Entrance Arch at Linlithgow Palace, Scotland

Entrance Arch at Linlithgow Palace, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on my visit  this morning to Linlithgow Palace which is located about twenty miles east of the city of Edinburgh in the east of Scotland.

This site is associated with Scottish royalty, particularly the Stewart Dynasty. Mary, Queen of Scots was born here in 1542.

Summary facts and information:

  • Located adjacent to a small lake which is known locally as the Peel.This is home to various bird life and used for sailing and fishing.

  • Dates from early 14th century when Edward I of England built a defended residence.
  • The current palace  took over 100 years to build commencing in the early 15th century. Work was started by King James I who commenced a re-build after the old palace was destroyed by fire.The phases of construction are: James I (1424-1437); James III ( 1460-1488); James IV ( 1488-1513); James V (1513-1542); James VI (1618-1624).
  • The architecture features elements of renaissance style (derived from classical Rome and Greece) as manifested in symmetrical plans, round arches, columns and colonnades and pediments.
  • The palace is quadrangular with four ranges grouped around a central courtyard.

Video clip of Inner Courtyard with fountain.

  • In the centre is a magnificent fountain dating from King James V ( 1538). This was subject to extensive restoration in 20th and 21st centuries. A replica of this can be found at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
  • The progressive enlargement of this building can be evidenced as follows:
    • Great Hall in the east quarter dates from James I (1406-37).
    • Royal Chapel and Royal Apartments date from time of James IV (1488-1513). These can be found in the south and west quarters.
    • The North quarter collapsed in 1607 and was rebuilt by King James VI (1567-1625)
    • Served as Royal nursery for King James V (B 1512), Mary Queen of Scots (B 1542) and Princess Elizabeth (B 1596)
    • Post 1603 fell into decline after King James VI relocated to London.
    • Oliver Cromwell wintered at the Palace during 1650-51.
    • Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at the Palace in 1745. In January of the following year troops of his adversary, General Cumberland occupied the Palace after which it suffered severe fire damage and today remains much in the same condition as February 1746.
  • At its peak the Palace would have been a luxury, lake-side residence for the ruling elite.
  • Some scenes from the Outlander series were filmed here.

The adjacent town is of interest with a multiplicity of small shops and historic buildings. At the west of the town is Linlithgow Bridge (over the River Avon) where was fought an important battle in 1526.Close to the Palace is St Michael’s Parish Church which was first recorded in 1138 and is also of architectural interest.

Linlithgow can be reached by rail, bus and road, or even canal.

Video clip of Palace from N.E.

Linlithgow Palace from the North

Linlithgow Palace from the North

Linlithgow Palace from N.W.

Linlithgow Palace from S.W.

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