Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is a castle fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle here since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has been involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions. From the later 17th century, the castle became a military base, with a large garrison. Its importance as a historic monument was recognised from the 19th century, and various restoration programmes have been carried out since. Few of the present buildings pre-date the Lang Siege of the 16th century, when the medieval fortifications were largely destroyed by artillery bombardment. The notable exception is St Margaret's Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, which dates from the early 12th century. Among other significant buildings of the castle are the Royal Palace, and the early-16th-century Great Hall. The castle also houses the Scottish National War Memorial, and National War Museum of Scotland. Although formally owned by the Ministry of Defence, most of the castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland, and is Scotland's second-most-visited tourist attraction. Although the garrison left in the 1920s, there is still a military presence at the castle, largely ceremonial and administrative, and including a number of regimental museums. It is also the backdrop to the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland.

History

Pre-history of Castle Rock
Geology The castle stands up on the plug of an extinct volcano, which is estimated to have risen some 350 million years ago, during the lower Carboniferous period. The Castle Rock is the remains of a volcanic pipe, which cut through the surrounding sedimentary rock, before cooling to form very hard dolerite, a type of basalt. Subsequent glacial erosion was resisted by the dolerite, which protected the softer rock to the east, leaving a crag and tail formation. The summit of the Castle Rock is 120 metres (390 ft) above sea level, with rocky cliffs to the south, west and north, rearing up to 80 metres (260 ft) from the surrounding landscape. This means that the only readily accessible route to the castle lies to the east, where the ridge slopes more gently. But just as its location has rendered the castle all but impregnable, it has also presented difficulties. Not the least of these is that basalt is an extremely poor aquifer, and therefore providing water to the Upper Ward of the castle has long been problematic, particularly under siege conditions, for instance when the garrison ran out of water during the Lang Siege of 1573. Earliest habitation It has been suggested that a documentary reference to occupation of the Castle Rock can be found as early as the mid-second century AD. Ptolemy (c. 83 – c. 168) refers to a settlement of the Votadini known to the Romans as "Alauna", meaning "rock place", which may be the earliest known name for the Castle Rock. The Orygynale Cronykil of Andrew of Wyntoun (c. 1350 – c. 1423), an early chronicler of Scottish history, alludes to "Ebrawce" ( Ebraucus), a legendary King of the Britons, who "byggyd Edynburgh". According to the earlier chronicler, Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 – c. 1155), Ebraucus had fifty children by his twenty wives, and was the founder of "Kaerebrauc" ( York), "Alclud" ( Dumbarton), and the "Maidens' Castle". John Stow (c. 1525 – 1605), credited Ebraucus with building "the Castell of Maidens called Edenbrough" in 989 BC. The name "Maiden Castle", or Castellum Puellarum in Latin, was commonly used until at least the 16th century. It appears in charters of David I (ruled 1124–1153) and his successors, although its origins are obscure. William Camden's 1607 Britannia records that "the Britans called Castle Myned Agned, the Scots, the Maidens Castle and the Virgins Castle, of certaine young maidens of the Picts roiall bloud who were kept there in old time". According to the 17th-century antiquarian Father Richard Hay, the "maidens" were a group of nuns, who were ejected from the castle and replaced by canons, considered "fitter to live among soldiers". However, this story has been considered "apocryphal" by Daniel Wilson and later historians. Possibly the earliest maidens were those belonging to a "Cult of the Nine Maidens" type of legend. Arthurian legends suggest that the site once held a shrine to Morgain la Fee, one of nine sisters. Later, St Monenna is said to have invested a church at Edinburgh, as well as at Dumbarton and other places, and is also said to have been one of nine companions. More simply, the term "Maiden Castle" may refer to a castle which has never been taken by force. An archaeological survey of the castle in the late 1980s shows evidence of the site having been settled during the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age, potentially making Castle Rock the longest continually occupied site in Scotland. However, the extent of the finds was not particularly significant and was insufficient to draw any certain conclusions about the precise nature or scale of this earliest known phase of occupation. The archaeological evidence becomes more compelling in the Iron Age. Traditionally, it had been supposed that the tribes which inhabited this part of central Scotland had made little or no use of the Castle Rock. Excavations at nearby Traprain Law, Dunsapie Hill, Duddingston and Inveresk had revealed relatively large settlements and it was supposed that these sites had, for some reason, been chosen in preference to the Castle Rock. However, the excavations of the 1980s suggested that there was probably an enclosed hill fort on the rock, although only the fringes of the site were excavated. House fragments revealed were similar to Votadini houses previously found in Northumbria. The dig revealed clear signs of habitation from the first and second centuries AD, consistent with Ptolemy's reference to "Alauna". Interestingly, these signs of occupation included a good deal of Roman material, including pottery, bronzes and brooches. This may reflect a trading relationship between the Votadini and the Romans beginning with Agricola's foray north, and continuing through to the establishment of the Antonine Wall, when the Romans temporarily established themselves nearby at Cramond.The nature of the settlement at this time is inconclusive, but Driscoll and Yeoman suggest it may have been a broch, similar to the one at Edin's Hall in the Borders. There is no evidence that the Romans actually occupied the Castle Rock, as they did at nearby Traprain Law. From this point onwards there is strong evidence pointing towards continuous habitation of the site through to the present—albeit with fluctuations in population levels.

