Stirling Castle

Biblical History

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This grand castle is one of Scotland’s most popular destinations and a great place to visit while learning about the Scottish Reformation.

Overview

Stirling, Scotland

The Reformation of the sixteenth century is an amazing account of God’s faithfulness to His people. Those interested in the political and religious history of Scotland will be interested in visiting Stirling Castle in Stirling, Scotland, which played a key role in Scottish history and the Scottish Reformation. This grand castle which sits on top of an extinct volcano, 250 feet (76 m) above the plains, is one of Scotland’s most popular destinations.

It was at Stirling Castle that Mary Queen of Scots was crowned on September 9, 1543, before she was sent to France for safety. Stirling Castle was the also the place where she celebrated mass on her return to Scotland. (The celebration of this Catholic ritual infuriated the Protestants of Scotland.) Later, Mary’s son, James VI of Scotland (James I of England), was baptized at Stirling Castle.

Here, you will also learn about John Knox, one of the key figures of the Protestant Reformation of Scotland. Throughout the years, he admonished Mary Queen of Scots for supporting Catholic practices and denounced her in the sermons he preached in the castle and the parish church. Knox and Mary exchanged numerous heated discussions in the castle. Stirling Castle is also associated with Robert Bruce and William Wallace (as portrayed in the movie Braveheart), two of Scotland’s greatest patriots.

Points of Interest

Holyrood Church

The nearby Holyrood Church (Rood means "Cross") is where James VI was crowned King of Scotland shortly after his first birthday. John Knox preached at this coronation.

John Knox

John Knox

The Great Hall

The Great Hall is massive, probably built by James IV between 1501 and 1504.

Sterling Castle

Photo © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

Helpful Tips

  • Review the political and ecclesiastical history of Scotland before you visit. Mary of Guise, wife of James V, Regent of Scotland, and mother of Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI of Scotland both spent a great deal of time at Stirling Castle. Also, read material on John Knox and the Scottish Reformation.
  • The castle has a gift shop and a bookshop where you can purchase souvenirs to help you remember your visit.
  • See a map of Stirling Castle with descriptions of particular parts.

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