Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s iconic 11th Century fort that looms over Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most famous buildings in Scotland. A visit to this evocative hilltop fortress is a must. It is a British Royal residence, home to crown jewels, and is the setting for the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo performances.
Edinburgh Castle has been fortified since 1100 and has played its full part in Scottish history, both as a royal residence and military garrison. Our tour groups love the escorted tours here that help them get the most from this jewel of Scottish heritage.
The castle has a wealth of history on display such as the tiny 12th-century St Margaret’s Chapel, the huge 15th-century cannon, Mons Meg and the Great Hall, erected by James IV in 1510. The castle is also home to the Scottish Crown Jewels (known as the Honors of Scotland which were last used ceremonially to crown Charles II), the Stone of Destiny, and the National War Museum of Scotland which explores the Scottish experience of war and military service over the last 400 years. And of course, perched high above their basalt crags, the castle’s ramparts provide fantastic panoramic views of the city. This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World.
The oldest building in the castle, and in Edinburgh, is the small St. Margaret’s Chapel. One of the few 12th-century structures surviving in any Scottish castle it dates from the reign of King David I (r.1124–1153). It was built as a private chapel for the royal family and dedicated King David’s mother, Saint Margaret of Scotland. It survived the slighting of 1314, when the castle’s defenses were destroyed on the orders of Robert the Bruce, and was used for gunpowder storage from the 16th century, until it was restored in 1851–1852. The chapel is still used for religious ceremonies, such as weddings.
Here are some links with more details about Edinburgh Castle:
Some images from our photo gallery: