A travel blog of Ireland and Europe

Stirling Castle

 

Scot51 copyAnd who do we see on first entering the grounds? Robert the Bruce, of course! In 1314 he took back Stirling Castle from the English at the battle of Bannockburn.

Stirling Castle is at the centre of a lot of Scottish history, occupying a strategic position at a central point between east and west, north and south. The surrounding area is flat but the castle is built on a high hill with sheer drops on three of its sides, a good defensive position.

The castle has undergone a multi-million pound overhaul recently and it is displayed to visitors as it would largely have been in the time of the Stuart kings, starting with James VI (James I of England). The scale of the restoration is massive. We had a couple of hours there I suppose, and then had a train to catch but I could imagine spending twice that much time there.

The first hour was a tour taken by someone who not only knew his stuff (and believe me, there is a lot of history there) but also from time to time acted it out, often to the consternation of his audience as he lunged up to someone demonstrating how assassination by knife occurred, all delivered in a broad Scots accent which somehow only added to the terror. He looked right at home in the castle grounds.

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Tapestries and wall hangings, ceilings, glass work and carvings have all been restored to very high quality, a little of which is shown here.

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Their incredibly life-like models of people in period dress added to the occasion:

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The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders have their headquarters at Stirling Castle and have displayed some of their treasures. Photography was difficult because the valuables are all behind glass with a lot of light reflections. However, I did manage to capture this little fellow, a sterling silver mongoose toothpick holder, obviously a gift for the regiment that has everything.

Scot60We didn’t spend too much time outside because of the rain but managed a couple of shots to complete the set. This is a superb tourist attraction that we can recommend without hesitation. Many thanks to Mary for taking us there.

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3 thoughts on “Stirling Castle

  1. MEL

    Of COURSE our great great etc rellie Robert the Bruce should be in pride of place !! Hope Phil was suitably impressed with the profile which may well look like us !
    Again… great photos so thank you.

    Norm has had his hip replacement on Tuesday and was out on Thursday ! I will email you soon.

  2. Moira

    What a wonderful account. I went there when I was a child – my father came from Edinburgh – and this brought back some happy memories. Lovely pictures too. Thanks. xx

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