24 Jan Braw! at Stirling Castle
The very first Braw! blog from just along the road at Stirling Castle! ❤️
Stirling Castle is the largest, and one of the most important castles in Scotland. One of the great royal residences, it sits on top of Castle Hill, a volcanic crag that was formed over 350 million years ago. Known as the gateway to the highlands and often described as a big brooch that clasps the highlands and lowlands together, this is where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned as a baby and where she lived until she was about 5, when she was sent to France to join her bethrothed! She would return to Scotland to claim her crown when she was 18. Later, her son, the future James VI was baptised in the castle, and most of the buildings in the castle were constructed by James IV, James V and James VI.
From the castle you can see Stirling Bridge, which was the the main crossing point of the River Forth, and was where William Wallace defeated the English at the battle of the first war of Scottish independence in 1297…most of the castle cannon’s are pointed at the bridge! And you also have a clear view of the magnificent Wallace Monument built to commemorate Wallace.
The Caste offers 3 areas where ceremonies can be held: The Great Hall, The Royal Chapel, and the Queen Anne Gardens on the south side of the castle. The gardens were closed when I was there, but I did get a chance to look round the Great Hall & the Chapel, where the great Scottish Kings & Queens would have held ceremonies and celebrations that lasted 3 days at a time!
It’s very surreal to stand in the Great Hall and imagine these great Scottish Kings and Queens that we learned so much about in school, holding court as 500 people enjoyed music, food and bevy (drink)! And all the while underneath the Great Hall, the cooks and kitchen maids would be run off their feet trying to keep everyone fed! It brings a great energy and spirituality to the spaces.
If you want to visit the castle it’s very easy to get to. You would just get the train or bus to Stirling (or if you’re driving park in the centre) and then it’s a wee walk up the hill to the castle. It costs £16 per adult with concessions, and £9.60 for children but you get in free if you have a Historic Scotland card.
If you are looking for somewhere majestic and stately to have your wedding, vow renewal or baby welcome, or maybe you’re just a Game of Thrones fan and want to recreate the red wedding (only kidding – that’s a bad idea!) then Stirling Castle might just be the place for you… and I just happen to know a good Celebrant!
No spoilers but in next weeks Braw! I’m heading back to one of my favourite childhood spots… “Weel done Cutty Sark!”