first thing that any visitor to Linlithgow Palace
encounters is the entry gate to the palace
that publicly displays the European chivalric
orders which King James V belonged to: The Order
of the Thistle, The Order of the Garter, The Order
of St Michael, and The Order of the Golden Fleece
of Burgundy. These were status symbols which signified
James's membership of an European elite whose
members followed certain codes of conduct in society
palace was true Stewart residence: begun by James
I in 1425 and mostly completed during the reign
of James IV, when it extended into a quadrangle
form - giving us the palace courtyard we see today.
the centre of the courtyard is a magnificent fountain
in the Gothic style, decorated with literary motifs
from the tale of the little mermaid. The fountain
was many craved heraldic emblems and figures,
one of which is said to depict King James V dressed
as the peasant gaberlunzie man. The
fountain was built during the reign of James V
(about 1538), and, on the occasion of his wedding
to Mary of Guise, is said to have flowed with
wine instead of water.
Linlithgow was in fact a castle before the Stewart
dynasty took the Scottish Crown. During the Wars
of Independence it was recaptured from English
forces in the run up to the Battle of Bannockburn.
It was converted into a palace by King James I,
who built the Great Hall on the east side. It
was James I who elevated the Scottish Parliament
into an institution, rather than simply the Kings
Counsel, and some of the earliest meetings of
the parliament were in the palace- more than likely
in the Great Hall.
to tradition, Margaret Tudor, queen to James IV,
is supposed to have forlornly watched for the
return of her King from the Battle of Flodden
in 1513. The tower she watched from is known to
this day as 'Queen Margarets Bower'.
was at Linlithgow that Margaret Tudor gave birth
to the future King James V. His French queen,
Mary of Guise, accustomed to the refinement of
French chateaux, is reported to have called the
palace a most princely home.
distinguished guests at the palace were Charles
I, Oliver Cromwell (the palace was burnt down
after he left), and Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie
Prince Charlie), who stayed at the palace for
one night during the 1745 Jacobite Rising.
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