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Rent a Self Catering Cottage in Falkland, Fife, Scotland.

 

Glenrothes Explorer Map
Glenrothes North, Falkland and Lomond Hills: Auchterarder (Explorer)

Falkland Palace


Falkland Palace

Falkland Palace Bedroom


Falkland Church

Falkland in 1727

 


Tour Historic Falkland Village and Palace

Tour Scotland Photograph Falkland Village

 

Falkland, situated in historic Fife, shot to importance in the 14th century when the Stewart monarchy acquired Falkland Castle from Macduff, the Thane of Fife. Unlike the Picts who had built a fort on the East Lomond for defensive purposes the Stewarts were most interested in Falkland as a place of sport and relaxation. The name of Falkland is associated with falconry which was one of the popular sports in the area and the Howe of Fife with its vast forests was ideal for hawking as well as hunting deer and wild boar.

Blessed with a Royal presence, Falkland was made a Royal Burgh by James II in 1458 and the village prospered. Between 1453 and 1541 the old castle was transformed into a beautiful Royal Palace which was one of the finest Renaissance Palaces in Britain.

Yet for all its splendor the Palace was often cloaked in the intrigue of Scottish politics. In 1402 the Duke of Rothesay, son of Robert III, was imprisoned in the Palace by his uncle the Duke of Albany and eventually died a cruel death from neglect and starvation. James V was ill at Falkland when he heard that his wife had given birth to a daughter - Mary Queen of Scots.

Falkland was a popular retreat with all the Stewart Kings and Mary Queen of Scots but in 1603 when James VI took his court to London for the Union of the Crowns this signalled the end of an era both for the Palace and the village.

Although Charles I and II both visited Falkland times had changed and later Cromwell's invading troops set fire to the Palace which quickly fell into ruin. In 1887 the restoration of the Palace was started by John Patrick Crichton Stuart, the keeper of the Palace.

To this day the family continue to hold the position of both Constable and Keeper of the Royal Palace of Falkland. A tour of the Palace will visit the Keeper's bedroom with the elaborately carved Four poster bed of James VI, the 16th century Chapel Royal with its painted ceiling, the Tapestry Gallery and many other beautiful rooms which successfully capture the atmosphere of another era.

The Palace Gardens have again been beautifully laid out and situated in one corner is the oldest Royal Tennis Court in Britain which was built in 1539 for James V.

Today Falkland still prospers and yet still retains its ancient character which makes it definitely worth a visit. The village street contain many attractive features. Look out for the red pantiled roofs, the thatched roofs and crow-stepped gables.

The restoration of the Palace, the crafts shops, weavers cottage, restaurants and hotels all contribute towards a wonderful village.

"Falkland parish contains the Royal Burgh of Falkland and the villages of Newton of Falkland and Freuchie. It is bounded by Kinross-shire, Strathmiglo, Auchtermuchty, Kettle, Markinch and Leslie. It measures about 6 miles by 4 miles. There is a considerable tract of flat land between the northern boundary of the parish and the burgh and this was once part of the royal chase. Nothing now remains of the ancient forest of Falkland in which our Kings enjoyed the pleasures of the chase, except for a small portion of natural wood at Drumdreel in the parish of Strathmiglo. The forest was destroyed by Cromwell who cut down the timber to take to Dundee for the construction of a fort there. The town of Falkland consists of one main street with some cross lanes. It was at one time regularly afflicted with malaria from the neighbouring marshes, but drainage has resulted in a remarkably healthy town. The chief object of attraction is the Royal Palace, favourite home of James VI. In addition to the parish church, there are both an Independent Chapel and a Free Church in Falkland, and a UP Church in Freuchie." edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Falkland is ideally located for easy trips to the St Andrews, Dunfermline, Culross, Perth, Edinburgh, Falkland Palace,  and all of historic Fife and Perthshire. If you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me:

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