NT2573 : Edinburgh Castle - Arms of James VI and I

taken 6 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Edinburgh Castle - Arms of James VI and I
Edinburgh Castle - Arms of James VI and I
In 1603 the crowns of Scotland and England joined when James VI of Scotland became James I of England on Elizabeth I's death. The arms seen here were the first to contain both the lions (known as leopards*) of England (quartered with the French fleur-de-lys in the top right quarter as viewed) with the Lion Rampant of Scotland. Note that James had two versions of the Royal Arms - this one for use in Scotland with the Scottish Lion Rampant in two quarters, and an English version where the English lions passant guardant/ French fleur-de-lys took precedence. Note, at this time the English monarchs still laid historic claim to the French crown, a state of affairs that continued (hopelessly) until 1800.

*Note on heraldry (including the "leopards" of England)
The three golden lions passant guardant of England are sometimes referred to as the "Leopards of England", this is because, heraldically a leopard and a lion are drawn identically, but whereas a lion can adopt many poses (such as the rampant lion of Scotland), leopards are only ever shown walking ("passant"). So these three large cats could be either lions passant guardant or leopards guardant - the word "guardant" meaning that they are looking at the viewer.
The Royal Coat of Arms at this time (James VI/I) - whether the Scottish or English version - contained the Royal Arms of England, Scotland, Ireland and France - the correct heraldic description of the shield for each of these nations is as follows:
England: Gules (red), with three lions passant guardant in pale Or (gold) armed and langued Azure (claws and tongue blue)
Scotland: Or (gold), a lion rampant Gules (red) armed and langued Azure (see above) within a double tressure flory counter-flory of the second (the fancy border)
Ireland: Azure (blue) a harp Or (gold), stringed Argent (silver)
France: Azure (blue), three fleurs-de-lis Or (gold),
See also NT2573 : Edinburgh Castle - Fireplace in Royal apartments
Edinburgh Castle
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" LinkExternal 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 LinkExternal 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, 5278 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 3 September, 2012   (more nearby)
Friday, 7 September, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  City, Town centre 
Place (from Tags)
Edinburgh Castle 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2520 7343 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.8837N 3:11.9583W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2520 7343
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Other Tags
Fireplace  Royal Coat of Arms 

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