royal property since 1402, Falkland Palace will be forever
associated with the romantic, yet tragic, Stuart dynasty.
King James I confiscated an earlier castle on the site.
His successors, James IV and James V, turned the original
towerhouse into a small palace of some considerable style.
Both Charles I and Charles II stayed at Falkland but after
the end of the Stuart monarchy, and its burning in 1654,
Falkland gradually fell into disrepair. Fortunately, in
1887 the 3rd Marquees of Bute (who was the wealthy patron
of Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch) became Custodian and
began a program of restoration that was continued by his
successors. Falkland Palace is also famous for its 'real'
or 'Royal' tennis courts (the oldest in Britain), built
in 1539 for James V.