There is lots to see inside of Edinburgh Castle. The foillwing are a few highlights you will enjoy when visiting. These include the Crown room, the guns including Mons Meg and a short description of some of the battles that were fought in and about the castle itself.
The Crown Room of Edinburgh Castle
The Crown room in Edinburgh Castle that is said to be the birthplace of James VI, is well worth a look. From here you can appreciate views of the rolling hills south towards England, the rest of the castle and a dramatic view the rock dropping sheer over 200 feet. The regalia within here are not the oldest, or the grandest, however they date before Cromwell and have a rich history in themselves. Three items worthy of note and a good look at are:
The Sceptre. A gift from Pope Alexander to King James IV in 1419. The Sceptre is very ornate double guilt silver mounted with a crystal globe and a large pearl.
- The Sceptre. A gift from Pope Alexander to King James IV in 1419. The Sceptre is very ornate double guilt silver mounted with a crystal globe and a large pearl.
- Sword of State. A gift from Pope Julius II to King James IV in 1507. The Sword of State is of Italian design and very ornate it has a silver handle and pommel and the blade is indented with the initials of Pope Julius II in gold.
- The Crown. Its origin is as yet unfathomable though we know that it was remodelled in 1540 for King James V. The Crown is gold, trimmed with ermine, precious and semi precious stones, crosses and fleur-de-lys.
Spectacular Views and Artifacts
From this room you may not only view the regalia, but also enjoy views of the castle, the rolling hills south towards England, and the dramatic drop of the rock which is 200 feet. The regalia though neither the oldest nor the grandest, still are steeped in history.
At one point the regalia were removed from the castle due to fears that Cromwell may invade the castle and take it to London. It was locked in a blanket chest and taken to another castle, Cromwell duly invaded this castle in the first instance and the regalia had to be smuggled out. It happened to spend quite sometime under the floorboards of a house and was very nearly forgotten about.
Guns of the Castle - Mons Meg
One battery, Hill Mount Battery, holds the one o'clock gun. As its name suggests this 25lb gun is set off every day but Sunday, and tourists very often are still frightened to near death. There is also the Argyle Battery, which holds six 30lb navel guns, given to the castle by Queen Victoria, due to the fact that she thought the area looked bare. One other cannon which is well worth a look is called Mons Meg. In 1457, King James II was presented with two massive siege guns by his uncle by marriage, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. Mons Meg is the only one surviving.
Battles in Edinburgh Castle
Many battles were fought in Edinburgh Castle. One such was with William Wallace (whose statue greets you upon entering the castle). Wallace was captured in 1305 taken to London and hanged, drawn and quartered. Robert the Bruce (whose statue also greets you) defeated the English at the battle of Bannochburn 1314, the most famous of Scottish battles. Thereby ensuring Scotland's independence as a Kingdom
Another such battle in 1573 saw a tower reduced to rubble (where the lowest stage of the portcullis now stands), this battle was when Sir William Kirkaldy of Grange held the castle for the exiled Mary Queen of Scots. Kirkaldy and men of course were the last to fight on Queen Mary's behalf.
The castle was also taken by Cromwell in 1650 and again in 1689 whilst in the hands of A. R. Cath, The Duke of Gordon, and was also assailed by the Protestant forces of William III. This was the final major battle for the castle and in 1816 that everyone recognised that the castles battling days were over. Since then it has enjoyed a relatively peaceful time. As a working, Military installation.