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Stirling Castle, Castle Wynd, Stirling, FK8 1EJ
Telephone: Albert Halls Box Office: 01786 473544
The largest banqueting hall in Scotland – this is the place where kings, queens and nobles gathered to enjoy huge feasts and great celebrations. It was built in 1503 by James IV as part of a huge refurbishment of the castle designed to impress his new bride – Margaret Tudor, daughter of England’s Henry VII.
Nowadays it is still full of majesty, with its magnificent hammer-beam roof and high oriel windows that shine sunlight onto the dais where the king and queen once sat. After being used as a soldiers’ barracks in the 19th century, the Great Hall was restored to its 16th century glory in a major project that was completed in 1999.
Visitors can get a sense of the scale of the events which took place there, like the 1594 celebrations for the baptism of Prince Henry, when musicians played in upstairs galleries while a huge model ship full of fish was dragged through the hall.