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Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
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.
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