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Holyrood Palace (Holyroodhouse) (The Palace of Holyroodhouse)

  • House & Family History: According to legend, David I founded the Palace as an Augustinian monastery in 1128. In 1501 James IV built a palace for himself and his bride, Margaret Tudor (sister of Henry VIII), on the site of Holyroodhouse; today only a fragment of the gatehouse from that palace remains. James V added a large tower between 1528 and 1532 and a new west facade between 1535 and 1536. Mary, Queen of Scots, lived at Holyroodhouse from 1561 to 1567 and married two of her husbands in Holyrood Abbey. In the Tower Apartments Mary witnessed the murder of her secretary, David Rizzio. Oliver Cromwell's troops were billeted at the Palace during the Civil War and it consequently experienced significant damage. Charles II was crowned in Scotland and started a significant campaign to rebuild and repair the Palace. Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Holyroodhouse and held court at the Palace during his attempt to reclaim the throne. Charles Philippe, Count of Artois, later King Charles X of France, spent time at Holyroodhouse in 1795 and in 1830, after his abdication as king of France. Queen Victoria brought back the practice of the monarch staying in Holyroodhouse after her purchase of Balmoral Castle in the Highlands. George V and Queen Mary installed electricity, bathrooms, and generally brought the Palace into the modern world. The State Apartments contain important plasterwork ceilings, a fine Grand Staircase, carved woodwork, tapestries, and many extraordinary paintings. The Great Gallery of Holyroodhouse is decorated with 89 of the original 110 Jacob de Wet portraits of the real and legendary kings of Scotland, from Fergus I to Charles II. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the queen's official residence in Scotland (Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are the monarch's official residences in England) and sits at the end of the Royal Mile, surrounded by beautiful grounds and Arthur's Seat.

    Collections: In 2002 the new Queen's Gallery at Holyroodhouse opened, displaying graphic art from the Royal Collection, including many Old Master drawings, watercolors, and prints from the Print Room at Windsor Castle.

  • Chapel & Church: The grounds contain the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.

  • Architect: William Adam Sr.

    Date: 1733-34
    Designed: Repaired House

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    Architect: John Adam

    Date: 1740
    Designed: Decorated apartment for 5th Duke of Hamilton

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  • Title: Encyclopedia Britannica
    Author: Benton, William (Publisher)
    Year Published: 1959
    Reference: Vol. 5, pg.276
    Publisher: Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Listed

  • "A History of Britain" (2000 - TV documentary series).
  • Current Seat / Home of: King Charles III

    Past Seat / Home of: Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, until 1567; James VI and I, 1603-25; King Charles I, 1625-49; King Charles II, 1660-85; King James II and VII, 1685-88; King William III (1689-1702) and Queen Mary II (1689-94); Queen Anne, 1702-14; Stuart family here until 1714. King George I, 1714-27; King George II, 1727-60; King George III, 1760-1820; King George IV, 1820-30; King William IV, 1830-37; Hanover family here from 1714 until 1837. Queen Victoria, 1837-1901; King Edward VII, 1901-10; King George V, 1910-17; Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family here from 1837 until 1917, when George V changed the family name to Windsor. King George V, 1917-36; King Edward VIII, 1936; King George VI, 1936-52; Queen Elizabeth II, 1952-2022.

    Current Ownership Type: The Crown / Royal Family

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Mixed Use

    Ownership Details: Crown property. Open to the public when the king is not in residence.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01315-567-371

    Fax: 01315-575-256

    Email: holyroodhouse@royalcollection.org.uk

    Website: https://www.rct.uk/

    Historic Houses Member: No