Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page
Edinburgh Castle has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times since its construction as a hunting lodge by Malcolm III in the eleventh century. Little now remains from this period, the oldest surviving part of the castle being St Margaret's Chapel, dating from the twelfth century. The first major structural changes to the castle were made in 1313, when the Scots finally recaptured the castle from the English. In order to prevent their old enemy from ever being able to use it as a defence, the king ordered that it be dismantled. It was rebuilt half a century later under the orders of David II. From this time it developed into the city's major asset, playing the role of royal palace as well as central focus of military defense. It saw its last true military action during Bonnie Prince Charlie's brief residence in 1745. After this, its role as a fortification declined.
The Great Hall
One of the castle's most intriguing unsolved mysteries stems from the discovery in 1830 of a small coffin, containing the remains of a baby wrapped in a silk shroud embroidered with the letter "J". This was discovered behind the paneling of the room in which it is known that Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI. Was this body of the heir to the Scottish throne?
Click on the picture to enter and visit the room where Mary's son was born