Edinburgh Castle Tour ICMGP Social activities ICMGP 2013 delegates list ICMGP Guidance for Session Chairs ICMGP Location Edinburgh-tourism

ICMGP 2013 - Exclusive Edinburgh Castle Tour

Please come & explore Edinburgh castle for an exclusive night with ICMGP 2013

Date of Tour: Tuesday(30/07/2013)

Cost of Tour: £25+(VAT 20%) Per Person(includes snacks & beverages)

ICMGP Castle Tickets are sold out

Edinburgh Castle

Archaeological evidence dates first settlement on the site of the castle way back to 900 BC. The castle is steeped in history with sieges, invasions, captures and recaptures. It has been used as a prison to house soldiers captured during the seven years war, the war of American Independence, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. It has been a home to Kings of Scotland and Mary Queen of Scots, gave birth to King James VI of Scotland and I of England and it still holds the Crown Jewels “Honours of Scotland”

Edinburgh Castle

ICMGP 2013 has secured an exclusive evening for delegates to explore the castle and its wealth of history.

Enjoy a beverage or two and some light bites with colleagues while you tour round the castle and soak up its atmosphere.

Origins of the castle

Around 900 BC
First archaeological evidence for human settlement on the castle.

AD 638
Angles capture Din Eidyn and rename it Edinburgh.

Around 1130
David I builds a formidable royal castle on the rock. It includes a chapel dedicated to his mother Queen Margaret, which still stands.

Click for more about St Margarets Chapel

St Margarets Chapel

Margaret was born around 1045, into the royal family of England. After the Norman invasion of 1066, she fled to the court of Malcolm III of Scotland. They soon fell in love and were married at Dunfermline.

St Margarets Chapel

Malcolm was a warrior who relished fighting the Norman conquerors of England; while Margaret was deeply religious.

Disaster struck in 1093, when Malcolm and his eldest son, Edward, were killed in an ambush. On hearing the news, Margaret took to her bed in Edinburgh Castle and died from a broken heart.

The chapel was built by her youngest son, King David I. It has not always been used for worship. From the 16th to the 18th century it was a gunpowder store.

In 1250, Margaret was canonised as St Margaret of Scotland, for her many acts of piety and charity in her adopted country.

Edward I of England invades Scotland, capturing the castle after a three-day siege.

The Scots, led by Thomas Randolph, one of Robert the Bruce’s generals, recapture the castle.

The English retake the castle.

The Scots take it back again

The giant cannon Mons Meg arrives in the castle, a gift to James II.

Click for more about Mons Meg

Mons Meg

Mons Meg is over 550 years old, one of the world’s oldest cannons.

Mons Meg

Mons Meg is one of two giant siege guns given to James II of Scotland in 1457. Built at Mons, Belgium, she represented the cutting edge of military technology. She weighs over 6,000kg, and fired 150kg stone cannonballs.

Mons Meg was probably first used in 1460 at Roxburgh Castle near the border with England. During this battle, James II was fatally wounded when another giant siege cannon exploded.

In 1489, she was taken 80km (50 miles) west to Dumbarton Castle, to help subdue the Earl of Lennox.

Mons Meg’s huge weight made her very difficult to move. Her average speed was just 5km (3 miles) per day. In the 1540s she was withdrawn from active service and kept in Edinburgh Castle for use as a saluting gun.

She was fired in 1558 to celebrate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin; and again in 1681, as a birthday salute for the future King James VII. This time, the gun barrel burst. The fractured hoops can still be seen.

In 1754, Mons Meg was taken to the Tower of London, where she remained for 75 years. But eventually the novelist Sir Walter Scott and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland persuaded George IV to return her. Mons Meg was brought back to the castle in 1829.

The royal flag was raised from the battlements and the crowds cheered. Mons Meg, one of the most powerful medieval guns, had come home.

1494 to 1540
The Sceptre and the Sword of State are presented to James IV by successive popes. The Honours of Scotland are completed when the Crown is made in its present form for James V.

Mary Queen of Scots gives birth in the castle to her only child, the future King James VI of Scotland and I of England.

1615 to 1617
The Royal Palace is extensively renovated for James VI’s visit to his birthplace for his 50th anniversary as king of Scots.

Charles I is the last monarch to sleep in the castle, on the night before his coronation as King of Scotland.

Having overthrown and executed Charles I, Oliver Cromwell invades Scotland and captures the castle.

