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Palace of Holyroodhouse

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The Palace of Holyroodhouse was a development of the Abbey founded by David I. in 1128; and since that date the building has been more or less continuously occupied. It is therefore associated with almost every phase of Scottish history.

The Abbey was built by David I. as a thank offering for his deliverance from a stag which attacked the King while he was hunting in the Forest of Drumsheugh.

A cross of Arms of the Counties and Burghs from which the regiments are recruited. Carved panels commemorate the different animals who also served and died.

The windows between the columns in the south wall represent Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, the motif of the borders being the appropriate flowers and fruits of the seasons.

Various scenes from the War, such as "Home-coming at a Railway station," "Mine-Sweeper," and "Munition-making," occupy the central panels.

The west end of the Hall commemorates, in window and sculptured badges, the Royal Naval Air Services, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Royal Air Force, while the east end similarly represents the Royal Navy.

On the wall spaces in the two bays there are memorials to the Women's Services, Chaplains, Mercantile Marine, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Yeomanry, and others.

Within the Shrine stands the steel Casket, the gift of the King and Queen, containing the Rolls of Honour placed therein by the King.

The stone of Remembrance, upon which rests the Casket, stands upon an outcrop of natural rock rising through the floor of the Shrine.

Around the walls is a massive bronze frieze, depicting in battle-kit or working dress the various units, soldiers, sailors, airmen, medical and women's services, and even animals.

From the centre of the Gothic vault hangs a great figure of St. Michael carved in oak, symbolical of Right overcoming Wrong.

The subjects of the beautiful stained glass windows are "The Birth of War", "The Overthrow of Tyranny", "The Triumph of the Spirit", "Peace", and "Praise" miraculously appeared between the King and the stag, and to this he owed his life.

This legend is the origin of the name "Holyrood." The Abbey church, now in ruins, was a noble structure in the Norman and Early English styles of architecture. The choir and transepts were demolished at the Reformation, and the stones used to rebuild the nave, which was thereafter used as the church - until the year 1768, when the vault collapsed.

In the nave is the Royal vault, where lie the bones of David II., James II. and his Queen, James V. and Queen Magdalene, and Henry, Lord Darnley.

After the Reformation the domestic buildings were converted into the Palace. The oldest portion of the existing buildings is the north-west wing, commenced by James IV. before 1501, and in this part lived Mary Queen of Scots.

The remainder was designed by Sir William Bruce, and built by Robert Mylne in 1671-2, to the order of Charles II. who never actually saw its completion.

In the garden is Croft-an-Righ House (Gaelic for 'croft of the King') originally occupied by Lord Robert Stuart, half-brother to Mary Queen of Scots, and opposite, in the West Gardens, stand the King Edward VII. Memorial and the quaint building called Queen Mary's Bathhouse.

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