Early Middle Ages
The castle does not re-appear in contemporary historical records from the time of Ptolemy until around AD 600. Then, in the brythonic epic Y Gododdin , we find a reference to Din Eidyn, "the stronghold of Eidyn". This has been viewed as an early reference to the Castle Rock. The poem tells of the Gododdin King Mynyddog Mwynfawr, and his band of warriors, who, after a year of feasting in their fortress, set out to do battle with the Angles in the area of contemporary Yorkshire. Despite performing glorious deeds of valour and bravery the Brythons were massacred. The Irish annals record that in 638, after the events related in Y Gododdin, "Etin" was besieged by the Angles under Oswald of Northumbria, and the Gododdin were defeated. The territory around Edinburgh then became part of the Kingdom of Northumbria, which was itself absorbed by England in the 10th century, when Athelstan of England, according to the Annals of Clonmacnoise, "spoiled the Kingdom of Edinburgh". The English withdrew, and Lothian became part of Scotland, during the reign of Indulf (ruled 954–962). The archaeological evidence is equivocal; for the relevant period it is entirely based on analysis of midden heaps, with no evidence of structures. Few conclusions can therefore be derived about the status of the settlement during this period, although the midden deposits show no clear break since Roman times.

High Middle Ages
The first documentary reference to a castle at Edinburgh is in John of Fordun's account of the death of King Malcolm III. Fordun places his widow, the future Saint Margaret, at the "Castle of Maidens", where she learns of his death in November 1093. Fordun's account goes on to relate how Margaret died of grief within days, and how Malcolm's brother Donald Bane laid siege to the castle. However, Fordun's chronicle was not written until the later 14th century, and the near-contemporary account of the life of St Margaret, by Bishop Turgot, makes no mention of a castle. During the reign of Malcolm III, Dunfermline rather than Edinburgh was the primary royal residence. This began to change though during the reign of his youngest son, King David I (ruled 1124–1153). King David's largest contribution to the development of Edinburgh as a site of royal power undoubtedly lay in his administrative reforms. However, he is also credited with effecting more tangible changes to the fabric of the castle. Knowing that the first meeting of the Scottish Parliament occurred at the castle around 1140, it seems there were large buildings occupying the rock at this time. These buildings, and any defences, would probably have been of timber, although two 12th-century stone buildings are known. Of these, St. Margaret's Chapel remains at the summit of the rock. The second was a church, dedicated to St. Mary, which stood on the site of the Scottish National War Memorial. Given that the southern part of the Upper Ward (where Crown Square is now sited) was not suited to being built upon until the construction of the vaults in the fifteenth century, it seems probable that these earlier buildings would have been located towards the northern part of the rock; that is around the area where St. Margaret's Chapel stands. This has led to a suggestion that the chapel is the last remnant of a square, stone keep, which would have formed the bulk of the twelfth-century fortification. The structure may have been similar to the keep of Carlisle Castle, which David I began after 1135. In 1174, David's successor King William "the Lion" (ruled 1165–1214) was captured by the English at the Battle of Alnwick. He was forced to sign the Treaty of Falaise to secure his release, in return for surrendering Edinburgh Castle, along with the castles of Berwick, Roxburgh and Stirling, to the English King, Henry II. The castle was occupied by the English for twelve years, until 1186, when it was returned to William as the dowry of his English bride, Ermengarde de Beaumont, who had been chosen for him by King Henry.

