Bolton Castle

Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page

Bolton Home The Mary, Queen of Scots Room The Solar

Courtyard and entrance to Mary's apartments The Solar
Mary, Queen of Scots was brought to Bolton Castle on 13th July 1568 where she spent six months under the custody of the ninth Baron Scrope and Sir Francis Knollys. During her captivity she and her retinue took over the Solar (above right) and the whole of the adjoining suite of rooms including the Upper Hall, a little room off the Solar (which was probably a nursery or the room of her attending ladies) and two large bed chambers in the tower directly above. The Solar was a small family sitting-room, warm and sunny, in which Mary spent hours gazing out of the window and writing long, desperate letters to people of influence. Off the Solar is a little passage which leads to a "garderobe" (wc). What is unusual about this is that it was very sophisticated for its time. Complete with plumbing and a discharge pipe ending in a septic tank designed to be emptied every six months, it was considered so efficient that it was still used in Victorian times.
Entering the Great Chamber Leaving the Great Chamber
The Great Chamber was the large hall that went with the private apartments, and was only marginally smaller than the largest room in the castle, The Great Hall. While the Great Hall was used for meals and entertainment, the Great Chamber was a comfortable family room. Sir Francis Knollys and Lord Scrope once played chess in this room, while Mary sat by the window doing her needlework. Below is the adjacent nursery or Mary's attending ladies' room.
The Nursery Stairs to Mary's Chamber and 4th floor

Up to Mary's Chamber

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