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Edinburgh Castle

World famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

Edinburgh Castle

Ancient Stronghold

Fierce Iron Age warriors defended a hill fort here, and the nation’s oldest poetry tells of a war band feasting here for a year before riding to their deaths in battle.

The Scots and English struggled for control of the castle during the Wars of Independence. In 1314 it was recaptured from the English in a daring night raid led by Thomas Randolph, a relative of King Robert the Bruce.

Home of Royalty

The castle has sheltered many Scottish monarchs. They include Queen Margaret (later St Margaret), who died here in 1093, and Mary Queen of Scots, who gave birth to James VI in the Royal Palace in 1566.

Her great-great-great grandson Charles Edward Stuart – Bonnie Prince Charlie – captured Edinburgh but was unable to take the castle during the 1745-6 Jacobite Rising.

In 1996, the Stone of Destiny, on which kings were enthroned for centuries, was returned to Scotland. It is now displayed in the Crown Room.

Army Headquarters

From the late 1500s the castle became increasingly important as a military base. In the 1600s the distinctive Half-Moon Battery was constructed, some buildings were rebuilt and new ones were raised to house a huge garrison – and provide a secure jail for prisoners of war.

The military presence remains unbroken, but over the last 200 years the castle has become a national icon. It is now Scotland’s leading tourist attraction, and a key element of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

Events at Edinburgh Castle

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2 April 2015

Allan Ramsay - Master Draughtsman

Duff House

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Weaving the Unicorn exhibition

Stirling Castle

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Mar's Loyal Highlander

Edinburgh Castle

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Ring of Brodgar Walk

Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge

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