A Day Out In May – The Party At the Palace 1503

First to enter the Palace gates are the newly weds, King James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor of England.

King James IV

Margaret Tudor

Next to come, the Men, Women and Children.

Medievil Ladies

Finally enter the Knights

Armoured Knights

In full armour, bearing flags and banners, weapons and sheilds, they stride on foot and horseback.

Four great families of Scotland, the Lindsay, Campbell, Douglas and Hamilton clans are here to impress the King with a friendly tournament of jousting, archery and sword.

It is the year 1503 and King James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England have just married.

A marriage to seal the “Treaty of Perpetual Peace” signed the previous year by King Henry VII of England and King James IV to end 200 years of warfare.

The Party at the Palace in Linlithgow is a celebration of this union.

Linlithgow Palace

The Actual year is 2009, and the event, organized by Historic Scotland, is part of the Homecoming Scotland Celebrations.

Held on the 23rd and 24th May, the celebrations started with a parade up the main street of Linlithgow, through the Palace gates and down to The Peel (Palace grounds).

Before the tournament started we took some time to explore the Palace and take in some of the other activities.

First we found the Kings Alchemist down in the cellars, in his endless quest to turn base metals into silver or gold!

The Kings Alchemist hard at work

The tools of the Alchemists trade

Then we got up close and personal with the Raptors

Birds of prey were trained and used to hunt game for noble families in a sport known as falconry.


We explored the massive Palace kitchens and even had some lessons in medieval cuisine

Medieval cookery class

A little music in The Great Hall

Music in the Great Hall

And some entertainment from the Court Jester (the boys loved this)

Court Jester

And of course, the tournament itself

Hamilton KnightsThe Hamilton Knights from Lankarshire, Glasgow and the South West

Campbell KnightsThe Campbell Family from Argyll and the western seaboard

Clan DouglasThe Douglas family from The Lothians and Borders

Lindsay KnightThe Lindsay Family from Fife and the North of Scotland

(We were waving the Lindsay flag as I have Lindsay Relatives)

Sword PlayA little sword fighting on the Arena

Sword fighting is catching!!And off!!

Down by the Linlithgow Loch we found more of the medieval times brought to life, from the poor alchemist (who had a lot to say about the kings alchemst!) to a soldier telling stories. There was also plenty of ‘hands on’ such as candle making and clay pot modelling, caligraphy, picture ‘rubbing’ and if you fancied getting your hands dirty you could help to build a humble mud house or even try out some combat training.

The Poor Alchemist

The Poor Alchemist

The beginnings of a humble abode

A humble abode takes shape

A Little Story Telling

A little story telling

Linlithgow Palace is a magnificent place to visit at any time, and particularly when the Historic Scotland events are held. Opening times tend to differ depending on the season so check out their website for up to date times and entrance prices.

It is located on the Banks of Linlithgow Loch in the township of Linlithgow. The trip is only about 20 minutes train ride from Hay Market Train Station, Edinburgh and costs 4.10 GBP at the time of writing. Please check National Rail for up to date times and prices.

The original main entrance to Linlithgow Palace

The original main entrance

The Fountain, centrepeice in the Palace courtyard

The stone Fountain

'Barbican' remains

Barbican Remains

Have you ever been?

For more Days Out Check Out A Day Out In August

Or read some Interesting History about the 1500s

You may also like to find out a little more about me

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