Saturday, September 11, 2010

Falkland Palace September 2010

Today my daughters and self visited Falkland. North Fife is awash with historic buildings, Falkland Palace being just one. Falkland is a quiet gentle town and we enjoyed a wander before heading to the local woods to collect wild mushrooms.

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.
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. John Scrimgeour of Myres supervised building at the Palace from 1532 - 1563.
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. Falkland Palace has been in the keeper-ship 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.

Ninian Crichton Stuart (more commonly known as Ninian Stuart) is the Hereditary Keeper of Falkland Palace.

Above the entrance to Falkland palace sit these Three panels of coats of arms.

Almost a Gargoyle on a house in Falkland.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Falkland Palace and gardens left a lasting impression when I visited on a beautiful autumn morning many years ago. Your photos brought back wonderful memories and the desire to return - soon I hope. I recall hearing that the gardens were ploughed up to grow potatoes, etc., during WW II. Do you know anything about that?