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The Royal Chapel

The collegiate chapel established by James IV in 1501 lay between the King's Old Building and the Great Hall, but was further south than the present building. This was the chapel in which Queen Mary was crowned in 1543. However, when James VI's first son, Prince Henry was born in 1594, it was decided to rebuild the chapel as a suitable venue for the royal christening.

The new building was erected within a year, north of the old site to improve access to the hall. There was some doubt if the chapel, which John Colville called the "great temple of Solomon," could be finished in time. The chapel, with its Italianate arched windows, was the work of the Royal Master of Works William Schaw. James VI and Anna built a new Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle in 1594, which has no documented association with Schaw, but was probably built under his direction.

The Italianate building was used for the christening of James' and Anna's son. The Queen gave him a hat badge in the form of a golden salamander at New Year 1594-5. The badge was supplied by the jeweller Thomas Foulis. In March 1598 he was tasked with giving the Queen's brother, Ulrik, Duke of Holstein a tour of Scotland with Esmé's son, Ludovic, Duke of Lennox, taking him to Fife, Dundee, Stirling Castle, and on a trip to the Bass Rock.

On 8 July 1601, James VI sent William to consult with Master John Gordon on the construction of a monument to the King's rescue from the Gowrie House conspiracy the previous year. James VI wrote to Gordon that William would "conferre with yow thairanent, that ye maye agree upon the forme, devyse, and superscriptionis. The collegiate chapel established by James IV in 1501 lay between the King's Old Building and the Great Hall, but was further south than the present building.


Ref: DP758

Gallery: Stirling Castle

The Royal Chapel

Stirlingshire.

Country: Scotland

United Kingdom.

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