Stirling Castle is regarded to be one of the most important castles in Scotland. Located on the Castle Hill, the impressive edifice boasts of many features, including its steep cliffs, which is one of the reasons why it is regarded as a highly effective defense structure. Below are 5 interesting facts about the castle that will blow your mind.
Royal Residence And Fortification
Like many castles around the world, Stirling Castle was built for the purpose of fortification and discouraging military attacks. It’s positioning on a hill, the clear path to everything that surrounds it, gates, and walls make this possible. It will interest you to know that some of the buildings in the castle have been around since the 14th century. It should also be noted that the castle served as a residence for several Scottish royals over the years; others were crowned there, while many died there.
Scottish Wars Of Independence
After the death of Alexander III in 1286, a succession crisis ensued that led to Edward I of England trying to mediate and, at the same time, retain control of Scotland. Eventually, the Scottish Wars of Independence ensued, and Stirling Castle became an important part of the war. Edward occupied the castle when he invaded Scotland, but the Scottish army later reclaimed it after the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Thus, the castle ownership changed hands between Scottish and English monarchs over the years.
International Ambitions Of The Stewart Kings
Among the dynasties that occupied the Stirling Castle and truly left a mark on it are the Stewart Kings. From Robert II to James III, each king left a mark on the castle that contributed to what we see today. The most important addition, however, is the architecture which reveals an eclectic mix of English, French, and German influences. This is clearly a deliberate act by the royals who sort to achieve their international ambitions for the castle and place it on a higher pedestal in the pages of history. King James III, who reigned 1460–1488, was born in the castle. He is noted to have undertaken works to the gardens and the chapel royal.
One Place With Many Parts
Another fascinating thing about the Stirling Castle is that it has many parts, which are quite interesting to learn about. Some of the interesting parts include the Outer Defenses, which comprises artillery formations, French Spur, and Cannons. The defenses were quite useful, especially for repelling the 1708 Jacobite attempted invasion. There is also the forework which serves as the main gate and entry to the castle, as well as the King’s Old Building, Outer Close, Great Hall, Royal Palace, Nether Bailey, and Chapel Royal.
A Display Of Impressive Stirling Heads
On your visit to Stirling Castle, it will be interesting for you to visit the very impressive Stirling Heads. These are artworks on the ceiling of the King’s Presence Chamber, which have been properly restored. Some of the Stirling Heads you will find include Henry VIII, Putto, James V, and Mary of Guise.