Posted by: frroberts | October 5, 2017

Destinations for Pilgrimage 2018: Holyrood House

From Wikipedia

The Palace of Holyroodhouse (/ˈhɒlɪˌrd/ or /ˈhlɪˌrd/[1]), commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining.

Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. The 16th century Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public throughout the year, except when members of the Royal Family are in residence….

The ruined Augustinian Holyrood Abbey that is sited in the grounds was founded in 1128 at the order of King David I of Scotland. The name derives either from a legendary vision of the cross witnessed by David I, or from a relic of the True Cross known as the Holy Rood or Black Rood, and which had belonged to Queen Margaret, David’s mother.[21] As a royal foundation, and sited close to Edinburgh Castle, it became an important administrative centre. A Papal legate was received here in 1177, while in 1189 a council of nobles met to discuss a ransom for the captive king, William the Lion.[22] Robert the Bruce held a parliament at the abbey in 1326, and by 1329 it may already have been in use as a royal residence. In 1370, David II became the first of several Kings of Scots to be buried at Holyrood. Not only was James II born at Holyrood in 1430, it was at Holyrood that he was crowned, married and laid to rest.[22] James III and Margaret of Denmark were married at Holyrood in 1469.[21] The early royal residence was in the abbey guesthouse, which most likely stood on the site of the present north range of the palace, west of the abbey cloister,[22] and by the later 15th century already had dedicated royal apartments.[21]

Between 1501 and 1505, James IV constructed a new Gothic palace adjacent to the abbey. The impetus for the work probably came from the marriage of James IV to Margaret Tudor, which took place in the abbey in August 1503 while work was still ongoing.[21] The palace was built around a quadrangle, situated west of the abbey cloister. It contained a chapel, gallery, royal apartments, and a great hall. The chapel occupied the north range of the quadrangle, with the Queen’s apartments occupying part of the south range.[22]

The west range contained the King’s lodgings and the entrance to the palace. James IV also oversaw construction of a two-storey gatehouse, fragments of which survive in the Abbey Courthouse. In 1512 a lion house was constructed to house the king’s menagerie, which included a lion and a civet among other exotic beasts.[23] James V added to the palace between 1528 and 1536, beginning with the present north-west tower to provide new royal apartments. This was followed by reconstruction of the south and west ranges of the palace in the Renaissance style, with a new chapel in the south range. The former chapel in the north range was converted into the Council Chamber, where ceremonial events normally took place.[22] The west range contained the royal library and a suite of rooms, extending the royal apartments in the tower.[24] The symmetrical composition of the west façade suggested that a second tower at the south-west was planned, though this was never executed at the time.[25] Around a series of lesser courts were ranged the Governor’s Tower, the armoury, the mint, a forge, kitchens and other service quarters.[25]

In 1544, during the War of the Rough Wooing, the Earl of Hertford sacked Edinburgh, and Holyrood was looted and burned. Repairs were made, but the altars were destroyed by a Reforming mob in 1559.[24] After the Scottish Reformation was formalised, the abbey buildings were neglected, and the choir and transepts of the abbey church were pulled down in 1570. The nave was retained as the parish church of the Canongate.[24]

The royal apartments in the north-west tower of the palace were occupied by Mary, Queen of Scots, from her return to Scotland in 1561 to her forced abdication in 1567. The Queen had archery butts erected in her private gardens to allow her to practice, and hunted deer in Holyrood Park. It was at Holyrood that the series of famous interviews between the Queen and John Knox took place, and she married both of her Scottish husbands in the palace: Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, in 1565 in the chapel, and James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, in 1567 in the great hall.[26]It was in the Queen’s private apartments that she witnessed the murder of David Rizzio, her private secretary, on 9 March 1566. Darnley and several nobles entered the apartment via the private stair from Darnley’s own apartments below. Bursting in on the Queen, Rizzio and four other courtiers, who were at supper, they dragged the Italian through the bedchamber into the outer chamber, where he was stabbed 56 times.[27]

