The Chapel Royal
This elegant chapel was the last royal building to be erected at Stirling. It was built in some haste by King James VI in 1593–4.
James urgently needed a new Chapel Royal. His wife, Queen Anna, had fallen pregnant and the hoped-for son would require a baptism fit for an heir to the throne. The new chapel – one of the first Protestant kirks in Scotland – was completed in a mere seven months.
Prince Henry was born in February 1594 and duly baptised in the new chapel, amid much celebration. However, he died before becoming king, at the age of 18.
In 1603, James VI left Scotland to rule in England. He was succeeded in 1625 by his younger son Charles I. A coronation visit by Charles was anticipated, and in 1628, the chapel was redecorated by the painter Valentine Jenkin.
Jenkin’s handsome interior frieze survives today. It includes a trompe l’oeil window and the Honours of Scotland (crown jewels) alongside the monogram CR1 – Carolus Rex being the Latin form of King Charles.Read more on the Chapel Royal