Charles I (1625-49) turner, coinage of 1642, 1644, 1648 and 1650.

Worth two pence Scot, this coin offers an example of copper coinage struck during the reign of Charles I.

The design bears a crowned C R, for King Charles, on the obverse. The reverse consists of a thistle in inner circle.

The Latin inscription is at legend on both sides, with the obverse reading CAR. DG. SCOT. ANG. FRA. ET. HIB. R. This translates as: Charles by the grace of God King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland. On the reverse is the Latin inscription, NEMO ME IMPVNE LACESSET, which means 'no-one shall hurt me with impunity'.

During the Civil Wars years, 1642-60, copper turners were the only coins milled in Scotland. At this time, both the names turner and bodle were in use to indicate a two penny piece. The former is thought to be derived from the French 'tournois'; while the latter is possibly after the Earl of Bothwell. Charles became King in 1625 but his Scottish coronation did not take place until 1633. His reign culminated in civil war and his execution.

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle has many nooks and crannies to explore. Originally a simple tower house residence, the castle grew into a complex of structures and spaces as each owner improved its comfort and facilities.

Its gardens and parkland were also important. The present day Craigmillar Castle Park reminds us of the castle’s days as a rural retreat a short distance from Scotland’s capital.

The original tower house of the late 1300s is at the core. Craigmillar was among the first of this type of castle to be built in Scotland.

The tower house:

  • stands 17m tall to its battlements
  • has walls almost 3m thick
  • holds a maze of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor

The courtyard wall, built in the 1400s, is well preserved, with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. A private family chapel and other secondary buildings lie inside the wall.

The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.

Royal guest turned prisoner

Queen Mary’s Room, on the first floor of the tower house, is where Mary Queen of Scots is said to have slept in 1566. But it’s more likely that she had a multi-roomed apartment when she stayed at Craigmillar, probably in the east range.

Owner Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Mary, who had appointed him Provost of Edinburgh. Ironically, he would become her jailer for her first night as a prisoner after her capture in 1567. Mary was taken from his townhouse in the High Street to Lochleven Castle the next day.

Natural history

A number of fine ‘veteran’ trees stand in the grounds. One old sycamore to the south of the castle has grown around a drystone dyke.

Some of the plants growing by the castle were likely part of the original castle garden. These include Good-King-Henry – once widely eaten as a vegetable.

Find out more about Craigmillar Castle

Details

Date Made
1642-1650
Dimensions
dia 21mm (dia 13/16")
Property Information
Craigmillar Castle
Object Number
E1461
Access Status
Conservation

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