Staying on the theme of History, I was lucky, I grew up in a Historical City boasting many things to see, all within walking distance, today I am going to talk about Edinburgh Castle.
My first job leaving school was in Edinburgh Castle, I was 15, lucky to get my National Insurance card because I had not quite officially left school, so I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to start, thankfully it all worked out in the end.
I worked in the tourist cafe for one year, yes not the most interesting jobs in the world but it was, the folks I met the stories I was told was unbelievable because having lived in the City all my life and being a young guy I thought I knew everything about the City History but how the wrong one can be. Edinburgh castle is as old as 340 million years when it was first created out of the volcanic rock, it became a fortress around AD 600 it was first called “Din Eidyn A fortress on the rock.
The ownership of the castle was to and from Scotland and England Edward 1rst captured it around 1296, then the Scots reclaimed it under “Robert the Bruce” than the English and again the Scots lol a lot of battles over a castle. In 1326 David the second rebuilt the castle and died in it around 1371. The tower in the castle was named after him. In 1457 the huge Gun, cannon called “mons meg” arrived then James the fourth built the Great Hall.
In 1494 the sceptre and the Sword of the state were presented to James the fourth by the then popes of Rome, finally, the crown was made and presented to James the fifth. In 1571 there was a land siege and Davids tower was demolished in the battle. In 1574 the castle was again reconstructed and other defences put in place to make it more secure and ready for any battles which may ensue.
In 1615 the palace is renovated to celebrate the fiftieth year of the reign of King James the fifth of Scotland.
In 1633 King Charles was the last monarch to sleep in the castle before his coronation. In 1650 Oliver Cromwell took over the castle after the execution of Charles 1rst.In 1651 the crown and sceptre belonging to the former King are buried in Kincardineshire so Cromwell would not get his hands on it. In 1689 forces loyal to the exiled James V11 tried to take back the Castle from the then sovereigns William and Mary but were defeated.In 1715 The third rebellion of the Jacobite army nearly breaks through the castle’s defences.
In 1745 “Prince Charles” “bonnie Prince Charlie” and his fifth Jacobite rebellion fail again to penetrate and capture the castle and this was the last siege against the castle.
Now this is a part I had no idea about….
The seven-year War American War of Independence, the French revolutionary war and the Napoleonic wars ALL prisoners were held in Edinburgh Castle did YOU know that?
In 1818 a monument was made for Sir Walter Scott famous Scot novelist and put on display. In 1822 George IV visits the castle the first monarch to do so in 189 years. In 1829 “Mons Meg” is returned to the castle from London. In 1861 was the first-ever “one o’clock gun” signal, still going today every day at 1 pm… In 1887 the castle is regenerated and modernized by a famous architect.
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In 1927 the National war museum is opened. In 1941 the treasures of the castle are buried in case of the German occupation. In 1950 Edinburgh Castle hosts its first MILITARY TATTOO and is still going today a must-see if you visit Edinburgh. In 1996 the “stone of destiny is returned to the castle” and is now on display in 1998 the Castle is deemed as the most important building in Scottish heritage. Edinburgh Castle boasts 1.25 million visitors a year, wow, that’s a lot of people.