PLAN OF THE CASTLE
HISTORY OF EDINBURGH
high above the city, Edinburgh Castle is a magnificent sight.
Not only is it a historic monument but also a working military
establishment where the Scottish Division headquarters are
Archaeological evidence suggests that the first settlers on
this volcanic hill, then surrounded by forest, were Bronze
Age around 1000BC. Even these early settlers recognised the
strategic significance of this commanding and defendable site.
the middle ages this had developed into a mighty fortification
and royal residency.
Throughout the ages the castle was continually besieged, held
by the English as well as the Scottish, but always to rise
again. Badly damaged many times this why the castle now hosts
such a mix of architectural styles.
oldest surviving part of the castle is a tiny Norman chapel
built in the 12th century. Named St.Margaret's
chapel after the saintly wife of Malcolm III, it can
still be used today by the garrison for weddings.
Crown Square, the
principle courtyard, was developed in the 15th century.
The Great Hall, with ornate hammerbeam roofing, which was built
by James IV in 1510 holds a fine collection of armour and weapons.
Nearby is the Scottish National
War Museum designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, after the First
Not only was the castle of great importance during Scotland's
Wars of Independence but it was also the seat of the Scottish
You can still see the little room in the Royal Apartments where Mary
Queen of Scots gave birth to her son James who would eventually
become James VI of Scotland and James I of England.
Within the royal apartments is a permanent exhibition. A series
of tableaux depicting key events in Scottish history.
Among the other things to see at the castle are its eerie vaults,
the Scottish United Services Museum, a gallery in hospital
square, the Witches
Well (where women were burned for witchcraft), Mons
Meg ( a 15th century cannon ), a little cemetery towards
the summit of the castle where the garrison bury their pets,
and of course the Crown room where you can see the Scottish
crown jewels and the Stone
The castle offers a spectacular
view of Edinburgh city and the surrounding area.
THE ROYAL EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO
DATES: 1st- 23rd
three weeks in August each year the Castle Esplanade
is the venue of the world-famous Royal
Edinburgh Military Tattoo, when the Scottish
regiments plays host to performers
from over 40 countries. A lively
programme of military music, marching and historical
re-enactments under floodlights before large and appreciative
all over the world.
ONE O'CLOCK GUN
CASTLE PHOTO GALLERY
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EDINBURGH CASTLE WEBSITE