Our Stirling Castle Trip

March 8th, 2015Comments Off on Our Stirling Castle Trip
Stirling Castle Trip

Stirling Castle Trip

There was so much to see at Stirling Castle, despite the occasional snow storm. Its history goes back over 2000 years and when you get to the top of the castle and look over the battlements you can see why – the view for miles and miles in every direction made it an impressive fortress. For those who hadn’t already seen the Great Tapestry of Scotland in New Lanark, it was splendid chance to browse in the magnificent Great Hall. This Hall has recently been completely restored by Historic Scotland with a replica hammer beam roof modelled on the original one in Edinburgh Castle. One theme throughout the tour was the damage done to the Castle by the military when they occupied it in the late 1700s. They removed the magnificent roofs, the Stirling Heads and anything that they feared would make their soldiers wallow in the luxury that the Stuart James’s had created.

 

P1000742 Stitch CollageThe inside of the Royal Palace has recently been restored and can been seen much as it was on completion in 1545, however, all the furnishings were removed when James VI moved the court to London. Some examples of furniture are beginning to appear and many of the hangings and tapestries have been reproduced. The excellent costumed guides knew all about the Palace and what it would have been like to live there. The original Stirling Heads had been ripped down by the military and used for firewood, but some survived and are in the Gallery. The guide there had a very interesting commentary on the politics of the age and urged us to visit Argyle’s Lodgings (which many of us did) which had the history of its occupants including Sir William Alexander who was one of the founders of Canada as we know it today.

 

P1000806 CollageFor those interested in military history the Regimental Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was a splendid example of silverware and portraits. The Chapel Royal, which was hastily built in 7 months in 1594 is also being restored and the handsome interior frieze has been uncovered, painting over it was another of the military’s downgrading since they used the Chapel as an armoury. It is clear that Historic Scotland are spending a lot of time and money on the Castle and everyone agreed it is well worth another visit as there are constant changes and improvements.

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