Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow, United Kingdom

The Linlithgow Palace was one of the principal residences of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although maintained after Scotland's monarchs left for England in 1603, the palace was little used, and was burned out in 1746. It is now a visitor attraction in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

A royal manor existed on the site in the 12th century. This was replaced by a fortification known as 'the Peel', built in the 14th century by occupying English forces under Edward I. The site of the manor made it an ideal military base for securing the supply routes between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. The English fort was begun in March 1302 under the supervision of two priests, Richard de Wynepol and Henry de Graundeston.

In 1424, the town of Linlithgow was partially destroyed in a great fire. King James I started the rebuilding of the Palace as a grand residence for Scottish royalty, also beginning the rebuilding of the Church of St Michael immediately to the south of the palace. Over the following century the palace developed into a formal courtyard structure, with significant additions by James III and James IV. James V was born in the palace in April 1512. James V added the outer gateway and the elaborate courtyard fountain. The stonework of the South façade was renewed and unified for James V in the 1530s.

The Duke of Cumberland's army destroyed most of the palace buildings by burning in January 1746. The palace has been actively conserved since the early 19th century. The site is open to visitors all year round. In summer the adjacent 15th-century parish church of St Michael is open for visitors, allowing a combined visit to two of Scotland's finest surviving medieval buildings.



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Founded: 1302
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Henderson (12 months ago)
Went to see the Medieval Jousting and more at the grounds of Linlithgow Palace- great fun and so educational!.The photos were taken of the inside of the Palace,Historic Scotland as a wee bonus gave the public free access to the Palace.Fabulous experience- amazing architecture.
Sen Sen Lin Quan (13 months ago)
Amazing palace ruins with a great depth of history and many corners to explore. The restoration done is amazing and I’m so glad it finally opened after being closed for a while. The palace was like a maze but this made it even more fun. Staff were very friendly.
Keri Smith (13 months ago)
Friendly staff and lovely atmosphere. I'm so happy this opened in time for my visit up to Edinburgh. The Palace is much bigger than expected and a maze of different rooms and history to see. Beautiful grounds to walk around as well. Small shop area with souvenirs and snacks and cold drinks. Toilets and small amount of parking available on the grounds. Unfortunately, the church was closed on the day of visiting.
it get (13 months ago)
An important building in Scotland. It’s an old palace ruin where Mary Queen of Scotland was born. Although the entire palace has been turned into ruins, the history it contains can still be felt from the buildings remained. My deepest impression of the palace is that it’s like a multilayered maze, in which visitors can freely shuttle, go up and down stairs, and explore the inner structures. I believe visitors can have fun with the whole palace. It’s a pity that when I came, it was the second day after the reopening in summer, and some areas were still restricted, and some maintenance stuff outside the palace wall had not been removed, so it slightly affected the appearance of the palace. The palace is located by the Linlithgow Loch, surrounded by large areas of grass and trees, that it’s suitable for picnics when weather is good. I just wanna say the environment around the palace is quite peaceful and beautiful.
Tommie Cox (13 months ago)
The place is in ruins, but it appears that is is being worked on. If you looked through the windows, you could see some very ornate and beautiful carvings. Several spots of information was very interesting and the Statue of Mary Queen of Scots was beautiful.
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