During the subsequent Marian civil war, on 25 July 1571, William Kirkcaldy of Grange bombarded the Palace with cannon placed in the Black Friar Yard, near the Pleasance.[28] James VI took up residence at Holyrood in 1579 at the age of 13 years. His wife, Anne of Denmark, was crowned in the diminished abbey church in 1590, at which time the royal household at the palace numbered around 600 persons.[26]

When James became King of England in 1603 and moved to London, the palace was no longer the seat of a permanent royal court. James visited in 1617, for which the chapel was redecorated. More repairs were put in hand in preparation for the coronation of Charles I as King of Scotland at Holyrood in 1633.[24] On 10 August 1646 Charles appointed James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, as hereditary Keeper of Holyroodhouse, an office which his descendants retain.[29] The post is one of the Great Offices in the Royal Household in Scotland, and indeed the private ducal apartments cover a larger area of the palace than the state ones. As well as his own deputy, the Keeper still appoints the Bailie of Holyroodhouse, who is responsible for law and order within the Holyrood Abbey Sanctuary. The High Constables of Holyroodhouse are responsible to the Keeper.

In 1650, either by accident or design, the east range of the palace was set on fire during its occupation by Oliver Cromwell‘s soldiers. After this, the eastern parts of the palace were effectively abandoned. The remaining parts were used as barracks, and a two-storey block was added to the west range in 1659.[citation needed]

The following year saw the Restoration of Charles II in England and Scotland. The Privy Council was reconstituted and once more met at Holyrood. Repairs were put in hand to allow use of the building by the Earl of Lauderdale, the Secretary of State for Scotland, and a full survey was carried out in 1663 by John Mylne.[30] In 1670, £30,000 was set aside by the Privy Council for the rebuilding of Holyrood.[31]

Plans for complete reconstruction were drawn up by Sir William Bruce, the Surveyor of the King’s Works, and Robert Mylne, the King’s Master Mason. The design included a south-west tower to mirror the existing tower, a plan which had existed since at least Charles I’s time. Following criticism from Charles II, Bruce redesigned the interior layout to provide suites of royal apartments on the first floor: the Queen’s apartment on the west side; and the King’s apartment on the south and east sides. The two were linked by a gallery to the north, and a council chamber occupied the south-west tower.[31]

Work began in July 1671, starting at the north-west, which was ready for use by Lauderdale the following year. In 1675 Lord Hatton became the first of many nobles to take up a grace-and-favourapartment in the palace. The following year the decision was taken to rebuild the west range of the palace, and to construct a kitchen block to the south-east of the quadrangle. Bruce’s appointment as architect of the project was cancelled in 1678, with the remaining work being overseen by Hatton.[31] By 1679 the palace had been re-constructed, largely in its present form. Craftsmen employed included the Dutch carpenters Alexander Eizat and Jan van Santvoort, and their countryman Jacob de Wet who painted several ceilings. The elaborate plasterwork was done by John Houlbert and George Dunsterfield.[32]

Interior work was still in progress when the James, Duke of Albany, the future James VII and II, and his wife Mary of Modena visited that year.[3] They returned to live at Holyrood between 1680 and 1682, in the aftermath of the Exclusion crisis, which had severely impacted James’ popularity in England. When he acceded to the throne in 1685, the Catholic king set up a Jesuit college in the Chancellor’s Lodging to the south of the palace. The abbey was adapted as a chapel for the Order of the Thistle in 1687–88. The architect was James Smith, and carvings were done by Grinling Gibbons and William Morgan. The interiors of this chapel, and the Jesuit college, were subsequently destroyed by an anti-Catholic mob, following the beginning of the Glorious Revolution in late 1688.[3] In 1691 the Kirk of the Canongate was completed, to replace the abbey as the local parish church, and it is at the Kirk of the Canongate that the Queen today attends services when in residence at Holyrood Palace.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: