Edinburgh Castle is found on Castle Rock in the City of Edinburgh, Scotland. Castle Rock was shaped after a volcano eruption 340 million years ago and has been a military base and residence for the the royals for centuries. The Edinburgh Castle structure was constructed in the 12th Century by David I, son of Saint Margaret of Scotland .
St, Margaret’s Chapel, is the oldest building and still standing in the Edinburgh Castle, was built by King David 1st (1124-1153) in remembrance of Saint Margaret, King David’s mother who died in the castle in 1093. The said chapel has a gospel book previously owned by Saint Margaret .
At present, the chapel is being looked after by the St. Margaret’s Guild in partnership with Historic Scotland. Members of the guild and its fellowship have a section in the chapel that they can access through a password. Members of the guild have Margaret as their first or second name and in charge to place flowers in the chapel twice a week, maintain the altar frontals, vases, kneelers and benches .
17th century Edinburgh residents believed that rubbing burnt ashes of dove’s dropping is the best cure for baldness.
The Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle contained an early espionage device- the Laird’s Lug (the lord’s ear), a ventilation hole above the fireplace that lord of the castle used to eavesdrop on the conversations in the castle’s hall. Mikhail Gorbachev had it bricked up before his 1984 visit for a meeting inside the castle .
Mon’s Meg Cannon is one of surviving “bombard” guns that dates back to 1449 and was built by Philip III Duke of Burgundy. He presented it to his niece’s husband, King James II in 1457.
The said gun was fired in 1558 during the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots. Mons Meg is now displayed in front of St. Mary’s Chapel . The ritual of firing The One O’clock Gun continues until now since it started in 1861 as a time for ships. For 26 years the gun was fired by a man called “Tam the Gun” until his death in 2005, now the gun is fired by “Shannon the Cannon”.
Edinburgh castle has reports to have been haunted by ghosts. Among the ghost residents is the headless drummer, where in 1960, a guard on duty claimed to have heard the drum sounds and saw the headless drummer in the in the castle battlements and watched it turn around and vanished in the air.
Another famous apparition is the Lone Piper where legends said that he was sent to investigate a tunnel opening found in the castle beneath the High Street. The piper was instructed to play the his instrument while people will follow on foot down the street while being guided by the music. The music become very faint and then it stopped and the group couldn’t identify the location of the piper. It has been said that faint ghostly pipe music can be heard coming beneath the Royal Mile to this day .
There is a superstition among Edinburgh University students that whoever passess through the gates of Edinburgh castle’s gates will fail their final exams. So far, no one has reported to test the superstition fearing that it might be true. The said curse will have no effect after a student will have graduated .
The Stone of Destiny or the Coronation Stone is a simple oblong block of red standstone measuring 650mm in length, 400mm wide and 27mm deep. Legends say that it was used by Jacob as a pillow in biblical times and was believed it has been brought to Scotland in the 9th Century. The stone was used in the coronation of the kings of Dalriada, in the west of Scotland (now known as Argyll). John Balliol was the last Scottish king to be crowned with the stone in 1292 .
Edinburgh Castle was used as prison in the 18th and early 19th century. Prisoners from the Seven Year’s War, the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars were incarcerated in its dungeons .
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an event that takes place in the nighttime during August where you get to see and hear hundreds of bagpipes and drums with the Scotland regiment wearing their kilt. There are songs and performances and fireworks display culminating with a mournful tune to honor the dead .
More than 14 million people have attended the Tattoo with an annual audience of 220,000 .
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most famous paid tourist attraction in Scotland with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013 .