year Robert the Bruce and his army secured victory at the Battle of Bannockburn. During the Second War of Scottish Independence the castle to again come under English control. But in 1341, the Scots led by William Douglas again recaptured the castle.

David's Tower was built in 1386 by Robert the Bruce's son, David II of Scotland. The tower was originally the main entrance to the castle.

During the "Lang Siege" of 1573, David's Tower collapsed and much of the castle was destroyed when supporters of Mary Queen of Scots who were holding the castle were besieged by supporters of King James VI. The siege ended when heavy infantry bombarded the castle. The Half Moon Battery was completed in 1588 on the site of the old David's Tower after the Lang Siege, as part of the reconstruction works.

Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James (future King James VI) on 19 June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle. (Mary was forced to abdicate at Lochleven Castle the following year in favour James aged only 13 months).


Other Castles in the Area
  Aberdour Castle, Fife
  Balgonie Castle, Fife
  Barony Castle, Scottish Borders
  Blackness Castle, Falkirk
  Borthwick Castle, Lothian
  Craigmillar Castle, Lothian
  Crichton Castle, Midlothian
  Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian
  Dalkeith Palace, Midlothian
  Dundas Castle, Lothian
  Fa'side Castle, East Lothian
  Lauriston Castle, Lothian
  Liberton Tower, Lothian
  Lochore Castle, Fife
  Merchiston Castle, Lothian
  Newbattle Abbey, Midlothian
  Ravenscraig Castle, Fife
  Rosyth Castle, Fife
  Tullibole Castle, Perth and Kinross







Tullibole Castle
Edinburgh Castle from Grassmarket

Photograph by Richard Croft. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Tullibole Castle
Edinburgh Castle seen from below Princes Street.

Photograph by Richard Webb. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Tullibole Castle
Taken from Johnston Terrace

Photograph by Rob Farrow. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)


 Edinburgh Castle map