The Kilted Photographer Visits...
Linlithgow Palace

My first Kilted Photographer Visits video :).

A royal manor existed on the site in the 12th century. This was replaced by a fortification known as 'the Peel', built in the 14th century by occupying English forces under Edward I. The site of the manor made it an ideal military base for securing the supply routes between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. The English fort was begun in March 1302 under the supervision of two priests, Richard de Wynepol and Henry de Graundeston. The architect, Master James of St George, was also present. In September 1302, sixty men and 140 women helped dig the ditches; the men were paid twopence and the women a penny daily. One hundred foot-soldiers were still employed as labourers on the castle in November and work continued during the Summer of 1303.

In 1424, the town of Linlithgow was partially destroyed in a great fire.King James I started the rebuilding of the Palace as a grand residence for Scottish royalty, also beginning the rebuilding of the Church of St Michael immediately to the south of the palace: the earlier church had been used as a storeroom during Edward's occupation. Over the following century the palace developed into a formal courtyard structure, with significant additions by James III and James IV. James V was born in the palace in April 1512, the household of his mother Margaret Tudor at Linlithgow included the African servants Margaret and Ellen More. James V added the outer gateway and the elaborate courtyard fountain. The stonework of the South façade was renewed and unified for James V in the 1530s by the keeper, James Hamilton of Finnart. Mary, Queen of Scots, was born at the Palace in December 1542 and occasionally stayed there during her reign.

James VI of Scotland gave lands including the palace to his bride Anne of Denmark as a "morning gift". On 14 May 1590 Peder Munk, the Admiral of Denmark, was welcomed at the palace by the keeper Lewis Bellenden and took possession or (sasine) by accepting a handful of earth and stone. Their daughter Princess Elizabeth lived in the Palace in the care of Helenor Hay, Countess of Linlithgow. After the Union of the Crowns in 1603 the Royal Court became largely based in England and Linlithgow was used very little. The old North Range, described as 'ruinous' in 1599, collapsed on 6 September 1607, and The 1st Earl of Linlithgow wrote to King James VI & I with the news:

Please your most Sacred Majestie; this sext of September, betuixt thre and four in the morning, the north quarter of your Majesties Palice of Linlithgw is fallin, rufe and all, within the wallis, to the ground; but the wallis ar standing yit, bot lukis everie moment when the inner wall sall fall and brek your Majesties fontane."

King James had it rebuilt between 1618 and 1622. The carving was designed by the mason William Wallace. In July 1620, the architect, James Murray of Kilbaberton, estimated that 3,000 stones in weight of lead would be needed to cover the roof, costing £3,600 in Pound Scots (the Scottish money of the time). On 5 July 1621 the then Earl of Mar wrote to James to tell him he had met Murray and viewed the works at 'grate lenthe.' He said the Palace would be ready for the King at Michaelmas. The carving at the window-heads and the Royal Arms of Scotland were painted and gilded, and the old statues of the Pope, Knight, and Labouring Man on the east side had also been painted. However, the only reigning monarch to stay at Linlithgow after that date was King Charles I, who spent a night there in 1633.

In 1648, part of the new North Range was occupied by The 2nd Earl of Linlithgow. An English visitor in October 1641 recorded in a poem that the roof of the great hall was already gone, the fountain vandalised by those who objected on religious grounds to the motto "God Save the King," but some woodcarving remained in the Chapel Royal.

The palace's swansong came in September 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie visited Linlithgow on his march south but did not stay overnight. It is said that the fountain was made to flow with wine in his honour. The Duke of Cumberland's army destroyed most of the palace buildings by burning in January 1746.