|Edinburgh Castle - Ancient Stronghold|
dinburgh Castle is an ancient stronghold and dominates the sky-line of the city of Edinburgh from its position on top of Castle Rock, formed by the basalt plug of an extinct volcano.
It is estimated to have risen some 340 million years ago during the lower Carboniferous period and stands 120 metres (390 ft) above sea level and with its sloping hill to the east is a classic example of a crag and tail formation.
It is Scotland's second-most-visited tourist attraction with human habitation on the site dating back as far as the 9th century BC. As it stands today though, few of the castle's structures pre-date the Lang Siege of the 16th century, with the notable exception of St Margaret's Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, which dates from the early 12th century.
The Lang Siege
When King James IV was killed in battle at Flodden Field, on 9 September 1513 and anticipating the English to press home their advantage, a wall was hastily constructed around Edinburgh, and parts can still be seen near the junction of St Mary Street and the Cowgate. The Castle's defences were also augmented around the same time.
A Frenchman, Antoine d'Arces, Sieur de la Bastie, was involved in designing of artillery works in 1514 and three years later, King James V, still only five years old, was brought to the castle for safety.
Upon James' death 25 years later, the crown passed to his week-old daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots.