Sitting atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation, Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland. Surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, it holds a strong defensive position.
The threat of having to surrender such a key military asset was the catalyst for the Battle of Bannockburn. The castle was held on behalf of the English by Scot Sir Philip Mowbray and Edward Bruce , King Robert’s brother had besieged the castle for over a year without success.
In an attempt to break the impasse, Edward Bruce brokered a deal with Mowbray: unless the castle was relieved by June 1314, it would be surrendered – it was an ultimatum Edward II could not ignore. In effect, Edward Bruce was calling him out: “if you want to keep it – come and get it”.
And so it was, much against his own wishes and his generals’ advice, Edward II brought north the biggest army Scotland had ever seen to crush the rebellious Scots. The rest, as they say, is history…
Today, Stirling Castle looks across to its sister Crag, Abbey Craig where proudly stands the Wallace Monument, after Sir William Wallace who defeated the English at Stirling Bridge in 1296 before the very eyes of the Castle. This Chess Piece represents the Inner gate that stands to this day, as it as it was in 1314.