The Palace Vaults
The Palace was built on a steep slope. Its east side is supported by a series of vaults, accessed by a transe or passageway. These were originally used for storage. Today they house a series of exhibition spaces geared to younger visitors, and the Access Gallery, allowing remote access to the Palace for disabled visitors.
The Musicians Vault
Discover what musical instruments were used in the 1500s, how they were played and what sort of music was enjoyed at the court of James and Mary.
The Painter's Vault
The Palace’s breathtakingly beautiful paintwork was created using traditional pigments and techniques.
Find out about where colours came from and how they were used to create paints and dyes. Paint your own Stirling Head
from the Painter's vaults here!
The Carvers Vault
Carving in both wood and stone is an essential element of the Palace decoration. This gallery explores the tools and techniques used by the carvers who created the Stirling Heads and the exterior statues.
The Tailor's Vault
Learn about the fabrics and techniques used to make the elaborate costumes worn by the king, the queen and their courtiers.
Royal clothing of the 1500s incorporated gold thread, gems and scented pomanders to mask bad smells.
The Jester's Vault
The jester was an important enough figure to be depicted among the Stirling Heads. Find out about the serious business of making kings, queens and courtiers laugh.
The Access Gallery
Our Access Gallery, located in the palace vaults, has been designed to enable visitors with mobility difficulties to experience areas which are inaccessible.
For instance if you are unable to visit the sumptuously decorated Royal Lodgings, you can discover everything about them in this fully accessible gallery. As well as images, interactives and tactile objects, the displays include information on the many specialised crafts used to produce the Palace’s décor and furnishings.