Falkland Palace - 'The Prospect of Falkland from the East'

Falkland was made a Royal Burgh by James II in 1458. Built between 1450 and 1541, Falkland Palace was a country residence of kings James IV and James V. Mary, Queen of Scots, a frequent visitor, is said to have spent many of the happiest days of her life there. Before it became a royal residence, the palace was in the hands of MacDuff, Thane of Fife.

In the background is part of the Lomond Hills. As well as travellers on the road, this view shows grazing horses, and a shepherd with livestock. The long low building in the foreground, with its thatched roof, is a typical rural dwelling of the period.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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Slezer Engraving

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Falkland


To the Right Honourable Anthony Viscount of Falkland, &c. One of the Lords Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of England, and One of their Majesties Most Honourable Privy Council, in the said Kingdom.


Falkland is a pretty little Town in the Sheriffdom of Fife. At the Foot of Lomon Hill, there is a stately Palace, which King James the V. caused to be built for a retiring Place, it being most convenient also for Hunting.

The King's Park and a Wood are adjacent to it, into which, as also into the Plain towards the East, it hath a most pleasant Prospect. The Marquess of Athol is Hereditary Keeper of this Palace, and hath a considerable Rent by the neighbouring Lands and Stewardry. It gives the Title of Viscount to the Family of Falkland.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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