Wars of Scottish Independence
A century later, on the death of King Alexander III, the throne of Scotland became vacant. Edward I of England was appointed to adjudicate the competing claims for the Scottish crown, but attempted to use the opportunity to establish himself as the feudal overlord of Scotland. During the negotiations, Edward stayed briefly at Edinburgh Castle, and had much of the country's records and treasure removed from the castle to England. In March 1296, Edward I launched an invasion of Scotland, sparking the First War of Scottish Independence. Edinburgh Castle soon came under English control, surrendering after three days of bombardment. A large garrison was installed, 325 strong in 1300. After the death of Edward I in 1307, however, England's control over Scotland weakened. On 14 March 1314, a surprise night attack by Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray, recaptured the castle. The daring plan involved a party of thirty hand-picked men, led by one William Francis, who had lived in the castle as a boy, making a difficult ascent up the north face of the Castle Rock, and taking the garrison by surprise. Robert the Bruce immediately ordered the destruction of the castle's defences to prevent re-occupation by the English. Shortly after, Bruce's army secured victory at the Battle of Bannockburn. After Bruce's death, Edward III of England determined to carry on his grandfather's project, and supported the claim of Edward Balliol, son of the former King John Balliol, over that of the young David II, son of the Bruce. Edward invaded in 1333, marking the start of the Second War of Scottish Independence, and the English forces reoccupied and refortified Edinburgh Castle in 1335, holding it until 1341. This time, the Scottish assault was led by William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas. Douglas's party disguised themselves as merchants bringing supplies to the garrison. Driving a cart into the castle, they halted it to prevent the gates closing. A larger force hidden nearby rushed to join them, and the castle was retaken. The English garrison, numbering 100, were all killed.

David's Tower and the fifteenth century
The Treaty of Berwick of 1357 brought the Wars of Independence to a close. David II resumed his rule, and set about rebuilding Edinburgh Castle, which became his principal seat of government. David's Tower was begun around 1367, and was incomplete when David died at the Castle in 1371, being completed by his successor, Robert II, in the 1370s. The tower stood on the site of the present Half Moon Battery, and was connected by a section of curtain wall to the smaller, Constable's Tower, a round tower built between 1375 and 1379 where the Portcullis Gate now stands. In the early 15th century, another English invasion, this time under Henry IV, reached Edinburgh Castle and began a siege, but due to a lack of supplies, the English withdrew. From 1437, Sir William Crichton was Keeper of Edinburgh Castle, and soon after became Chancellor of Scotland. In an attempt to gain the regency of Scotland, Crichton sought to overthrow the power of the Earls of Douglas, the principal noble family in the kingdom. The sixteen-year-old William Douglas, 6th Earl of Douglas, and his younger brother David, were summoned to Edinburgh Castle in November 1440. The so-called "Black Dinner" which followed saw the two boys summarily beheaded on trumped-up charges, in the presence of the ten-year-old King James II (ruled 1437–1460). Douglas' supporters subsequently laid siege to the castle, causing some damage. Construction continued during these events, with the area now known as Crown Square being laid out over vaults in the 1430s. Royal apartments were built, forming the nucleus of the later palace block, and a Great Hall was in existence by 1458. In 1464, the access to the castle was improved, with the current approach road up the north-east side of the rock being laid out. In 1479, Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, was imprisoned in David's Tower for plotting against his brother, King James III (ruled 1460–1488). He escaped by getting his guards drunk, then lowering himself from a window on a rope. Albany fled to France, then England, where he allied himself with King Edward IV. In 1482, Albany marched into Scotland with Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) and an English army. He occupied Edinburgh Castle, and imprisoned the King for two months, before the rebellion collapsed. During the 15th century, the castle was increasingly used as an arsenal and armaments factory. The first known purchase of a gun was in 1384, and the "great bombard" Mons Meg was delivered to Edinburgh in 1457. Meanwhile, the royal family began to stay more frequently at the Abbey of Holyrood, at the opposite end of the Royal Mile. Around the end of the century, King James IV (ruled 1488–1513) built Holyroodhouse, by the abbey, for his principal Edinburgh residence, and the castle's role as a royal home subsequently declined. James IV did, however, construct the present Great Hall, which was completed in the early 16th century.

