The prisons I saw were burried deep beneath the Great Hall, and we had to wander deep into the depts through vast stair cases in order to reach them. They were used for several purposes, inclding food storage, barracks and even a bakery... but their use as prisons of war really amazed me the most. It wasn't the fact that they were prisons, but more of what was on display for all to see and touch.
The prisons had been converted back to prisons during the American Revolutionary War. Prisoners included Spaniards, Dutchmen, Irishmen and even Americans. Some of those Americans were in fact Scots who had gone to America and found themselves amid the conflict, and not all by choice. While there I ran my finger tips over one of the original wooden doors keeping the prisoners in place. There, much to my amazement, was a hand carved original representation of the first American Flag that stood for the original 13 colonies - and next to it was the date 1776. I stood in awe, shivers running up and down my spine. I stood where my ancestors stood, I stood free while they stood imprisoned, and I owed that freedom to the men who carved that flag into the old wooden doors of a prison cell far away on the Castle Rock.
We spent hours in the castle, going from place to place and even getting to see the infamous coronation stone still used to crown the English royalty and the Scotish Crown Jewels. I wasn't able to take photos of the jewels, but photos exist on the internet for anyone to see. Anyone else would have been more stunned by the jewels than the prisons, but that American flag resonated in my mind more than the One O'clock Gun.
Finally our time at the Castle was done, and it was time to explore the entire Royal Mile.
TO BE CONTINUED...