James VJames V

James V wasn’t old enough to walk when he was crowned king of Scotland in the Chapel Royal. By the time he was old enough to rule in 1528, squabbling noblemen had virtually bankrupted his kingdom.

But James was determined to be a Renaissance prince who could look his European contemporaries in the eye. He married well – twice – and used the huge dowries he received to create a vibrant, cosmopolitan royal court.

With great vision and energy, he constructed grand royal residences, building Stirling Castle palace for his second wife, Mary of Guise. It was designed to heighten the mystique around the king and queen by restricting access to them.

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James V had great vision and created a vibrant, cosmopolitan royal court.
As a Renaissance man, James was a patron of poets and writers as well as a skilled lute player who could sight read music. However one contemporary dryly noted: "his voice was 'rawky and harsk".

Discover the story of these exquisite hand-carved oak roundels which once adorned the ceiling of the King's Presence Chamber.

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