Stirling Castle: Castle on a Volcanic Rock

Located in the city of Stirling, Scotland, Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in the country. Before Scotland united with England, Stirling Castle served as the royal residence for Scottish kings and queens. Moreover, some of the kings were even crowned here.

stirling castle from above

While the first mention of the castle is in the 12th century, the main buildings today mostly date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Stirling Castle forms a crucial part of the Scottish national identity. The castle is one of the most important symbols of independence and opposition against the English crown which lasted for centuries.

stirling castle exterior close up

When the English conquered Wales, they turned their attention to Scotland. After Edward attacked the country, the Scottish War of Independence began. During the war, Stirling Castle had multiple owners, survived countless sieges, and witnessed some of the bloodiest battles in Scottish history. In addition, the castle towers over the area where William Wallace fought and won against the English.

stirling castle building

Despite winning the war, the Scottish had to relinquish the castle to the English. Some decades later, the Scottish king took the castle from the English once again and gave its control to one of his earls. The castle was also home to betrayals and murders as James II killed one of his earls right in the castle.

the cemetery of the complex

The outer garden of Stirling Castle has one of the oldest and biggest graveyards in Scotland. Known as the Holy Rude Kirkyard, the graveyard is the resting place of many Scottish people, even some important nobles.

the cemetery close up
Michela Pepe

The city of Stirling is also home to the monument dedicated to William Wallace, the great Scottish hero who died fighting the English. The monument can be seen from the grounds of Stirling Castle.

wallace monument seen from stirling castle
Michele Agius

Aside from its historical importance, the castle also has a peculiar aspect to it: its location. Stirling Castle is located on top of a dormant, or an extinct, volcano rock. The volcanic outcrop is also the area where the Lowlands and Highlands meet in between.

stirling castle and the forest below
Young Scot

Today, Stirling Castle is still one of the most historically important castles in Scotland. The fact it has been a witness to some of the most important events in Scottish history and stands on top of a volcanic rock makes it a popular attraction for tourists as well.

the cemetery and the complex