Charles I (1625–49), whose reign ended in civil war and his own execution, did not have his Scottish coronation until 1633. Worth two pence Scots, this turner is an example of copper coinage made during his Scottish reign.

A crowned ‘C R’ for ‘King Charles’ adorns the heads side of the coin, with a thistle in a circle on the tails side. The legend translates as ‘Charles by the grace of God King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland’. The Latin itself reads: ‘CAR. DG. SCOT. ANG. FRA. ET. HIB. R.’

The Latin on the reverse means ‘no one shall hurt me with impunity’. It is written: ‘NEMO ME IMPVNE LACESSET’.

This example is from the third issue of Charles I copper turners – milled in 1642, 1644, 1648 and 1650.

Back then, a two penny piece went by two names: turner and bodle. The first may come from ‘tournois’, the name of a French coin. The second is possibly after the Earl of Bothwell.

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


Date Made
dia 21mm (dia 13/16")
Property Information
Craigmillar Castle
Object Number
Access Status