Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle Details

Edinburgh Castle, a royal hilltop fort since C12. Mostly destroyed C16 and rebuilt C17-18, traces of earlier work survive.

  • Closest To: Edinburgh
  • Access: Chargeable Public Access
  • Grid Reference: NT251735

Edinburgh Castle is the most visited historic attraction in Scotland, containing museums and the Regalia of Scotland. It was a royal castle from at least the 12th century, although virtually nothing survives from this period, only the chapel of St Margaret. David’s Tower, dating from the mid 14th century after it had been largely destroyed by Robert Bruce, is contained behind the 16th century Half-Moon Battery, and can be seen by appointment.

The remainder of the late medieval fortress was destroyed in the Lang Siege by the Scots themselves during the civil wars in Queen Mary’s reign, but parts of the palaces of Kings James I through IV survive. The castle was remodelled as a military garrison in the mid 17th century, but was still captured by rebels in 1689, and nearly in 1715 after it had been strengthened. It remained in use by the military into the 20th century, and parts are still used by the Army, albeit in a largely symbolic way.

Official Edinburgh Castle website
Official Historic Scotland page

HES Canmore database entry

Become a supporter of my work to access a more detailed history