Linlithgow Palace - History and Facts | History Hit

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots and hosted most of the Stuart kings.

Lily Johnson

09 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is a 15th century palace in Scotland that is the birthplace of a number of Scottish monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots. Now a dramatic ruin, its royal connection and picturesque setting makes it an enduring tourist attraction.

Linlithgow Palace history

The present day palace was built in 1424 by James I of Scotland, following a devastating fire that burnt down the previous residence. With its location between Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle, it soon became a popular ‘pleasure palace’ for royals to visit on journeys between the two, with many of the Stewarts – or Stuarts – residing there throughout its history.

The Stewart queens enjoyed the peace and fresh air, and Linlithgow would serve as a nursery for many of the family’s royal infants, including James V who was born there in 1512, and Mary, Queen of Scots in 1542.

From 1603 Linlithgow Palace’s era as a royal pit stop began to deteriorate however, as the royal court moved to London under James VI when he left to claim the English throne as James I. The palace’s decline was only furthered when it was destroyed by a fire in 1745.

Linlithgow Palace today

Today Linlithgow is managed by Historic Scotland and is open to visitors. Highlights indicate the palace’s many royal residents who each made their own additions – the Great Hall built for James I, royal apartments added by James IV, the three-tiered courtyard fountain added by James V, and the north quarter rebuilt for James VI.

The palace’s tall towers also allow visitors to gaze out over Linlithgow Loch and the surrounding greenery, with views extending all the way to the Forth bridges! Though today just an atmospheric shell, a visit to Linlithgow Palace allows visitors to explore one of Scottish history’s most important royal residences, and walk in the footsteps of some of its most famous figures.

Getting to Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is located in West Lothian in Scotland, 15 miles west of Edinburgh, and can be reached via the M9. Linlithgow train station is a 5-minute walk away, while a number of bus services stop at Cross bus and coach station, a 3-minute walk away.

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