NT2573 : St Margaret's Chapel - St Margaret of Scotland
near to Edinburgh, Great Britain
Saint Margaret of Scotland
Margaret was born a princess of Wessex, in about 1045 probably in Hungary to a German mother (Agatha) as her father was in exile. She was the granddaughter of Edmund Ironside, briefly king of the English in 1016. Her father was known as Edward the Exile as he had been banished from England by Cnut as an infant.
When about 12 years old she and her family returned to England where her Saxon great-uncle Edward the Confessor was now king. Her father died soon after his return and his son, Margaret's brother, Edgar the Ętheling was a possible successor to the English throne. After the Norman conquest of 1066 however, Agatha and Margaret set sail for the continent. According to legend a storm drove them ashore in Scotland. They sought refuge from the Scottish king, Malcolm III (Canmore) - and in 1070 Margaret married the king. They had eight children; six sons, three of whom were to become kings of Scots themselves (Edgar 1097-1107; Alexander I 1107-1124 and David I 1124-1153) and two daughters. The elder of these daughters, Edith (later known as Matilda) married the English king Henry I, and through her Margaret is an ancestress of the current Royal family of England & Scotland.
Margaret was deeply religious and introduced Anglo-Norman manners and institutions to the Scottish court. She was strong-willed and very influential, and by all accounts a very good mother to her extensive family. She also followed quite an ascetic lifestyle of fasting and religious observance. She was also noted for her concern for orphans and the poor.
Malcolm was treacherously killed near Alnwick on 13th November 1093 along with their eldest son, Edward. Grief-stricken at the news and worn down by years of austerity and fasting Margaret died just three days later on 16th November. Though originally buried elsewhere, both Malcolm and Margaret were reburied together at Dunfermline Abbey.
She was almost immediately considered a saint by the Scottish people, and her youngest son David, who as David I became one of Scotland's greatest kings, had a chapel built at Edinburgh Castle which he dedicated to her and which still stands - the oldest part of that castle to survive intact.
In 1250 Pope Innocent V canonised Margaret and she became Saint Margaret of Scotland. Her feast day is 16th November, the day of her death, and she is considered a saint by both the Catholic and Anglican churches.
Edinburgh Castle contains buildings from the C12th to the C20th centuries with the majority dating from the C16th and C19th. The oldest part of the castle is St Margaret's Chapel which was built by King David I in the early C12th, dedicating it to his mother who had died in 1093.
The castle was the seat of the Kings and Queens of Scotland from David I to James VI in 1603 when the crowns of Scotland and England were combined on Elizabeth I's death, James becoming James I of England.
The "Lang Siege" Link of 1571-73 ended with the bombardment of the Castle and the destruction of both David's Tower and the Constable's Tower. Much rebuilding followed and a large amount of the castle dates from this time.
This was followed by considerable building in the C17th, C18th and C19th see a good wikipedia article on the castle here Link
One of the most recent buildings on the site is the Scottish National War Memorial which dates from 1927 but is built in a baronial style that means it blends well with the rest of the buildings.
The castle is built on top of an ancient extinct volcano so is elevated above the rest of the city, though not as high as nearby Arthur's Seat.
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- NT2573, 4527 images (more nearby)
- Rob Farrow (find more nearby)
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- Date Taken
- Monday, 3 September, 2012 (more nearby)
- Friday, 7 September, 2012
- Geographical Context
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- Subject Location
OSGB36: NT 2515 7350 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.9209N 3:12.0074W
- Photographer Location
- OSGB36: NT 2515 7350
- View Direction
- SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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