NS7894 : Stirling Castle

taken 7 years ago, near to Stirling, Great Britain

This is 1 of 19 images, with title Stirling Castle in this square
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle
Considered the mightiest stronghold in the kingdom, Stirling Castle played a prominent part in the 13th and 14thC Wars of Independence against England. In 1296, it was occupied by King Edward I during his triumphant conquest of Scotland, but in the following year was retaken by the Scots after William Wallace's victory over an English force in the battle of Stirling Bridge.

A second invasion culminated in the great siege of 1304 when Stirling was the last castle in Scotland to surrender to Edward. With an absentee king, the exiled John Balliol, and no hope of reinforcement, 140 men led by Sir William Oliphant stubbornly held out, claiming that they were holding the castle "for the Lion", i.e. the royal standard fluttering above its ramparts. But after a pounding from 13 siege engines over three months, the beleaguered garrison finally capitulated and its members were carted off to English prisons. Among the weapons employed by the English besiegers was a massive engine called the 'War Wolf'. Because it was as yet untried, Edward, keen to see its effect, insisted that some of the garrison return to the castle until it had been fired against the walls. A plaque on the wall of the King's Old Building in the Upper Square commemorates the garrison's heroic defence during the siege.

Under King Robert the Bruce (r.1306-29) most Scottish castles were won back from English control until, by 1313, Stirling was one of only three still in enemy hands. Having besieged the castle for several months, Edward Bruce, much to his brother's annoyance, arranged with the castle governor that the defenders would surrender if an English army failed to come within three leagues of Stirling by the following Midsummer's Day, 1314. The result was the battle of Bannockburn in which Bruce's heavily outnumbered footsoldiers defeated an approaching army of English knights led by Edward II. After the battle the castle was returned to the Scots who partly dismantled the fortifications in line with Bruce's policy of denying the enemy future strongholds, "lest the English ever afterwards might lord it over the land by holding the castles".

In 1337, during the second War of Independence (1332-56), Edward III's troops garrisoned the castle after Bruce's son and heir, David II (r.1329-71), had fled to France. In 1342 their five years long occupation ended after a siege lasting six months, during which, according to Froissart's Chronicles, cannon were used for the first time in Scotland.

With the accession of Robert II (r.1371-90) the castle began its long association with the Stewart monarchs, many of whom were either born within its walls or spent their minorities there.
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Grid Square
NS7894, 128 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Sunday, 27 November, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 4 December, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 7894 9406 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:7.4324N 3:56.9381W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 7872 9402
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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