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Our History Within Its Walls

The north range, reconstructed 1618-24; one of Scotland’s finest Renaissance facades

Used and abused by the English; Linlithgow Palace endured so much before the slide into Union brought her low. Her creation, aggrandizement, and violent ruination run in parallel with Scotland’s millennium-long struggle for autonomy. Now roofless, but impressive still, her lofty walls offer superb views across loch and grounds. Her interior too, just keeps on giving, every doorway opening onto multiple passageways and crannies. She doubled as “Wentworth Prison” in Outlander’s infamous dungeon torture scenes, and draws tens of thousands of visitors each July to the annual Spectacular Jousting weekend.

LinIithgow housed kings even before Scotland’s modern borders were fixed; David I, Malcolm IV, and William the Lion all used the royal manor house. But it was an English invader, Edward I, who in 1302 began to fortify it, while fighting the Scots in the Wars of Independence (1296-1357). He had it surrounded with “a Pele, mekill and stark” (a stockade, large and strong), and used it as the English army’s main store of supplies for use in besieging the Scots at Stirling Castle. Edward gave Scots a choice they would grow familiar with over the coming centuries; swear fealty to the English Crown, or forfeit goods and land. He had the defiant Wallace hung, emasculated, eviscerated and beheaded in 1305, claiming continued dominion even after the crowning of Robert the Bruce as King of Scots in 1306. The Scots’ legendary resistance resulted in triumph and liberation at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Edward gave Scots a choice they would grow familiar with over the coming centuries

Meanwhile, Linlithgow palace had been retaken by Bruce supporters. The peel was demolished and the castle refortified, housing the royal court of King David II in 1343, but was burnt to the ground along with most of the town in 1424. From these ashes, James I built a palace, upon his return from being held captive in England. Other high-status hostages remained in English hands, and James had a bill passed to raise taxes for the ransom. However, he diverted more than half the money into palace construction instead, spending a tenth of the royal income on it until his assassination by the Earl of Atholl, his own uncle, in 1437.

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About iScot Magazine

iScot June 2017 issue - the one with The Proclaimers 'Turn that frown upside down' front cover 116 jam packed pages of the best craic in Scotland from the only truly independent pro Scottish magazine. Alyn Smith MEP - "You're Welcome Here" Robbie Dinwoodie - Saying 'AYE" with LFI Dave Bowman - The Angus Roberston Interview Derek Bateman - More Democracy? Dave Bowman - Gala's Pride Tom Morton - Cadenhead celebrates & Scotland's best Whisky Column Wee Ginger Dug - Nae North Britain Blaze's Trail - Dog for Sale! David J Black - A bedtime story Grousebeater - Promoting The Proclaimers Jason Michael McCann - Subversion of Democracy? John MacKenzie - The Arran Clearances ( yes, 40 miles from Glasgow!) Zoe Weir - Within its walls - Linlithgow Palace Iain McLaren - Photo Essay Mary Edward - The Jews of Glasgow Indy Lawyer - Your very good health Vivien Martin - Spaceman & Spies iScot Short Story - David McVey - Mr Scotland Major Bloodnok and Mystic Mons Meg Heidbyler Soduko ( No, not Sudoko!) Readers Letters