Stirling Castle, Scotland

stirling castle

Where is Stirling Castle
Stirling is the most strategically important of all the castles in Scotland. Hence it has been fought over and changed hands more than any other Scottish castle. It is at the landward end of the Firth of Forth, and controls movement across the Lowlands and into the Highlands. He who controlled Stirling, effectively controlled Scotland

History of Stirling Castle
The Picts may have had a fort here, the Romans certainly did. The Romans built their Fort on castle rock. It was later replaced by a new castle commissioned by the Scottish King Alexander I, who died at the Castle in 1124 and his body was taken to
Dunfermline for burial.

When William the Lion was captured by the English at Alnwick, he was forced by Henry II to sign the Treaty of Falaise in 1174, which ensured the six most important castles in Scotland, including Stirling, should be garrisoned by English soldiers. In 1189 the castle was returned to Scottish hands.

During the Wars of Independence Stirling really came into prominence again. After capturing Berwick in 1296, Edward I of England took Stirling Castle without a problem. But the next year the Scottish forces of William Wallace, "Braveheart",  beat the English army in battle at Stirling Bridge.

Within a year it was back in English hands, but they soon had to surrender to the Scots. In 1304 the castle was the last stronghold in the Scottish rebels' hands and in April of that year King Edward I of England besieged Stirling, who were forced to surrender when their food ran out.

The English then held Stirling until 1313, and following Robert the Bruce's victory at Bannockburn, the Scots resumed control of the castle. In fact Robert Bruce tried to destroy the fortifications at Stirling to prevent it being used as an English garrison. But in vain, as after defeating the Scots at Halidon Hill, the English returned and strengthened the castle

1342 saw the English yielding in turn to the Scots. And with the accession of the Stewarts as the Scottish Royal Family, Stirling
once more became a Royal abode.

In 1452 Stirling was the site of the murder of William, 8th Earl of Douglas by King James II. Douglas, had been invited to dine at the castle under safe conduct from the King. The safe conduct was not respected, and Douglas was slain

On the 9th of September 1543, the young Queen Mary (Mary Queen of Scots) was crowned in the chapel royal at Stirling. In 1566 Stirling was once again chosen as the refuge of a royal infant when the two month old Prince James, son of Mary (later James VI) was moved there by feuding Scottish lords.

In 1651, the Cromwellian General Monk, lay siege to Stirling and the Governor was forced to surrender after a mutiny by his Scottish garrison.

After the restoration, the castle reverted to the Earl of Mar and his heirs, but after the then Earl was accused of being a Jacobite, King George I removed him from the castle

The Crown then was the keeper of Stirling Castle until in 1923, when King George V restored it to the Earl of Mar.

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