Stirling Castle - Lower Close, North Gate and Kitchens
Stirling Castle Lower Square or Outer Close
Passing through the main arch we enter the lower square. To the left is the royal palace, ahead is the great hall and to the right is the Grand Battery. An impressive line-up of seven cannons.
We pass the Great Battery on our left and walk across the Outer Close towards the kitchens and the North Gate.
North Gate and Nether Bailey Stirling Castle
As we approach the north gate the kitchen block is on the right in this very Scottish scene
One of our favourite parts of the castle - walking down to the North Gate with the kitchen blocks above it and to the right. This area has a fantastic Scottish look about it.
The North gate is one of the oldest parts of the castle, built in the thirteen hundreds it leads out to the Nether Bailey.
The Nether Bailey is one of the least visited parts of the castle our guide tells us. It is the site of an 1810 gunpowder store, the castle jail house and a tapestry exhibition. The ramparts are worth a visit - but not for the feint hearted as the drop over the curtain wall is sheer but the views to the west are awesome.
We turn about and head back into the castle, stopping at the kitchen block. Again, one of the oldest parts of the castle the kitchens used to employ a huge staff to cope with banquets and feasting. A re-enactment of the kitchen atmosphere has been created by the current owners...
The kitchens must have been a hot dark and cramped place to work. Especially when the castle was hosting events. We left the kitchen block back into the open air and onwards to explore the castle further - in part 3.