From at least the 12th century a castle has existed atop Castle Rock in Stirling. Situated in the center of Scotland, Stirling Castle's strategic location ensured that those who held the castle were able to control movement through the middle of the kingdom. Records first show the existence of a royal castle at Stirling in 1107, during the reign of Alexander I. The castle's importance was recognized at an early date as it was one of five turned over to English King Henry II following his capture of King William the Lion in 1174. During the Scottish Wars of Independence, Stirling Castle again played a central role as the battles of Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314) were both fought nearby. Following Scottish independence, Stirling Castle resumed its role as a royal palace and assumed much of its present-day appearance. With the beginning of the Jacobite uprisings in the 18th century, the castle reverted to a military base and served in this role until 1964.
|Outer Defenses||The Palace||Outer Close||Great Hall of Stirling Castle|
|The Castle Rock||Inner Close & King's Old Building||North Gate & Great Hall||Magazines|
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