Edinburgh Castle Under Siege 1093–1544

David H. Caldwell


Edinburgh Castle appears to be the most besieged place in Great Britain, and one of the most beleaguered places in the world. The number of occasions recorded here, sixteen, for the period from 1093 to 1544 is almost certainly an underestimate because our records for much of the medieval period are so poor. Also, this paper does not take account of the long occupation of the Castle Rock prior to its emergence as a castle in the late eleventh century nor the important sieges endured by the castle after the 1540s. For much of its history Edinburgh Castle was a desirable place to have, a royal palace. It also functioned at times as an administrative centre, as a treasure house and as an arsenal.

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