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Festive Fun with the Story of Christmas

1 December 2010

Stirling Castle's Christmas family event promises to be one of the most original highlights of the festive season.

'The Story of Christmas' - on 5th & 12th December from 12.30 to 3.30pm - features a series of entertaining and amusing shows and presentations, as an ensemble cast highlights how yuletide celebrations have evolved from their earliest origins through the centuries.

The packed programme is as follows:

12.30  Introduction/Setting the Scene
Meet the cast and hear details of the afternoon’s shows.

12.35  The Spirit of Christmas
Shug and Ally, two cynical present-day Scots, find out more about Christmas than they ever bargained for.

1.00  We Wish You a Mary Christmas
Marie de Guise, the consort of King James V of Scotland, prepares for her Christmas celebrations.

1.30 Christmas Surprise for the Baron
The year is 1651 and Oliver Cromwell has banned Christmas. Following the humiliation inflicted on his representative Jeremiah Glum last year, Baron Hardegg and his squire Hugo Softboiled are once again preparing to celebrate Christmas. A new arrival in the form of the Baron’s long-lost son provides a unexpected surprise. But he’s not all that he seems...

2.00  Come All Ye Faithful
Find out about the link between one of the most famous Christmas carols and the Jacobite cause.

2.30  We Are Not Amused…..                                                       
Queen Victoria is in mourning following the recent death of her beloved husband, Albert. Can she be cheered up?

3.00  Back to the Eighties
The year is 1982. A memorable year with Scotland’s World Cup Fever and the Falklands War. As we begin to enter the electronic age, join the MacTavish household as they prepare for a family Christmas.

Historic Scotland events manager Nick Finnigan said: “Our Christmas family event at Stirling last year was a big hit so we're aiming for this year's to top that with lots more entertainment.  'The Story of Christmas' offers great fun for all ages but at the same time it's very informative; it's full of interesting festive facts.”

Gillian Macdonald, Stirling Castle Executive Manager, said:  “Our family event on the 5th and 12th should be an unmissable treat.  And we’ve got lots more on too this festive season: our Christmas lunches start on the 11th – they’re booking up fast so anyone planning to combine a family day out to come along to ‘The Story of Christmas’ with a special festive lunch should book now to avoid disappointment.  We also have our special carol concert on the 19th December, so it’s a busy time for us and a wonderful time of year to visit Stirling Castle.”

‘The Story of Christmas’ is included in the cost of admission to Stirling Castle (Adult £9.00, Child £5.40, Concession £7.20, Historic Scotland members free).



Further highlights of Stirling Castle’s Christmas events programme are:

Christmas Lunches : 11th – 23rd December, from 1pm each day, this special three-course festive meal following by mince pies and coffee is £29 per person, including entry to the castle.  To book, call 01786 449 208 or email Carols at the Castle : 19th December from 7pm to 8.30pm. Tickets are £12 (£9 concessions/HS members) from the Albert Halls or by calling 01786 473544.

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. For details of opening times and further information on the castle, visit

Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. An ambitious £12 million scheme, the Stirling Castle Palace Project, is underway to restore and refurbish the Royal Palace at Stirling and present it as it might have appeared in the heyday of Scotland’s Stewart court in the mid 16th century. The project is due for completion in Spring 2011. An interpretive display on the court of James V will be created in the palace vaults and a Renaissance Gallery on the upper floors of the palace will house the original Stirling Heads, a rare group of intricately carved oak ceiling medallions depicting kings,queens, courtiers and mythological creatures.  Costumed interpreters will bring to life the history of the 16th century to enrich visitors’ enjoyment.

Stirling Castle is one of the most popular 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 these are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit: and for more information on Stirling Castle, visit:

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

For further information, interviews and images

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
0131 668 8685 / 07801 820757