Places to Visit in Scotland
- Linlithgow Palace
Linlithgow, only 16 miles west of Edinburgh, and halfway to Stirling Castle>, has had a long association with royalty. King David I> founded the burgh and a royal manor house existed there in the 12th century and in 1301 King Edward I> of England stayed there with his invading army while supporting the claim of John Balliol> to the Scottish throne. In 1424 most of the town of Linlithgow> was destroyed by fire and King James I>, who had just returned from exile in England, began the palace that we see today. The original gateway on the east has King James' coat of arms above it. In 1461 the Palace was used as a residence for King Henry VI> of England after he had been overthrown by King Edward IV>.
It was King James IV>, from 1488 to 1513, who embarked on a major building programme at the Palace (and at Stirling Castle too). The Palace now had buildings surrounding a central courtyard. It is thought that the English style of some of the building was due to English masons being employed, following King James IV's marriage to Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII> in 1503.
When King James V >(who had been born in the palace) brought his queen, Mary of Guise, to Linlithgow, she compared it favourably with the noblest châteaux of France. James' daughter, Mary Queen of Scots> was also born at Linlithgow and she returned there after the death of her first husband, King Francis II> of France.
During the Jacobite Uprising> of 1745/46 Prince Charles Edward Stuart> stayed at the palace briefly and the English troops of the Duke of Cumberland were billeted there. They left the building ablaze and it has remained a ruin ever since.
The Palace is now in the care of Historic Scotland> and despite its long history, a surprising amount of the building has been preserved and visitors can wander the corridors and halls, admire the fountain in the courtyard and the coats of arms of the orders of chivalry to which King James V belonged (see illustration).
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