are numerous cannon on the balls, and an armoury, which can contain 30,000
stand of arms. About 2,000 men can be accommodated. Barracks
were built about fifty years ago, but by an injudicious style of
architecture, they greatly impair the imposing aspect of the
fortress. Here is also a Crown Room, where the Regalia of Scotland
earliest name by which the castle is recognised in history is Castrum
Puellarum, or Camp of the Maidens, from the daughters of the Pictish
Kings being educated and brought up within its walls. The room where
Queen Mary gave birth to James VI, on whom the Crowns of England were
united, is an object of interest to strangers.
earlier periods of Scottish history, this fortress was often taken and
retaken by conflicting parties. Among the more striking events in
its annals may be mentioned that in 1296, during the contest between Bruce
and Baliol, it was taken by the English; in 1333 its fortifications
were demolished by Bruce; and during the reign of Queen Mary it was
gallantly defended by Kirkcaldy of Grange for her, for which he was hanged
by the Regent at the Cross of Edinburgh.
1650, it was besieged by Cromwell, to whom it surrendered; and, in 1745,
Prince Charles Stuart, although master of the City did not attempt its
reduction. Facing the north-east is the half-moon Battery, mounted
with twelve, eighteen and twenty-four ponders. From various parts of
the fortification magnificent views of the City and its surrounding
country may be obtained.