Sixteenth century and the Lang Siege
James IV was killed in battle at Flodden Field, on 9 September 1513. Expecting the English to press their advantage, the Scots hastily constructed a town wall around Edinburgh and augmented the castle's defences. A Frenchman, Antoine d'Arces, was involved in designing artillery works in 1514. Three years later, King James V (ruled 1513–1542), still only five years old, was brought to the castle for safety. Upon James' death 25 years later, the crown passed to his week-old daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots. English invasions followed, as King Henry VIII attempted to force a dynastic marriage on Scotland, although Edinburgh Castle remained largely unaffected. Following these campaigns, refortifications included an earthen angle-bastion, known as the Spur, of the type known as trace italienne , one of the earliest examples in Britain. It my have been designed by Migliorino Ubaldini, an Italian engineer from the court of Henry II of France. James V's widow, Mary of Guise, based herself at Edinburgh Castle, acting as regent from 1554 until 1560, when she died at the castle. The following year, her daughter Mary returned from France to begin her reign. The reign of the Catholic Queen Mary was marred by crises and quarrels amongst the powerful Protestant Scottish nobility. In 1565, the Queen married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, and the following year, in a small room of the Palace at Edinburgh Castle, she gave birth to James, who would later be King of both Scotland and England. Mary's own reign, however, was already drawing to a close. Three months after the murder of Darnley at Kirk o' Field in 1567, she married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, one of the murder suspects. A large proportion of the nobility rebelled, resulting ultimately in the imprisonment and forced abdication of Mary at Loch Leven Castle. However, she eventually escaped and fled to England, and some of the nobility remained faithful to her cause. Edinburgh Castle was initially handed by its Captain, James Balfour, to the Regent Moray, who had forced Mary's abdication, and now held power in the name of the infant King James VI. Moray appointed Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange as Keeper of the Castle. Kirkcaldy of Grange was a trusted lieutenant of the Regent, but after Moray's murder in January 1570 his allegiance to the King's cause began to waver. Intermittent civil war continued between the supporters of the two monarchs, and in April 1571 Dumbarton Castle fell to the King's men. Under the influence of William Maitland of Lethington, Mary's secretary, Grange changed sides, occupying the town and castle of Edinburgh for Queen Mary, and against the new regent, the Earl of Lennox. The stand-off which followed was not resolved until two years later, and became known as the "Lang Siege", from the Scots word for "long". Hostilities began in May, with a month-long siege of the town, and a short second siege in October. Blockades and skirmishing continued meanwhile, and Grange continued to refortify the castle. The King's party appealed to Elizabeth I of England for assistance, as they lacked the artillery and money required to reduce the castle, and feared that Grange would receive aid from France. Elizabeth sent ambassadors to negotiate, and in July 1572 a truce was agreed and the blockade lifted. The town was effectively surrendered to the King's party, with Grange confined to the castle. The truce ran out on 1 January 1573, and Grange began bombarding the town. His supplies of powder and shot, however, were running low, and despite having 40 cannon available, there were only seven gunners in the garrison. The King's forces, now with the Earl of Morton in charge as regent, were making headway with plans for a siege. Trenches were dug to surround the castle, and St Margaret's Well was poisoned. By February, all Queen Mary's other supporters had surrendered to the Regent, but Grange resolved to resist, despite water shortages within the castle. The garrison continued to bombard the town, killing a number of citizens. Grange's unpopularity with the townsfolk was further increased after his men made a sortie to set fires, burning 100 houses in the town, and then firing on anyone attempting to put out the flames. In April, a force of around 1,000 English troops, led by Sir William Drury, arrived in Edinburgh. They were followed by 27 cannon from Berwick-upon-Tweed, including one that had been cast within Edinburgh Castle, and captured by the English at Flodden. The English troops built a battery on Castle Hill, immediately facing the east walls of the Castle, and five other batteries to the north, west and south. By 17 May these were ready, and the bombardment began. Over the next 12 days, the gunners dispatched around 3,000 shots at the castle. On 22 May, the south wall of David's Tower collapsed, and the next day the Constable's Tower also fell. The debris blocked the castle entrance, as well as the Fore Well, although this had already run dry. On 26 May, the English attacked and captured the Spur, the outer fortification of the castle, which had been isolated by the collapse. The following day, Grange came out, calling a ceasefire while surrender could be negotiated. When it was made clear that he would not be allowed to go free, Grange resolved to continue the resistance, but the garrison threatened to mutiny. He therefore arranged for Drury and his men to come into the castle on 28 May, surrendering to the English rather than to the Regent Morton. Edinburgh Castle was handed over to George Douglas of Parkhead, the Regent's brother, and the garrison were allowed to go free. William Kirkcaldy of Grange, his brother James, and two jewellers who had been minting coins in Mary's name inside the castle, were hanged at the mercat cross on 3 August.

