I have finally reached the end of my first draft, so my first visit to Stirling in years has paid off. Now I'm ready to incorporate the detail, newly fixed in my mind, into the pages. The visit to the castle wasn't too expensive, perhaps because the Royal Palace is not part of the tour at the moment. The rooms are being refurbished to look as they did in the days of Mary of Guise and James V - almost exactly the time of my story. They should be ready by next April. Pity it wasn't this April, but never mind. The guided tours are free, and there's still lots to see. We spent a good four hours there, both with the guide and on our own, so goodness knows how long we'd have been there if the Royal Palce had been completed.
A frequent phrase in guidebooks and informative plaques around the place now seem to share doubt - statements claim that it was possible that....it may have been....it is likely that....probably with.... and I cannot help feeling that I want positives. I want to know for certain that something was painted red, or that a building stood there in 1472, or that Mary Stewart actually lived there for some time.
My picture of Broad Street looking up the hill to wards Mars Wark shows how effective it would be in blocking the wind!