ROYAL EDINBURGH AND THE PALACE OF HOLYROOD HOUSE
Cheval Abbey Strand Apartments at Holyrood
Prestigiously located on the doorstep of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Cheval Abbey Strand Apartments at Holyrood is filled with history and designed with luxury in mind. The buildings’ pink lime-mortar coating is a rough-cast finish that has been used in Scottish construction for hundreds of years.rnrnThe apartments have been home to a number of courtiers during their 500-year history. Named and designed with a nod to the colourful assortment of former inhabitants, the collection of open plan, one and two-bedroom apartments are all totally unique and unconventional. When you arrive at your apartment, you will be able to discover the stories behind your previous resident and exactly what brought them to the property!rnrnOne of the of most intriguing occupiers was Lady Margaret Seton, who claimed sanctuary at the historic Abbey Strand after her husband’s death in 1719. From the 1500s, Holyrood Abbey offered the right of sanctuary for those who could not pay their debts. The debtors, known as ‘Abbey lairds’, found shelter from their creditors within the Abbey boundaries, which included Holyrood Park and the buildings on Abbey Strand. At the height of its occupation as a sanctuary, Holyrood sheltered around 6,500 debtors, including members of the aristocracy.
(C) Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020; photographer: Kevin McCollum
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
The palace is the official residence of King Charles III when in Scotland, and sits at the opposite end of the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. The King regularly visits Edinburgh for the official opening of the Scottish Parliament, handily located just across the road from the palace entrance.rnrnConstruction of the palace as we see it today was largely complete by the late 17th century, but it is believed monastic buildings existed on the site from as early as the late 12th century. It was initially built to serve as a monastery, by King David I of Scotland in 1128. Highlights of any visit to the Palace and grounds include the State Apartments, Throne Room, Great Gallery, the ruined Holyrood Abbey and a host of treasures including tapestries, object and paintings.rnrnOne of the notable residents of the palace was Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived in the Royal apartments in the early 1560s, during which some of the most significant events of her tragic life happened. Visitors to the palace can still experience the power and extravagance of the Queen of Scots’ chambers, complete with historic artefacts and paintings from the 16th century.
The Physic Garden
Visitors to the Palace of Holyroodhouse can also enjoy the Physic Garden, which can be found directly behind Cheval Abbey Strand Apartments. Each area of the Physic Garden represents a phase in the palace’s 300-year history, including medicinal and culinary plants that would have grown in the 17th century. Guests of Cheval Abbey Strand Apartments can enjoy exclusive evening access to the gardens. Immerse yourself in history and discover the story behind the herbs and plants that were used as remedies.rnrnCheval Abbey Strand Apartments can be seen behind Queen Mary’s Bath house, which is thought to be used as a summer house for the Royals when walking in the garden. The wording on the sign reads; ‘Queen Mary’s Bath House’. This little two storeyed building is traditionally associated with May Queen of Scots (1542-1587). It was once attached to a boundary wall enclosing the King’s privy garden and served as a pavilion or summerhouse where the royal family might relax whilst strolling in the garden. Whether it contained a bath is unknown”.rnrnPhoto credits: Royal Collection Trust