Nova Scotia and Civil War
Much of the castle was subsequently rebuilt by Regent Morton, including the Spur, the new Half Moon Battery, and the Portcullis Gate. Some of these works were supervised by William MacDowall, the master of work who fifteen years earlier had repaired David's Tower. The battered palace block remained unused, although James VI had repairs carried out in 1584, and again in 1615-1617, in preparation for his return visit to Scotland, after he had acceded to the English throne in 1603. James held court in the refurbished palace, but still preferred to sleep at Holyrood. In 1621, King James granted Sir William Alexander the land in North America between New England and Newfoundland, as Nova Scotia ("New Scotland"). To promote the settlement and plantation of Nova Scotia, the Baronetage of Nova Scotia was created in 1624. Under Scots Law, baronets had to take sasine by symbolically receiving the earth and stone of the land of which they were baronet. To make this possible, since Nova Scotia was far distant, the King declared that sasine could be taken either in Nova Scotia or, alternatively, "at the castle of Edinburgh as the most eminent and principal place of Scotland." James' successor, King Charles I, visited Edinburgh Castle only once, hosting a feast in the Great Hall, and staying the night before his coronation as King of Scots in 1633, the last occasion that a reigning monarch has resided in the castle. In 1639, in response to Charles' attempts to reform the Scottish Church, civil war broke out between the King's forces and the Presbyterian Covenanters. The Covenanters, led by Alexander Leslie, captured Edinburgh Castle after a short siege, although it was restored to Charles after the Peace of Berwick of June the same year. The peace was short lived, however, and the following year the Covenanters took the castle again, this time after a three-month siege, during which the garrison ran out of supplies. The Spur was badly damaged, and was demolished in the 1640s. The Royalist commander James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was imprisoned here after his capture in 1650. In May 1650, the Covenanters signed the Treaty of Breda, allying themselves with King Charles II against the English Parliamentarians, who had executed King Charles I the previous year. In response, Oliver Cromwell launched an invasion of Scotland, defeating the Covenanter army at Dunbar in September. Edinburgh Castle was taken after a three-month siege, which caused further damage. The Governor of the Castle, Colonel Walter Dundas, surrendered to Cromwell despite having enough supplies to hold out, allegedly because he wished to change sides.

Garrison fortress: Jacobites and prisoners
After his Restoration as King of England and Scotland in 1660, Charles II opted to maintain a full-time standing army based on Cromwell's New Model Army. From this time until 1923, a garrison was continuously maintained at the castle. The medieval royal castle was transformed into a garrison fortress, but continued to see military and political action. The Marquis of Argyll was imprisoned here in 1661, during the mopping up of the King's enemies after the Restoration. Twenty years later, his son, the Earl of Argyll, was also imprisoned in the castle for religious Nonconformism. He escaped by disguising himself as his sister's footman, but was brought back to the castle after his failed rebellion against King James VII in 1685. James VII was deposed and exiled by the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89, which installed William of Orange as King of England. The Parliament of Scotland also accepted William as their new king, and required the Duke of Gordon, Governor of the Castle, to surrender the fortress. Gordon, who had been appointed by James VII as a fellow Catholic, refused. In March 1689, the castle was blockaded by 7,000 troops, against a garrison of 160 men, who were further weakened by religious disputes. On 18 March, Viscount Dundee climbed up the Castle Rock, and attempted to persuade Gordon to ride out with him in rebellion against the new King. Gordon chose to stay, and during the ensuing siege, he refused to fire upon the town, while the besiegers inflicted little damage on the castle. Despite Dundee's initial successes in the north, Gordon eventually surrendered on 14 June, due to dwindling supplies, and having lost 70 men during the three-month siege. Under the terms of the Acts of Union, which joined England and Scotland in 1707, Edinburgh was one of the four Scottish castles to be maintained and permanently garrisoned by the new British Army, along with Stirling, Dumbarton and Blackness. The castle was almost taken in the first Jacobite rising in support of James Stuart, the "Old Pretender", in 1715. On 8 September, just two days after the rising began, a party of around 100 Jacobite Highlanders, led by Lord Drummond, attempted to scale the walls with the assistance of members of the garrison. However, the rope ladder lowered by the castle sentries was too short, and the alarm was raised after a change in the watch. The Jacobites fled, while the deserters within the castle were hanged or flogged. General Wade reported in 1728 that the castle's defences were decayed and inadequate, and major refortifications were carried out throughout the 1720s and 1730s, when most of the artillery defences and bastions on the north and west sides of the castle were built. These were designed by military engineer Captain John Romer, and built by

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