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Let King Alexander entertain you this new year

23 December 2008

Historic Scotland would like to invite King Alexander’s subjects, countrymen and friends to be entertained this New Year at Stirling Castle.

The New Year celebration at the Court of King Alexander 1 will take place at Stirling Castle on the 2 and 3 January 2009.

Historical records show that King Alexander built a chapel at the Castle somewhere between 1107 and 1115.

The remains can still be seen on-site even though there is a later building which has been constructed on top. It is one of the earliest buildings at Stirling Castle and Historic Scotland suspect that Alexander’s court may have been one of the first to hold new year celebrations here.

Around 15 costumed interpreters will portray Alexander and his Queen, Sibylla along with courtiers and guards of the time. The actors will be dressed in typical costumes from the early medieval period with rich brown and green colours.

Visitors will be welcomed with music, dance and seasonal cheer. For the sleuthing guests who like murder mysteries, Brother Camfall of the Benedictine Order may require your assistance in solving a very unseasonal murder in the castle.

For the more faint-hearted, the kings fool will be messing around. The castle cook will be on hand to display the culinary delights of the season and the knights of the court will be giving tuition in new fighting techniques.
Gillian MacDonald, manager of Stirling Castle, said: “Stirling Castle is a superb venue for events at any time of the year. New Year is particularly special, there is sure to be a great atmosphere.

“We know from our historical records that the Scottish court in the early 12th century was a mixture of different peoples including Gaelic Scots and Normans following the conquest of England. Stirling Castle would have been an important meeting place for these people.

“There’s no better place to celebrate the magic of New Year than at one of Scotland’s most spectacular strongholds, and our event should help everyone experience the spirit of the season and enjoy a great day out.”

Stirling Castle is open on 1 January from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm and on 2 January from 09.30 am to 5.00 pm.

Notes to Editors

  • The event takes place on 2 and 3 January between 11.30 am and 3.30 pm. The event is included in the admission charge for the Castle. Admission prices are: Adults £8.50, children £4.25 and concessions £6.50. Admission also includes a tour of Argyll’s Lodging.

  • There are pictures available of the event last year. Please contact the Marketing and Media department for photos.

  • Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, highlights of which include the gatehouse, the Great Hall, the splendid Renaissance Royal Palace and the Chapel Royal.  A major refurbishment of the interior of the Royal Palace is currently underway; when completed, the apartments will be presented as they would have looked in their medieval heyday, complete with fine tapestries, furniture, and decorative ceilings.

  • Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000.

  • Stirling Castle is one of 345 outstanding historic properties and sites throughout the country in the care of Historic Scotland. These include some of Scotland’s leading tourism attractions and most important heritage sites, including Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For details visit:

  • 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 the other heritage organisations.

For further information

Laura Varney
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959 or 07769 630 763