Holyrood Palace

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Holyrood (Edinburgh). The palace of Holyroodhouse, with Holyrood abbey in its grounds, stands at the foot of the Canongate in the Old Town of Edinburgh, in the lee of Arthur's Seat. Holyrood abbey was built for Augustinian canons, and the ruins of its 12th- and 13th-cent. nave have inspired many travellers, including Felix Mendelssohn on his Scottish tour in 1829. The palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence in Scotland of the reigning monarch, was started in the reign of James IV of Scotland and extended by James V. In 1671–9 it was enlarged and remodelled for Charles II to the designs of Sir William Bruce (c.1630–1710), assisted by Robert Mylne (1633–1711), the king's master mason. It is set around the four sides of a courtyard, and although the interiors are in an Anglo-Dutch style, the character of the exteriors is French. After a period of change and neglect, royalty came back to Holyroodhouse in 1745 in the person of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), but it was not until after George IV's visit in 1822 that it was rejuvenated. Improvements were carried out 1824–35 by the architect Robert Reid (1774–1856), and subsequent alterations by Queen Victoria completed the transformation of Holyroodhouse from a Restoration to a Victorian palace.

Peter Willis