Saturday Snapshots: Stirling Castle

We spent last week in Scotland. Except for Monday the weather was atrocious with torrential rain on most days. But Monday brought blue skies and glorious sunshine, so we took advantage of the good weather and visited Stirling Castle, maintained and managed by Historic Scotland. This is a most spectacular castle standing high on a volcanic rock. It was one of the most favoured homes of Scottish kings and queens from the 12th century, although it is an ancient site.

I have many photos – here is just a small selection:

A statue of King Robert the Bruce stands outside the modern entrance to the castle:

Robert the Bruce statue

In the background is the National Wallace Monument which overlooks the scene of Scotland’s victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

Stirling Castle Forework

The Forework (above) was installed by James V around 1500, originally the main entrance, it is now an inner entrance to the castle.

The photo below shows the Queen Anne Garden, which on Monday was being used for a crossbow demonstration – children were queuing to have a go for themselves. Behind the garden is James V’s Renaissance Palace of Princelie Virtue which he had built for himself and his French Queen, Mary of Guise (the parents of Mary Queen of Scots) on the site of earlier buildings.

The pale golden building peeping out beyond the Palace is the Great Hall, commissioned by James IV (who died at Flodden Field in 1513) and completed in 1503. It almost glows in the sunlight because it is covered with ‘king’s gold’ limewash. It has been renovated and was reopened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1999.

Stirling Castle Queen Anne Garden

Just visible in the photo above are the statues on the facade of the Palace and the Prince’s Walk. The statues are grotesque and warlike, portraying monsters hurling missiles south against any invaders. They include one of the Devil, with breasts:

Stirling Castle Devil Statue

There is so much to see and so much history within the Castle that I’d really like to go again one day. As well as the Official Souvenir Guide Book there are guided tours of the castle and an audio tour that you can listen to on your own, if you prefer – which I did.

I have far too many photos for one post, so maybe ‘ll post more photos in due course.

For more Saturday Snapshots see Alyce’s blog At Home With Books.

19 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshots: Stirling Castle”

  1. It must be so wonderful to be able to go to Scotland on the weekend…in fact, anywhere you go in your part of the world has so much history and beautiful monuments and castles. Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

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    1. I have photos of the inside of the Great Hall, which was restored in 1999. There are wedding packages and the Castle can be hired for corporate seminars, formal banquets or ceremonies.

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  2. Good heavens. I’m overwhelmed with great pictures and comments about Scotland for my personal Scottish CHallenge! I miss living in Germany (U.S. Army) where I could travel across borders for a day trip. Thanks to you, Katrina and Evee, I have lots of material. I hoped to re-visit Ireland someday, but it will have to be the CELTIC TOUR- Ireland, England and Scotland.My husband will think I ran away!Thanks.

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  3. A statue of the devil with breasts seems like a funny way to scare away enemies, but I guess if nothing else they’d be distracted. 😉

    That castle looks like it would be fun to explore, and the crossbow would be fun to try. Was it just for kids, or could the adults take a crack at it too?

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    1. I think the information on the audio tour was that sometimes the medieval representation of the devil was with breasts – or something like that – I haven’t come across it before and don’t know much (if anything) about the subject. I wish I’d listened more carefully.

      The crossbow event was one of the activities for children taking place last week (it was school half-term holiday for some of the Scottish schools). I’m not sure adults could have a go.

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  4. One of the many sites we missed due to lack of time when we visited Scotland was Stirling Castle. I was disappointed but certainly hope to go back one day and see all the list of places we didn’t get to see.

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  5. Great photos Margaret. Stirling Castle has always been my favourite one, more interesting than Edinburgh I think and the views are lovely, if it isn’t raining! We’re lucky to live just a short drive away from it. We got home from Yorkshire to a very squelchy garden at the end of that week.

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