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Don't miss Monty Python Mayhem at Doune

6 September 2010


There are still tickets available for this Sunday’s Monty Python event at Doune Castle, so don’t miss this special opportunity to join the 35th anniversary celebrations of the filming of the cult movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, at the Stirlingshire stronghold.

Fans of the spoof of the legend of King Arthur have been making the pilgrimage to Doune Castle since the film was shot there.  And this Sunday, 12th  September, Historic Scotland hosts its latest tribute event since its first was staged at the castle in 2004.

Events manager Nick Finnigan said: “For this ‘First Farewell Monty Python Day’ event, we’ve gone back to the more spontaneous, less structured format of our early events.  We’ll have some of the famous sketches being recreated, prizes for the best costumes, a ‘Monty Python and the Holy Trail’ highlighting the filming locations of scenes from the film, a quiz with prizes, singing, and of course, lots of coconut shells!”

Coconut shells have been a regular feature at Doune since the Holy Grail film became a hit - visitors use them to mimic horses’ hooves, just as King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his faithful servant, Patsy (Terry Gilliam) did in the film's opening scene.  The film also starred Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Terry Jones – who recorded Doune Castle’s new audio guide last year.  This begins: "Welcome to Doune Castle. I'm Terry Jones, and in 1974 some friends and myself made a very silly film here called Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Sunday’s ‘First Farewell Monty Python Day’ takes place from 4pm to 7pm. Attendance is restricted due to space limitations so don’t delay if you don’t want to miss the chance to join the fun and games.  Priced £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and £6 for children – with a 10% discount for Historic Scotland members – tickets can be purchased from (The last day to purchase online is Wednesday 8th September; after this please call 0131 668 8885 to check ticket availability/reserve tickets to buy on entry on the day.)



Doune Castle’s starring roles:

The Monty Python and The Holy Grail song and dance routine at ‘Camelot’ was filmed in the Great Hall at Doune Castle and the servery and kitchen appear as ‘Castle Anthrax’, where Sir Galahad the Chaste (Michael Palin) is chased by seductive women. The wedding disrupted by Sir Lancelot (John Cleese) was filmed in the courtyard and Great Hall.

Doune Castle has featured in several literary works, including the 17th-century ballad The Bonny Earl of Murray which relates the murder of James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray by the Earl of Huntly in 1592.  In Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, Waverley (1814), the protagonist Edward Waverley is brought to Doune Castle by the Jacobites. Scott's romantic novel describes the ‘gloomy yet picturesque structure’, with its ‘half-ruined turrets’.

The castle was used as a location in MGM’s 1952 historical film Ivanhoe, starring Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor, and for the forthcoming HBO TV series Game of Thrones.

Doune Castle’s history:

Doune Castle was built in the 14th century for Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, who ruled all of Scotland while King James I was held captive in England. After Robert’s death the castle, and the regency of Scotland, passed to his son Duke Murdoch. In 1424 the king returned. Not long after, Murdoch was arrested and executed along with his sons – James I believed his family had done too little to secure his release. Doune Castle was confiscated by the Crown and was used as a royal hunting lodge.

The castle’s most striking feature is the keepgatehouse which included the splendid restored Duke’s Hall with its musicians’ gallery, double fireplace and carved oak screen.  

Doune Castle is in Doune, 10 miles north-west of Stirling off the A84; postcode FK16 6EA.

Doune Castle is just one of 345 outstanding 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 of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit:

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

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For further information, interviews and images

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
0131 668 8685 / 07801 820757