Falkland Palace was a Royal Palace of the Scottish Kings. Before the Palace was built there was a hunting lodge on the site in the 12th century. This was expanded in the 13th century and became a castle which was owned by the Earls of Fife.
James IV and James V transformed the original castle into the royal palace. They hired French architects and craftsmen to recreate the Renaissance style – it was one of Mary, Queen of Scots’ favourite places because it reminded her of the châteaux she lived in as a child. The Stuart monarchs came here to hunt wild boar and deer, practise falconry and play tennis.
Like many Scottish castles, Falkland Palace has a turbulent past. Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, a very dark character in Falkland’s history, imprisoned his nephew in the castle and starved him to death in 1402. James V was also imprisoned here in 1528 by Archibald, 6th Earl of Douglas, until he escaped disguised as a groom. He died here 14 years later, after the Scottish defeat at the hands of the English at the Battle of Solway Moss.
Open March to OctoberVisit Falkland Palace