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Falkland Palace

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Falkland Palace is in the scenic Village of Falkland, 37 miles north of Edinburgh, 20 miles southwest of St Andrews.

The Palace can be visited most of the year. It is closed in winter from 1st November to the end of February.

There is an entrance fee. Postcode: KY15 7BY

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The image top is from Falkland Village High Street looking towards Falkland Palace and entrance. The Palace was built from the early 1500s for Kings James IV and James V. The Palace was built around an earlier Castle from the 1200s. This is one of five Royal Palaces in Scotland.

The image second top is of the Palace Chapel. Third top is of the Tapestry Corridor.

The Library and Old Kitchen are in the main section of the Palace.

The Tower House contains the Kings and Queens bedrooms from the time they used the Palace.

Just outside the Tower is a large Chess Set in the Gardens.

The Gardens are a nice peaceful place to spend some time. These were originally laid out in 1451 with them being re-designed in the 1940s by Percy Cane.

The Royal Tennis Court is at the bottom of the Gardens. This was completed in 1541.

Falkland Palace History

1100s - a Hunting Lodge is situated where Falkland Palace is today.

1200s - the Hunting Lodge was extended into a Castle for the Earls of Fife/Clan MacDuff.

1337 - Falkland Castle was destroyed by English forces during the
Second War of Scottish Independence

1371 - the rebuilt Castle passed to the Duke of Albany / Robert Stewart.

1402 - Robert imprisoned his nephew and rival to the throne David, Duke of Rothesay, the eldest son of King Robert III, in the Well Tower at Falkland. The imprisoned Duke died from neglect and starvation. The Duke of Albany died in 1420 without becoming king of Scotland.

1430s - construction of the Royal Palace inside the large fortress of Edinburgh Castle begins. This is a fairly small Palace but secure inside the castle walls.

1503 - James IV completed the large Linlithgow Palace by Edinburgh as the Scots Royals largest Palace. This was a country Palace with little defense.

1501 to 1541 - Kings James IV and James V transformed the old Castle at Falkland into a Royal Palace. This Palace and vast surrounding forest was popular with Royals for falconry, hunting deer, and wild boar.

Falkland Palace was built in French renaissance style with a Royal Tennis Court added in 1541, the oldest in Britain with it still being used today.

1540 - James V had a Palace built inside the large fortress of Stirling Castle, although not as large as Linlithgow or Falkland, it was more secure being inside the Castle walls.

1542 December 8th - Mary Queen of Scots, daughter of James V is born at Linlithgow Palace by Edinburgh.

1542 December 14th - James V died at Falkland Palace after his army's defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss in November that year. This Battle was between the forces of James V and Henry VIII of England over Henry wanting James to change from Catholic to Protestant.

1543 January 4th - the Kings body was transferred to Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh to be buried.

James Hamilton - 2nd Earl of Arran - then ran Scotland for the infant Mary Queen of Scots who was being raised in France.

1561 - Mary returned from France to take control of Scotland herself. She spent quite a lot of time at Falkland Palace playing tennis and hunting.

1603 - England and Scotland merged with the son of Mary, James VI becoming King of both countries.

1607 - Linlithgow Palace by Edinburgh begins to fall into ruin.

Even though all Kings lived in London from that time, Kings James VI, Charles I, and Charles II all visited Falkland Palace.

1652 - the Palace was occupied by troops of Oliver Cromwell during the Second English Civil War. Cromwell took control of Britain at that time having King Charles I beheaded. Cromwell's troops accidentally set fire to the Palace, causing extensive damage.

1678 - Holyrood Palace was completed to serve as the Royals home in Edinburgh.

1887 - John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquis of Bute bought Falkland and began a 20-year restoration of the Palace.

1890 - the Victorian glass house was built to grow flowers and exotic plants.

1940s - Percy Cane re-designed the gardens.

1952 - Major Michael Crichton Stewart allowed the National Trust for Scotland to take care of the Palace so the Palace and grounds could be opened to the public as a tourist attraction to help pay for the upkeep.

1970 - Falkland was made Scotland’s first conservation area.

The ruins of Linlithgow Palace are now a museum, the Palace at Stirling Castle is a museum, the Palace at Edinburgh Castle is a museum, and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh serves as a museum when the Royals are not staying there.

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Falkland Palace Photos