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Stirling Castle

Image title Stirling Castle by Stirling Council is licensed under CC BY 2.0/ Cropped from original

Visit Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle can be reached via train from Haymarket Station (two minutes walk from our Haymarket hotel) or via car – which will take you around 55 minutes.

Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles behind Edinburgh Castle, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland.

The castle sits atop Stirling’s Castle Hill, an large Scottish steep rugged mass of vertical rock with cliffs on three sides.  This gave Stirling Castle a strong defensive position during many of it’s Scottish battles for rein and power.

Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth in Scotland, made it an important fortification and today is a great historical monument – overlooking the battlefields of bannockburn.

 

The Battle of Bannockburn

In June 1314 the history of Scotland as a nation was changed forever with “The Battle of Bannockburn”.  Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, fought on the English army, led then by Edward II.  Edward, keen to retain the stronghold of Stirling Castle, led a huge army through Scotland to lift the Scots’ siege of his garrison at Stirling Castle. This was vital to Edward’s plans to re-establishing his control of the country.  He was, however, stopped rather short by the heroic and gnarly army of Robert the Bruce.

Over two days of battle, 23-24 June 1314, Edward’s army was beaten down by the Scots resistance before finally being trapped by the surrounding terrain with no room to manoeuvre their huge force.  The battleground still evokes the landscape that would have been seen by medieval soldiers in 1314 when the area was a royal hunting park.

 

Stirling Castle Today

Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defenses fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Several Scottish Kings and Queens were been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542.

There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle. Stirling Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and is now a tourist attraction managed by Historic Scotland.

Why not visit The Kelpies on your route to Visit Stirling Castle?

Image Stirling Castle by Ieva Haa is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Cropped from original

 

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