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Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is often considered the greatest of Scotland's castles, Stirling naturally dominates the sky-line of the town, the lowest crossing point and the highest navigable point of the River Forth. The castle is therefore at the cross-roads of strategic and trade routes and has been called 'the key to Scotland'.
Its possession has been a focus of considerable contention, with battles such as Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314) fought nearby. Dating its original foundation is difficult because Robert the Bruce destroyed the castle after Bannockburn so that the English could not exploit it again. However, it was used by King Malcolm III in the 11th Century and its chapel, founded by King Alexander I, who died in the Castle, is mentioned in the year of his death, 1124. William the Lion also died in the castle (1214). After Bruce's destruction, Edward III of England rebuilt it in 1333, although the present castle dates mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries when it was the principal royal residence.
Maintained and strengthened as a garrison fort from early in the 18th C., it held out during the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite Risings. Thereafter, the castle was used as a barracks but the army left in 1964, the only reminder being the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum.

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