located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most
important castles in Scotland, both historically and
architecturally. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an
intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill
geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by
steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its
strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s,
the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has
made it an important fortification in the region from
the earliest times.
the principal buildings of the castle date from the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of
the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defenses
fronting the town date from the early eighteenth
the union with England, Stirling Castle was also one of
the most used of the many Scottish royal residences,
very much a palace as well as a fortress. Several
Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling,
including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542, and others were
born or died there.
have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle,
including several during the Wars of Scottish
Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie
Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle.
Stirling Castle is now a tourist attraction managed by
Historic Environment Scotland.