Falkland Palace was a country retreat of the Stuart Kings. It is built on the site of an earlier fortress that dates back to the 13th century. The castle belonged to the MacDuffs, Earls of Fife, and the remains of its Great Tower are still visible in the gardens. It was adopted as a Royal residence by James II in the mid 15th century and work began to convert it into a more comfortable property.
The palace was further developed by James IV who enlarged the Great Hall in the North Range and built the East Range. The most extensive rebuilding was carried out by James V who employed Scottish and Continental masons to transform the entire building into an elegant Renaissance palace.
When the Royal court moved to London in 1603, following the succession of James VI to the English throne, Falkland Palace was seldom visited and remained in the care of a Keeper. The Keepers of the palace were not usually resident and the building was left empty until decay set in and the palace fell into ruin. In 1887 the Keepership was acquired by the 3rd Marquess of Bute. He set about restoring much of the palace but died before the work was complete. In 1952 the National Trust for Scotland took over the care and maintenance of the property.
- In Falkland on the A912 north of Glenrothes
- Falkland Palace, Falkland, Cupar, Fife, KY15 7BU
- The National Trust for Scotland. Open to the public. Entrance fee
- For further information visit www.nts.org.uk
View Larger Map