The King's Old Building
The King’s Old Building is over 500 years old. It was built for James IV, grandfather Mary Queen of Scots, as his private residence at Stirling.
A Bachelor's Apartment
The building dates to the 1490s, before James was married, and it contained just one main apartment. This was on the first floor‚ reached by a spiral stair in the elegant entrance turret. This led into the king’s hall; his private chambers lay beyond. At courtyard level were cellars, but these were no ordinary storerooms: one was the ‘vessel house’, where precious gold and silver plate were stored.
A Marital Home
In 1503, James married Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England and sister of the future Henry VIII. At this time, the west range of the King’s Old Building lodging was probably adapted and expanded to provide accommodation for the new queen.
By 1550, the ‘king’s house’ had been eclipsed by the wonderful Palace built beside it by his son, James V. The King’s Old Building was abandoned as royal accommodation but was put to good use as offices and accommodation for the royal household.
In 1855, a fire destroyed the north end of the building. It was rebuilt by Robert Billings, the distinguished architect. He included a paneled chamber‚ the Douglas Room, where James II killed the 8th Earl of Douglas in 1452.
Today, the King’s Old Building serves as the Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.