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Meet the heroes and heroines of Scottish history

11 September 2009

‘RETURN OF THE LEGENDS’ PROMISES AN AFTERNOON OF ENTERTAINMENT AND FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY  

There’s a chance to meet the most famous icons of Scotland’s history at Stirling Castle next weekend.   

Historic Scotland’s ‘Return of The Legends’ event on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September will see visitors coming face to face with heroes and heroines of different periods of our country’s rich past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, Robert The Bruce, and William Wallace, and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

From noon to 4pm on both days, come along to the castle’s impressive Great Hall for an introduction to three Jacobites  - Bonnie Dundee, Rob Roy MacGregor and Bonnie Prince Charlie.  Take a wander through a battle camp and see how much William Wallace’s ‘Braveheart’ portrayal differed from his historically accurate image.  Find out all about the turbulent life of Robert The Bruce, and be presented to Mary, Queen of Scots as she holds court in the Chapel Royal, entertained by dancers.

The host of historic characters you’ll meet at Stirling also includes an infamous anti-hero whom no-one wanted to an introduction to - the dreaded Doomster, Scotland’s best-known executioner.

Nick Finnigan, Historic Scotland Events and Filming Manager, said: “Following the success of our ‘Return of The Legends’ event last year, we’ve added more to the programme for this year for visitors of all ages to see and do.  Experience tells us that visitors love getting up close and personal to some of their all time favourite legends – William Wallace being one of the most popular.”   

“There will be plenty of entertainment with music, dancing, shows, presentations, and audience participation too, so it promises to be a real legendary weekend!”  

“And of course, it is a chance to explore Stirling Castle and its amazing grounds, as it is all included in the one ticket price.”

“As part of promoting this event, we are running a competition for free family entry to Stirling Castle, text STIRLING to 84118.”

Entry to the event is included in the normal admission ticket  (priced: adult £9.00, child £4.50, concession £7.00, and free for Historic Scotland members). Tickets can be bought at Stirling Castle on arrival to the event.  Getting there early means you gain full access to the full day’s programme.  Terms and conditions for the competition are on the website, www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

Notes for editors

Stirling Castle

  • Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. From the castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views over two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000.

The Stirling Castle Palace Project

  • Stirling Castle has seen major conservation work over many years to preserve the castle as a major national and international monument. In 1991 Historic Scotland put forward proposals for a multi-phase scheme to turn the castle into a world-class visitor attraction. Achievements to date include the: return of the Great Hall to how it appeared in the days of the Stewart kings and queens; new shop and ticketing facilities; provision of education rooms; creation of the tapestry studio; return of the Great Kitchens to how they might have been in the Middle Ages; refurbishment of the Chapel Royal; creation of a modern café; conservation and maintenance of all areas of the castle.

  • The latest phase in works at Stirling Castle is the ongoing Stirling Palace Project – a £12 million scheme to conserve the castle’s Royal Palace and present it in its Renaissance glory. When the project is completed in 2011, the overall visitor experience at Stirling Castle will be greatly increased and enhanced, The Royal Palace is one of the most prominent buildings within the castle walls. With magnificent facades, it is quadrangular in design with a central courtyard. The palace’s designer was probably one of several French master masons in James V’s employment and the building is of outstanding interest as an example of royal planning and the increasingly sophisticated protocol of courtly life.

Highlights of The Stirling Palace Project include the:

  • conservation of the Queen’s Outer Hall, Queen’s Inner Hall and Queen’s Bed Chamber so they are fully decorated and furnished in mid-16th century style;

  • re-presentation of the King’s Outer Hall, King’s Inner Hall and King’s Bed Chamber as splendidly decorated, but unfurnished lodgings – as it is believed they were after the death of James V;

  • costumed interpreters who will help bring the past of the palace to life for visitors;

  • creation of a Renaissance Gallery on the upper floor of the palace, where the original Stirling Heads will be displayed;

  • displays and exhibits in the Renaissance Gallery allowing visitors to find out about Scotland’s place in Renaissance Europe and the story behind the splendid stone statuary on the outside of the palace;

  • updating of exhibitions about the lives of courtiers, including jesters and musicians, in the palace vaults;

  • modernisation of the introductory display, telling the story of Stirling Castle throughout the ages, in the Queen Anne casemates.

Historic Scotland

  • Stirling Castle is one of 345 heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys. For further details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information


Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871
rebecca.hamilton@scotland.gsi.gov.uk