The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace or Holyroodhouse, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyroodhouse has served as the principal royal residence in Scotland since the 16th century, and is now a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. . . .The palace as it stands today was built between 1671–1678 in a quadrangle layout, approximately 230 feet (70 m) from north to south and 230 feet (70 m) from east to west, with the exception of the 16th-century north-west tower built by James V. Sir William Bruce designed the 3-storey plus attic classical palace for Charles II, upon the restoration of the monarchy.
The sundial to the north of the palace was carved in 1633 by John Mylne, while the fountain in the forecourt is a 19th-century replica of the 16th-century fountain at Linlithgow Palace.
The Builder of 6 March 1858 reported that ‘Sir Benjamin Hall, before he quitted the post of Chief Commissioner of Works, directed that the old fountain of Linlithgow Palace, erected in the time of James II., and which is celebrated for having run with wine on high festive occasions, be restored to its pristine form; to be placed in front of Holyrood Palace.’ According to The Art-Journal of 1860, the design of the fountain was drawn from ‘fragments of the old fountain which stood in the quadrangle of Linlithgow Palace [restored by Historic Scotland in 2005], so that the fountain is more a reproduction than an original design, the details having been taken from the fragments found’.
Much of the decoration of this room dates from the mid ninteenth century, when the historical apartments were opened to visitors by the Commissioners of Works. They acquired additional furniture and tapestries to supplement those already in use in the room by the Duke of Hamilton, who had allowed visitors to tour the Darnley Rooms.
Royal Collection Trust
King George IV became the first reigning monarch since Charles I to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, during his 1822 visit to Scotland. Although he was lodged at Dalkeith Palace, the king held a levée (reception) at Holyroodhouse, and was shown the historic apartments. He ordered repairs to the palace, but declared that Queen Mary’s rooms should be protected from any future changes.
Perhaps one of the most famous monarchs to live at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Mary, Queen of Scots’ chambers where she lived between 1561-1567 are not to be missed. . . Reached by a narrow, steep and winding staircase, this is the oldest section of the palace. Built almost 500 years ago, the battlements and fortified walls are typical of a time when kings and queens required protection against their enemies. . . . The bedchamber is known for its original decorative oak ceiling, painted frieze and incredibly low doorway.
Royal Collection Trust
A small garden building, surviving from the 16th-century, is known as Queen Mary’s Bath House, although it is not thought to have been used for bathing.
Queen Mary’s Bath is a small two-storey building with a pyramidcal roof and a corbelled out turret, and dates from the 16th century and was probably a garden pavilion. The building was renovated in the middle of the 19th century, and is now isolated as other adjacent buildings and walls have been demolished and cleared.
The Castles of Scotland