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Linlithgow Palace, Edinburgh and the Lothians

Location: Linlithgow EH49 7AL (map and directions)

Linlithgow Palace is a stately ruined palace in the town of Linlithgow, which sits 15 miles west of Edinburgh. A royal manor stood here as early as the 12th century, then a structure called ‘the Peel’ was built by the English in the 14th century under Edward I. Linlithgow’s location made it a prime location as a military base between Edinburgh and Stirling castles.

Linlithgow Palace, Edinburgh & The Lothians copyright Alistair McMillan
Linlithgow Palace © Alistair McMillan

History of Linlithgow Palace

When the town of Linlithgow was partially destroyed by a fire in 1424, King James I rebuilt the palace into a royal residence, simultaneously rebuilding the Church of St Michael to the south of the Palace. This began a long history of royal connections at Linlithgow, including additions to the castle by James III, James IV and James V, who added the courtyard fountain.

Mary Queen of Scots was born at Linlithgow in 1524 and stayed there several times throughout her reign. After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, Linlithgow was used less and less by royalty until King Charles I’s overnight in 1633 was the last official royal visit to Linlithgow.

In January of 1746, 5 months after Bonnie Prince Charlie passed through during a day trip in 1745, Linlithgow was destroyed by The Duke of Cumberland’s army.

Linlithgow has a magnificent great hall, massive windows in the king’s and queen’s chambers, a three-tiered fountain, and sculptures are found throughout the palace.

Map and directions

Today Linlithgow is managed by Historic Scotland and is open year round to visitors. The Church of St Michael is open during the summer only.

View Linlithgow Palace in a larger map

Other castles in Edinburgh & the Lothians

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Bullet Point Linlithgow Palace
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Bullet Point Midhope Castle
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Bullet Point Northfield House
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Bullet Point Preston Tower
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Bullet Point Whittingehame Tower
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