Coin, Edward VII penny
This penny was made in 1903, when coins had different values than they do today. A penny in 1903 was 1/240 of a pound. A penny today is 1/100 of a pound.
The penny was made during the reign of King Edward VII. We can see his head on one side of the coin. Written on the coin in Latin is ‘Edward VII by the Grace of God, King of all the British territories, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India’.
The other side shows Britannia, a mythical figure who personifies Britain. This side also has the year 1903 written on it.
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.
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.
- Date Made
- Time Period
- 20th century, Modern
- Property Information
- Craigmillar Castle
- Object Number
- Access Status