Previous page: The Castle and the Palace
On the highest portion of the rock is the Crown Square, having the Palace buildings on the east side, the Banqueting Hall on the south, barracks on the west, and the Scottish National War Memorial on the north.
In the palace block is the tiny room in which Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI., who was destined to join England and Scotland into a United Kingdom.
Here also rests the Regalia of Scotland, consisting of the crown, sceptre, sword of state, and the other jewelled insignia handed down by the various Scottish kings.
In the Banqueting Hall there is an excellent collection of Scottish arms and armour, and in it took place the Black Dinner in 1440, at which the young Earl of Douglas and his brother were suddenly seized by Crichton, who had them executed in the courtyard.
From the Hall a service stair leads to the kitchens and to the Casemates, a series of vaults used to house the French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars. These vaults form the scene of episodes in R. L. Stevenson's St. Ives.
From the Crown Square a narrow walk on the south side continues round the inside of the parapet walls of the Castle, and from it and from the site of Mons Meg excellent views of the town and of the Firth of Forth can be enjoyed.
Next page: Scottish National War Memorial