When Was Edinburgh Castle Built?

It is not surprising that Edinburgh Castle draws millions of tourists to the city each year. It is one of the oldest fortified sites in all of Europe. To date, several people out there want to know when Edinburgh castle was built. This article has all the information you’ve ever wanted about the history of this magnificent building.

The castle and royal home situated atop Castle Rock have witnessed a lot. It saw its fair share of political coup attempts and seizure campaigns. Conflicts for national sovereignty are also rooted in it. The brickwork still bears the scars of battles and failed escape attempts.

King David I of Scotland built Edinburgh Castle in 1103. For it, he chose Castle Rock, a result of a volcano erupting several hundred million years prior. It was after long served as a royal home and a military base. The Castle is now more than a thousand years old.

Image Source: Pexels – Edinburgh Castle

Why was Edinburgh castle built?

Edinburgh Castle’s primary purpose was for military fortification. From the 13th century, it served as a focal point in the English-Scottish War. Following a three-day assault, Edward I of England acquired control of Edinburgh Castle. It was then the focus of a tug of war between the warring nations. Throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle changed hands multiple times. That was before being retaken by the Scots in 1341.

By this time, the ancient castle had mostly been destroyed. It was rebuilt on David II’s instructions, who passed away there in 1371. The David’s Tower, erected in memory of King David II, was destroyed during the Lang Siege in the 16th century. This added to the damage to Edinburgh Castle’s structures. During the Jacobite Rising in 1745, Edinburgh Castle experienced its final siege. 

Edinburgh Castle played a new purpose in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a prison during the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. The Seven Years’ War and the Napoleonic Wars were only a few of the wars where prisoners were kept there.

How long did it take to build Edinburgh Castle?

There is no concrete answer to when Edinburgh castle was built. But its origins may be traced back to the Iron Age. The massive rock acquired its English name, Edinburgh, when the Angles conquered it in 638 AD. The town expanded from the castle at that point. The first residences appeared along Lawn market and the Royal Mile’s incline. The oldest remaining part dates to the twelfth century. In contrast, its most recent modifications are from the 1920s.

Who has lived in Edinburgh castle?

Scottish and English monarchs have occupied Edinburgh castle throughout its history. It has also been home to soldiers and the “sheriff of Edinburgh.” The control of the castle has been the focal point of several bloody conflicts. This is because whoever held the castle also controlled Edinburgh. This led to a perception that the monarchs controlled the entire nation.

Princess Margaret of England was the area’s oldest known resident. She was reared in exile in Hungary, where she was born and nurtured. At age 10, she returned to England, but during the Norman conquest in 1066, she fled to Scotland. Around 1070, she wed King Malcolm III but passed away in 1093, not long after her husband. Mary Queen of Scots, King James VI, Oliver Cromwell, and Sir Walter Scot are just a few of the notable occupants.

How big is Edinburgh castle?

Edinburgh Castle is the biggest castle in Scotland. It is spread over 35,737 square meters. This famous building towers over the nation’s capital. Scotland’s largest castle may be seen from a variety of breathtaking angles. Edinburgh Castle is stunning from every viewpoint. Castle Street brings a magnificent view of it. It looks good even from the Grassmarket looking up to Arthur’s Seat.

Edinburgh Castle is not simply one big building, even though we refer to it as a single castle. There are many different buildings on the castle grounds. These together constitute an impressively large estate.

Who owns Edinburgh castle?

According to The Guardian, the protesters made a statement about the castle. They said it “belongs to the people” and that their “possession” was an attempt to “take our power back.” For those involved, “taking the castle back” entails re-establishing the “rule of law.”

The Scottish ministers formally own Edinburgh castle. They serve as the top officials of the devolved Scottish government. That is according to a 2010 government report. The army controls the barracks and shares the guardroom. Historic Environment Scotland, an agency of the Scottish government, manages the facility.

Can I tour every part of the castle?

Although, all places are accessible to tourists. But still, the rules keep changing because of refurbishment or certain restrictions. 

The panoramic views from the castle span the entire city. They extend as far as the Firth of Forth and neighboring Fife. The castle offers the chance to witness much of Scotland’s history. The structures’ interiors are lovely to view as well. Furthermore, from their vantage point, they dominate the Edinburgh skyline. The castle happened to be Scotland’s most popular tourist destination in 2016.

Tourists can also purchase a ticket to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It takes place in August during the Edinburgh International Festival. It uses the esplanade as a stage for pipe bands and heroes worldwide. Moreover, it is another chance to get a close-up view of the castle (Tickets can be quite pricey). You are fortunate enough to get tickets since they’re frequently sold out in advance.

Can I get married in Edinburgh castle?

Edinburgh Castle is one of your greatest choices for a wedding. It features numerous wings and rooms to accommodate various needs. You can have conventional wedding ceremonies and modern reception ceremonies in the castle. Moreover, it has wings that can accommodate your preferences. You can have large weddings with many guests or more intimate ceremonies.

Please read our detailed article on Edinburgh castle weddings for more insights. Hope this article answers your queries regarding when was Edinburgh castle built.