Falkland Palace, in Falkland, Fife, Scotland, is a royal palace of the Scottish Kings. Today it is under the stewardship of Ninian Stuart, who delegates most of his duties to The National Trust for Scotland.
Before Falkland Palace was built a hunting lodge existed on the site in the 12th century. This lodge was expanded in the 13th century and became a castle which was owned by the Earls of Fife ? the famous Clan MacDuff. The castle was built here because the area could be easily defended as it was on a slight hill. The surrounding land eventually became the Palace gardens.
There was a great wood of oaks to the north between the royal stable and the River Eden, with many groves merging into the surrounding parkland. Timber was occasionally cut in the forest for royal ships of war. The castle would also have been surrounded by meadows, fields, orchards, glades and Falkland Park which was a managed forest surrounded by a Pale, which is a ditch with a fence on top of it. This pale would have been used to keep game inside the park for the royal family and courtiers to hunt. The land near the palace which is currently the orchard would have originally been meadows. The castle and the palace would have had their own orchard somewhere close by. In 1371 Falkland Castle was destroyed by an invading English army.
In 1402 Robert, Duke of Albany imprisoned his nephew and rival David, Duke of Rothesay, the eldest son of King Robert, in the Well Tower at Falkland. The incarcerated Duke eventually died there from neglect and starvation.