The History Of The Edinburgh Castle

One of the most spectacular sites in Scotland, Edinburgh Castle is known to have been located on the Castle Rock since at least the round of the 12th century, during the time of King David I of Scotland, being as such one of the oldest medieval fortresses in Britain.

The site on which the castle was built continued to be a royal residence up until the Union of the Crowns, which took place in 1603. Beginning in the 15th century, the castle’s role of royal residence gradually declined, thus by the 17th century being mainly used as a military barracks guarded by a large garrison.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland. Image source:

The landmark is part of Scotland’s national heritage and worldwide reputed for its historical importance. It has been strongly recognized as such since the early part of the 19th century, with several restoration programmes being carried out throughout the past century in order to increase its touristic potential. Its location eventually proved to be a strategic point in Scottish history whenever it came to military conflicts or issues related to diplomacy.

Being one of the most significant military strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, the castle was also involved in a series of conflicts and skirmishes spanning from the Wars of Scottish Independence (during the 14th century) up to the Jacobite Rising (1745). Occasionally, the castle was also besieged in both successful and unsuccessful attempts.

The castle and its surroundings, as seen on a cloudy day. Image source:

The castle itself was constructed on a volcanic rock and is surrounded by the forest and sea to the north and east. Inside the castle, touristic attractions include the Upper Ward (or the Citadel; which is the highest part of the Castle Rock), St. Margaret’s Chapel (the oldest chapel in Edinburgh) as well as the 15th-century bombard Mons Meg.

Documentation sources and external links:

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7 Responses to The History Of The Edinburgh Castle

  1. Regan Walker says:

    Queen Margaret, the mother of King David, died in Edinburgh Castle (then Dun Edin) in 1093 so it was in existence then, albeit not the complete fortress it is today. She and King Malcolm had move from Dunfermline at some point before then. There are many references to this, but here is one on the Internet:

  2. Michael Grieve says:

    As a child growing up in Edinburgh it was a favourite spot especially climbing onto Mons Meg.

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