1651 to 1660
The Honours of Scotland (Crown, Sword and Sceptre) are buried near Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, to save them from Cromwell

Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) fails to capture the castle during the fifth and last Jacobite Rising. This is the castle’s last siege.

1757 to 1814
Thousands of prisoners of war – captured during the Seven Years War, the War of American Independence, the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars – are held in the castle.

Click for more about Prisons of War Exhibition

Prisons of War Exhibition

Over the centuries, the castle was used to hold state prisoners, and sometimes to put them to death.

In medieval times, common criminals were thrown into dungeons beneath the castle.

Prisons of War Exhibition

Prisoners brought here in later years include enemy soldiers and sailors, pirates, traitors and women accused of witchcraft. Public executions – by hanging, beheading or burning – were held on Castle Hill, now the Esplanade, during the 16th century.

In the 17th century, when the Covenanting movement seriously threatened royal authority, the castle became infamous as a place where torture was practised.

Foreign prisoners of war were brought to the castle at various times. French, Dutch, Spanish, Irish, Italian, Danish, Polish and American troops were held here during the Seven Years War (1756–63), the Napoleonic Wars (1803–15) and the American War of Independence (1775–83).

Some of these prisoners were very creative. The Prisons of War exhibition includes artefacts they produced, from a detailed scale model of a warship to forged banknotes.

George IV visits the castle, the first ruling sovereign to do so in 189 years.

1941 to 1945
The Honours of Scotland are secretly buried in David’s Tower, incase of German invasion.

Click for more about Honours of Scotland

Honours of Scotland

Honours of Scotland

These precious symbols of the ancient kingdom are displayed in the Crown Room of the castle’s Royal Palace. The room was built specially for the Honours in 1617, as part of King James VI ‘hamecoming’ to Scotland, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee as king of Scots.

The crown, sceptre and sword date from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The sceptre was presented to James IV in 1494, probably by Pope Alexander VI, and the Sword in 1508 by Pope Julius II.

Honours of Scotland

The Crown was made in 1540 by the Edinburgh goldsmith John Mosman, who lived in the Royal Mile. Mosman melted down the gold from the old crown, added more Scottish gold and studded the new circlet with precious gemstones. The Crown was worn for the first time by James V at the coronation of his second queen, Marie de Guise.

The crown, sceptre and sword were first used together at the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots in Stirling Castle on 9 September 1543. She was just nine months old at the time, and cried throughout the ceremony.

The Honours of Scotland still play a vital role in Scotland’s ceremonial life. They are formally presented to each new sovereign; and the crown is present at State openings of the Scottish Parliament.

The Honours have been buried three times: twice in the 1650s to hide them from Oliver Cromwell, and then in the Second World War, in case of a Nazi invasion.

The first Edinburgh Military Tattoo is held on the Castle Esplanade

The Stone of Destiny is returned to Scotland and put on permanent display in the castle.

Click for more about Stone of Destiny

Stone of Destiny

In medieval times, many scholars believed it had biblical origins. Some thought it was the pillow on which Jacob dreamed of his ladder. Others believed it had been taken out of Egypt by the daughter of a pharaoh.

Stone of destiny

It has been used in coronation ceremonies for many years, originally at Scone, near Perth. Lulach – stepson of Macbeth – sat on it when he was proclaimed King of Scots in 1057.

From then until 1292, it was used at the inaugurations of all Scottish monarchs. Then, in 1296, Edward I of England invaded Scotland and took the Stone from Scone to London.

Edward installed the Stone in a magnificent golden coronation chair. Since then, all English monarchs and – since the Unions of the Parliaments of Scotland and England in 1707 – all British sovereigns have been enthroned on this seat. (The only exceptions are Edward V and Edward VIII.)

In 1950, four students removed the Stone from Westminster Abbey in London. It soon turned up at Arbroath Abbey, north-east of Edinburgh. The abbey is famous for the Declaration of Arbroath, a robust statement of Scotland’s independence from England. The stone was returned to Westminster Abbey.

In 1996, Her Majesty The Queen allowed the stone to be returned to Scotland, after 700 years.

Its royal role will continue: the ancient stone will be taken to London for all future coronations.

Edinburgh Castle becomes the single most important building in the Edinburgh Old and New Town World Heritage Site.

The castle is Edinburgh’s most popular attraction, with more than 1.25 million visitors a year.


©ICMGP 2013 - International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant . Inc, All rights reserved.