Dunfermline Palace is a ruined former Scottish royal palace and important tourist attraction in Dunfermline.
Dunfermline was a favourite residence of many Scottish monarchs. Documented history of royal residence there begins in the 11th century with Malcolm III who made it his capital. His seat was the nearby Malcolm's Tower, a few hundred yards to the west of the later palace. In the medieval period David II and James I of Scotland were both born at Dunfermline.
Dunfermline Palace is attached to the historic Dunfermline Abbey, occupying a site between the abbey and deep gorge to the south. It is connected to the former monastic residential quarters of the abbey via a gatehouse above a pend (or yett), one of Dunfermline's medieval gates. The building therefore occupies what was originally the guest house of the abbey. However, its remains largely reflect the form in which the building was remodelled by James IV around 1500.
James VI stayed at Dunfermline Palace in June 1585 to avoid the plague which raged in Edinburgh. He had a proclamation made to regulate the prices of food, drink, and lodgings for his courtiers in Dunfermline town. In 1589 the palace was given as a wedding present by the king to his bride Anne of Denmark.
Anne of Denmark had a new building built at the Palace completed in 1600, and known as the 'Queen's House', or 'Queen Anna of Denmark House'. This tall building had a driveway known as a 'pend' running through its basement level, replacing an earlier gateway. In November 1601 she prepared a lodging for her daughter Princess Elizabeth, but the princess remained at Linlithgow Palace on the king's orders. There was a steep stairwell outside Anne of Denmark's bed chamber, and in March 1602 the English courtier Roger Aston fell down it and was unconscious for three hours.
After the Union of Crowns in 1603, the removal of the Scottish court to London meant that the building came to be rarely visited by a monarch. Prince Charles stayed at Dunfermline for a year in the care of Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline after his mother had gone to England. Dr Henry Atkins wrote from Dunfermline in July 1604 to Anna of Denmark, saying the Prince, who was slow to learn to walk, could now walk the length of the 'great chamber' or 'longest chamber' several times daily without a stick. Ten tapestries from the royal tapestry collection were still there in 1616, left from the time the infant Prince Charles resided at the Palace.
Charles I returned to Scotland in 1633 for his coronation but only made a brief visit to his place of birth. The last monarch to occupy the palace was Charles II who stayed at Dunfermline in 1650 just before the Battle of Pitreavie. Soon afterwards, during the Cromwellian occupation of Scotland, the building was abandoned and by 1708 it had been unroofed.
All that remains of the palace today is the kitchen, its cellars, and the impressive south wall with a commanding prospect over the Firth of Forth to the south.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.