Falkland Palace
Falkland Palace in Falkland, Fife, Scotland is a former royal palace of the Scottish Kings. Today it is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, and serves as a tourist attraction.

History
The Scottish Crown acquired Falkland Castle from MacDuff of Fife in the 14th century. In 1402 Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany imprisoned his nephew David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, the eldest son of King Robert III of Scotland, at Falkland. The incarcerated Duke eventually died there from neglect and starvation. Between 1501 and 1541 Kings James IV and James V of Scotland transformed the old castle into a beautiful royal palace: one of the finest Renaissance palaces in Scotland. James V, already ill, died at Falkland in December 1542 after hearing that his wife had given birth to a daughter— Mary, Queen of Scots. Falkland became a popular retreat with all the Stewart monarchs. They practised falconry there and used the vast surrounding forests for hawking and for hunting deer and wild boar. Nearby Myres Castle is the hereditary home of the Royal Macers and Sergeants at Arms who served Falkland Castle since at least the sixteenth century. John Scrimgeour of Myres supervised building at the Palace from 1532 - 1563. After the Union of the Crowns, James VI and I, Charles I, and Charles II all visited Falkland. Cromwell's invading army set the palace on fire and it quickly fell into ruin. In 1887 John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute started the restoration of the palace. The Crichton-Stuarts, the Keepers of Falkland Palace, at the time headed by the 5th Marquess of Bute made a decision in the early 1950s, he appointed the National Trust for Scotland in 1952 to take care of the Palace. Falkland Palace has been in the keepership of the Crichton Stuart family since its acquisition by the 3rd Marquess of Bute in 1887. In 1952 the National Trust for Scotland was appointed Deputy Keeper of the Palace, and they now care for and maintain the Palace and its extensive gardens.

Description
The roofed South Range (or 'Wing') contains the Chapel Royal, and the East Range the King's Bedchamber and the Queen's Room. The internal façades of these wings were decorated with pilasters in a French renaissance style between 1537 and 1542. Their appearance is comparable to the French Chateau of Villers-Cotterêts. Visitors can also view the Keeper's Apartments in the Gatehouse. The chapel ceiling dates from the time of James V and was re-decorated for the visit of Charles I in 1633. In the gardens lies the original real tennis court, built in 1539, and the world's oldest tennis court still in use. The roofed spectator area is home to a number of swallows, who swoop in and out, through the door left open for them, during spring and summer. The court is home to the Falkland Palace Royal Tennis Club.

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference and removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com