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Stirling Castle facts for kids

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Stirling castle
Stirling, Scotland
Stirling Castle
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Location within Stirling council area
Site information
Owner Historic Environment Scotland
Open to
the public
Site history
Built Castle dates from at least early 12th century, present buildings mostly built between 1490 and 1600
Built by Significant works by James IV, James V, and James VI
In use Still in use today
Battles/wars Sieges and occupations during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1357); sieges in 1651, 1746
Garrison information
James Erskine, 14th Earl of Mar
Hereditary office of the Earls of Mar

Stirling Castle, in Stirling, Scotland, is one of the largest and most important castles in the United Kingdom. It guarded an important crossing of the River Forth, which exits to the North Sea in the east.

The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive volcanic crag, part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. It guards what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, This made it an important fortification from eary times.

Most of the buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Several Scottish kings and queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence. The last siege was in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie faied to take the castle. Stirling Castle is a scheduled Ancient Monument, and is a tourist attraction managed by Historic Scotland.

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