The Great Hall

A wonder of medieval Scotland, the Great Hall was completed in 1511 for James IV and stands at the heart of the castle.

Its magnificent wooden roof is one of the most remarkable in Britain. Giant beams rest on stones engraved with heads and important symbols like the thistle – a badge of Scotland.

The king had little time to enjoy his Great Hall as he was killed at the disastrous Battle of Flodden in 1513 fighting the forces of Henry VIII of England.

Later the hall became a barracks and its medieval splendour was hidden. Oliver Cromwell’s army began the military makeover in 1650 and the troops finally marched out in 1886.

Now the walls bristle with weapons and armour. Among the swords and shields are strange-shaped pole arms, including the notorious Lochaber axe.

The magnificent Great Hall of James IV is located in the very heart of the Castle in Crown Square.