Falkland Palace

Falkland Palace

Falkland Palace in Fife, Scotland is a former royal palace of the Scottish Kings. Today it is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, and serves as a tourist attraction. [ [http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/93/ National Trust Scotland "Falkland Palace"] ]


The Scottish Crown acquired Falkland Castle from MacDuff of Fife in the 14th century. In 1402 Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany imprisoned his nephew David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, the eldest son of King Robert III of Scotland, at Falkland. The incarcerated Duke eventually died there from neglect and starvation.

Between 1501 and 1541 Kings James IV and James V of Scotland transformed the old castle into a beautiful royal palace: one of the finest Renaissance palaces in Scotland. James V, already ill, died at Falkland in December 1542 after hearing that his wife had given birth to a daughter—Mary, Queen of Scots. ["In Britain", December 2003-January 2004, Vol. 13 Issue 6, p72, 5p, 9c retrieved through Ebsco's Australia New Zealand Reference Centre]

Falkland became a popular retreat with all the Stewart monarchs. They practised falconry there and used the vast surrounding forests for hawking and for hunting deer and wild boar.

Nearby Myres Castle is the hereditary home of the Royal Macers and Sergeants at Arms who served Falkland Castle since at least the sixteenth century.

After the Union of the Crowns, James VI and I, Charles I, and Charles II all visited Falkland. Cromwell's invading army set the palace on fire and it quickly fell into ruin. In 1887 John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute started the restoration of the palace.

The Crichton-Stuarts, the Keepers of Falkland Palace, at the time headed by the 5th Marquess of Bute made a decision in the early 1950s, he appointed the National Trust for Scotland in 1952 to take care of the Palace, although it is still owned by the current Marquess of Bute (the 7th).

Falkland Palace has been in the keepership of the Crichton Stuart family since its acquisition by the 3rd Marquess of Bute in 1887. In 1952 the National Trust for Scotland was appointed Deputy Keeper of the Palace, and they now care for and maintain the Palace and its extensive gardens.


The roofed South Range contains the Chapel Royal, and the East Range the King's Bedchamber and the Queen's Room. Visitors can also view the Keeper's Apartments in the Gatehouse. In the gardens lies the original real tennis court, built in 1539, and the world's oldest tennis court still in use. The court is home to the Falkland Palace Royal Tennis Club.


External links

* [http://www.rampantscotland.com/visit/blvisitfalkland.htm Rampant Scotland feature]
* [http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/falkland/falkland/index.html Undiscovered Scotland]
* [http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/93/ National Trust profile]

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