Queen Margaret's Bower by Tom Gomez

Inside Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow, West Lothian, looking towards the north-west.

On 9 September 1513, the peace with England having foundered, James IV faced the Earl of Surrey’s army on Flodden Field, where he fell along with many of the Scottish nobility. His Queen, Margaret Tudor (daughter of English King Henry VII) is reputed to have waited vainly for his return from the battle in the draughty look-out post above the north-west turnpike stair, known today as “Queen Margaret’s Bower”, the highest point in the Palace.

Also in the shot at the centre of the Palace is the elaborately carved King’s Fountain, thought to be the oldest surviving fountain in Britain.

The fountain was commissioned by James V of Scotland in 1537, reputedly to welcome his new French queen, and the first documentary evidence of its existence is a bill for repairs dating back to 1542. The fountain was once considered to be among the glories of the Scottish court.

It was traditionally used as a centrepiece during special occasions, such as Charles I’s visit in 1633, when the water would be fired. Despite being vandalised in the late 1630s legend has it that wine flowed instead of water when Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at Linlithgow Palace in 1745.

By that time, however, the fountain had already been badly neglected and a year later it was damaged during the fire that left the palace a roofless ruin.

An ambitious project to rectify centuries of damage and decay began with the removal of concrete and iron repairs carried out in the 1930s.

The next job was to painstakingly survey, record and photograph each of the 158 carved or moulded stones that made up the original fountain. As much of the material was retained and reinstated as possible, but where necessary new stones were carved by Historic Scotland stonemasons and craftsmen at Cliveden Conservation Workshop in Bath.

Finally, the five-metre high fountain was reassembled with replacement three-tiered basins around the central structure which is topped off with a half-tonne crown.

Now back in full working order, the flow of water will continue to be limited to help prevent future erosion.

Occupying a prominent position beside Linlithgow Loch, Linlithgow Palace is one of Scotland’s best known historic buildings.

The birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, Linlithgow Palace was a favourite residence of the Stewart kings before the Union of the Crowns.

Although designated as a Royal Palace, this imposing fortification qualifies as a defensive Castle and was built to be just that.

The first royal residence was established on this site in the 12th century; the present palace was started for King James I in 1425. James V was born here in 1512, and, by the time of the birth of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1542, the building had taken its present form.

Three bracketed JPGs converted to HDR in Photomatix.


Related shots can be found at: Linlithgow, Lowland Scotland or you can look at all my HDR shots.

All images shown in this redbubble portfolio are owned by the artist, Tom Gomez and are protected under UK and International copyright laws. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any part of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. All rights reserved. My images are NOT part of the public domain.

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  • Phil Thomson IPA
    Phil Thomson IPAabout 6 years ago

    A very beautiful image of meticulous craftsmanship and incredible history, Tom !!

  • Jadon
    Jadonabout 6 years ago

    Great shot Tom, brill colours as I expect from you mate, andd thanks for the bit of history too..

  • kia3
    kia3about 6 years ago

    fantastic shot tom

  • Neil
    Neilabout 6 years ago

    What amazing architecture! Thanks for the great pic and accompanying narrative Tom

  • margaretfraser
    margaretfraserabout 6 years ago

    very nice

  • laurawhitaker
    laurawhitakerabout 6 years ago

    Almost looks like a painting with that blue sky – very nice!

  • simba
    simbaabout 6 years ago

    Fabulous work Tom

  • Antanas
    Antanasabout 6 years ago

    great capture, lovely shot

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1about 6 years ago

    Magnificant architecture and capture!wonderful history!!!

  • Andrew Ness - www.nessphotography.com
    Andrew Ness - ...about 6 years ago

    Great shot Tom. This is one place I’ve not been to but always mean to go since it’s not far away. Looks incredibly interesting. Well done :)

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