The Great Hall
This magnificent banqueting hall is the largest of its kind ever built in Scotland. It was the crowning achievement of James IV’s building scheme at Stirling, completed around 1503.
The hall was used for feasts, dances and pageantry, and doubled as a staff dining room. Royal celebrations of the 1500s could be highly extravagant. For the baptism of his son Henry in August 1594, James VI held a lavish banquet in the Great Hall. The fish course was served from a huge model ship, complete with firing cannons.
The Great Hall has four pairs of tall windows at the dais end, where the king and queen sat, and was heated by five large fireplaces. It included galleries for minstrels and trumpeters.
The original roof was removed in the late 1700s. It has been replaced with a replica hammerbeam roof modelled on the original one at Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall. The exterior walls are rendered in Royal Gold harling, as they would have been in the 1500s.