Linlithgow - 'The Prospect and Town of Linlithgow'

Linlithgow Palace, which has associations with Mary, Queen of Scots, towers over the town in this view of Linlithgow from the south. St Michael's Church is to the left of it. Further left, just before a long one-story building, is a beehive doocot (dovecote), which still stands today. You can see cultivated farmland on the right

Figures in this view depict a horseman with armed guard, and a traveller resting by the roadside. In the background is higher ground looking towards Bo'ness.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Linlithgow


To the Right Honourable GEORGE Earl of Linlithgow, Lord Levingston and Callander, &c. One of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury; and One of their Majesties Most Honourable Privy Council.


Is the same which Ptolomy calls Lindum, so named for its being situated on the side of a Lake. The King's Palace stands on a little Hill, towards the middle of the said Lake, in which there lies an Island which ascends with several Stairs in the Form of an Amphitheater. This Palace is Magnificently built of hewen Stone, begun by the former Kings and perfected by King James the VI.

It consists of Four Towers, between which the Court, the Chapel, and the rest of the Buildings are extended. The Porch bears the Name and Arms of King James the V. In the Inner Court there is a very artificial Fountain, adorned with several Statues and Water-Works.

Close by the Palace is a Church, commonly called St. Michael's, of a most excellent Structure, with a very high Steeple, to which the late Earl of Linlithgow added an extraordinary neat Chapel. There is a small and easie Descent from the Palace to the Town, where is to be seen a large Four-square Court, in the middle of which there is another curious Fountain exceeding in all Respects, that which is in the Inner Court of the Palace.

On the South side of this Court is the Tolbooth, which is very neatly built of hewen Stone, having a very high Steeple with Bells; and a very find Clock. In this Tolbooth the Sheriff and Town-Magistrates keep their Courts.

There is a large Street reaches from the one end of the Town to the other, which is adorned on every Side with fair Buildings; from each side of which Street divers Lanes do break out, which open a Passage into several pleasant Gardens.

The Lake it self is a Mile in length, and a quarter of a Mile over, and abounds with Perch, and other sorts of Fish. On the North side hereof lies the King's Park.

This Town hath a Harbour for all sorts of Ships near the Castle of Blackness, where there is a large Custom-House built, with other Houses for the Use of Merchants.

The Earl of Linlithgow is Hereditary Keeper of the Palace, and the King's Baily in that Place.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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