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.