At the heart of Scotland and overlooking the strategic crossing at Stirling Bridge, Stirling Castle played a key role as a stronghold and was at the centre of much of the action in Scotland’s Wars of Independence.
It was besieged eight times between 1296 and 1342, and in 1314 was under siege by the Scots, led by Edward Bruce. The keeper of the castle, Philip Mowbray struck a deal with Bruce that unless the castle was relieved by the English by 24th June, it would be returned to the Scots. This pact triggered the battle of Bannockburn.
Stirling Castle has changed significantly since the time of Bannockburn. Greatly expanded under James Iv and his son James V in the late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-centuries, it became a sumptuous royal palace. Today it is one of the finest and best-preserved Renaissance buildings in Great Britain and is presented to visitors much as it may have looked in 1545.