The History of Leith

February 27, 2012

The Royal Vault at Holyrood

It was somewhere about this time (c1562) that the new royal vault was constructed in the south aisle of the nave, and the remains of the kings and queens were removed from their ancient resting-place near the high altar. It is built against the ancient Norman doorway of the cloisters, which still remains externally, with its slender shafts and beautifal zigzag mouldings of the days of David I. “The cloisters,” says Wilson, “appear to have enclosed a, large court, formed in the angle of the nave and transept. The remains of the north are -Clearly traceable still, and the site of the west side is occupied by palace buildings. Here was the ambulatory for the old monks, when the magnificent foundation of St. David retained its pristine splendour, and remained probably till the burning of the abbey after the death of James V.,” who was buried there beside his first queen in December 1542, and his second son, Arthur Duke of Albany, a child eight days old, who died at Stirling. In the royal vault also lie the remains of David II.; Prince Arthur, third son of James IV., who died in the castle, July i5th, 1510, aged nine months; Henry, Lord Darnley, murdered 1567; and Jane, Countess of Argyle, who was at supper with her sister, the queen, on the night of Rizzio’s assassination. ” Dying without issue, she was enclosed in one of the richest coffins ever seen in Scotland, the compartments and inscriptions being all of solid gold.” In the same vault were deposited the remains of the Duchess de Grammont, who died an exile at Holyrood in 1803 ; and, in the days of Queen Victoria, the remains of Mary of Gueldres, queen of James II.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

Some Text