Featured image of Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle – History, Architecture, Wedding & Facts

As Edinburgh Castle, few buildings in Scotland have such an important place in the nation’s history or have been so central to its sense of identity. Perched high atop an extinct volcano, garrisoned since the early Middle Ages, this is the castle where Scottish kings and queens were crowned, where royalty took refuge during times of danger, and where famous battles were fought.

LocationCastlehill, Edinburgh, Scotland (Google Maps)
Open for visitorsYes
Owned byScottish Government
Official websiteEdinburg Castle
Rooms availableNo

Edinburgh Castle History

The first recorded mention of this castle is from the 6th century AD. In those days, it was known by its Celtic name Din Eidyn, meaning ‘Fort of Eidyn.’ At that time, it was little more than a small hill fort occupied by a few families. However, by the 10th century, it had become the capital of the Kingdom of Scotland, the royal residence of Scottish kings and queens. 

Edinburgh Castle from the South East
Edinburgh Castle South East View, by Kim Traynor, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

In 1174, King William I began the construction of a new royal palace within the castle walls. The castle continued to be developed and improved over subsequent centuries. It was besieged and changed hands several times between Scots and English forces during medieval wars between the two countries. 

The most famous incident in Edinburgh Castle’s history occurred in 1314 when Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce led his troops to victory against a much larger English army in what came to be known as The Battle of Bannockburn. This victory boosted Scottish morale and strengthened Robert Bruce’s position as king. 

Edinburgh Castle finally came under complete Scottish control in 1424 when King James I dismantled the English fortifications. Since then, it has been an iconic symbol of Scottish nationhood, appearing on everything from Scottish shortbread tins to bottles of whisky. Today, this castle is one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions, welcoming over one million visitors each year from all over the world.

Edinburgh Castle Architecture

Edinburgh Castle - Entrance Gate
Edinburgh Castle – Entrance Gate, by Ingo Mehling, is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The castle’s main buildings are situated around two central courtyards, the Upper and Lower wards. The upper ward is home to the royal apartments, while the lower ward contains manufacturing and storage facilities and the famous Great Hall. In between these two areas is St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh Castle, dating back to the 12th century.

The architecture of this castle is characterized by its use of local sandstone and its defensive features, such as towers, ramparts, gatehouses, and ditches. Many of the castle’s buildings have been added over time, resulting in a mix of styles, including Norman, Gothic, and Renaissance.

Inside Edinburgh Castle

The Great Hall is located on the third floor of the keep. It was built in the early 15th century. It is one of the largest halls in Scotland. It was used as a banquet hall and for other ceremonial events. The hall was decorated with armour and weapons that belonged to Scottish kings and nobles.

The chapel is situated on the fourth floor of the keep. It was built in the early 16th century and is considered one of Scotland’s finest examples of Renaissance architecture. The chapel contains three altarpieces by famous Scottish artists: a painting by John Knox, a carving by Queensberry workshop, and a tapestry by William Wallace Scot.

The Gatehouse is located at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle. It was built in 1885 to replace an earlier gatehouse that had been destroyed by fire. The Gatehouse houses several museums, including The Sultan’s Elephant exhibition about an exotic animal that toured Europe in 1680-1681 and Prisons of War, which tells stories about prisoners held at Edinburgh Castle during different conflicts.

Edinburgh Castle Tickets

If you are planning to visit, it is important to know that there are different ticket prices for different types of visitors. 

The standard ticket price for an adult is £16.50, but discounts are available for seniors, students, and children. A family ticket (two adults and up to three children) costs £46.00. There are also group discounts available for parties of 10 or more people.

Edinburgh Castle Wedding

But of course, Edinburgh castle is more than just a pretty face. The castle’s history goes back centuries and has witnessed many important events in Scottish history. Getting married here allows you to feel like a part of history and to exchange your vows in a place that has seen so much love and happiness.

And then there’s the practical side of things. This castle is a very popular tourist destination, with plenty of facilities and services nearby to cater to your needs on your big day. There are plenty of hotels nearby for your guests to stay in, and several transport options are available to get them to and from the castle.

The castle grounds provide stunning views of the city below, and there are a variety of event spaces to choose from, depending on your needs. The Great Hall is one of the most popular wedding choices, with its soaring ceilings and ornate chandeliers. 

But no matter which space you choose, you can be sure that your wedding at Edinburgh Castle will be an unforgettable event.

Edinburgh Castle Facts

Here are five interesting facts about this world-famous landmark.

  • Edinburgh Castle sits atop an extinct volcano, making it a strategic defensive location.
  • This castle is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Honours of Scotland.
  • Three cannons on Edinburgh Castle esplanade are fired daily at 1 pm (known as the One O’Clock Gun).
  • The castle’s dog cemetery contains over 30 graves of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, who served as vermin killers within the fortress walls.
  • ‘The Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish kings, is kept at Edinburgh Castle.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Edinburgh castle built?

The Son of Saint Margaret of Scotland, King David I, built a monumental design (which at last stood at 443 feet – 135 meters above sea level) that came to be known as Edinburgh Castle, with a portion of the first development proceeding to stand even today.

Who owns Edinburgh castle?

Edinburgh Castle is a tourist attraction owned by Ministers of the Scottish Government and operated by Historic Scotland. 

Who lives in Edinburgh castle?

No one lives in this castle today, but it has many residents.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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