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Linlithgow is an ancient Royal Burgh, famous for its Palace and Church, which stands on the south shore of Linlithgow Loch. Its name was at one time given to the county as a whole. In the town are some late 16th
century houses, and the fountain of St. Michael, dated 1720, inscribed “Saint Michael is kind to strangers.” The curious Cross Well, erected in 1807, with its thirteen water jets, is a reproduction of an earlier example.
The Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, was shot in the street outside the present County Buildings, in 1510, and a plaque set up in 1875 recalls the fact.

The Scottish National Parliament met in the Palace in 1646, and Cromwell garrisoned the town between 1651 and 1659. A fine gateway, erected by James V, leads to the precincts, in which the Palace and Church are situated. St. Michael’s Church, one of the finest in Scotland, exhibits strong French characteristics, and
was rebuilt after a fire in 1424, though the apse was not
finished until 1531. The nave and choir are a fine features, and in place of transepts there are two chapels, in the southerly of which James IV had the vision of his coming end at Flodden. The window tracery, notably in the Katherines aisle, is partly in the flamboyant style, and is outstanding for its beauty. The splendid, ruined Palace overlooks the loch, and is the successor to an older building, burnt in 1424. The chapel and magnificent Great Hall are late 15th century, work and there is also notable work from the early 16th century.

A fine quadrangle inside the building contains a richly
carved 16th century, fountain. The Royal apartments are on the west side of the quadrangle, and on the 1st floor is the room, where, in 1542, Mary, Queen of Scots was born, while her father, James V, lay dying at Falkiand Palace. Queen Margaret’s Bower is the little room in a turret where the Queen kept vigil while James IV fought at Flodden. Prince Charles Edward stayed in the Palace in 1745, but in 1746 it was burnt, probably by accident, by troops of General Hawley. In 1914, King George V held a court in the Lyon Chamber. North, beyond Linlithgow Loch, on a hill 559 ft. high, is a monument to General Hope, a hero of the Indian Mutiny.

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