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Python to Guide Doune Castle Visitors

28 April 2009

Monty Python has made a permanent return to Doune Castle.

Terry Jones, who co-directed comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is the voice of the new audio guide introduced this week.  Commissioned and edited by Historic Scotland, the audio guide was produced by Antenna Audio www.antennaaudio.com.

Much of the movie was filmed at Doune and it has been a place of pilgrimage for fans ever since, with HS having hosted a series of Python-themed events there in the past.

Mr Jones, who has presented a number of documentaries on subjects including Roman and Medieval life, said he was delighted to be part of the project.

“I have very fond memories of Doune Castle, it’s a fascinating place and the setting is absolutely spectacular.

“It’s lovely to be involved with the castle again and to have the chance to introduce visitors to its history.

“The audio guide is designed to give people a real sense of the castle’s social history – what it was actually like to live there in the Middle Ages,” he said.

The audio guide also includes optional Monty Python clips for fans to enjoy – including the one printed below.

Jennifer Webster, HS interpretation officer, said: “We were really delighted when Terry Jones agreed to take part.

“His links to the castle through Monty Python and the Holy Grail and all the work he has done to popularise history on TV made him absolutely ideal.

“The guide brings out the Medieval social and architectural history of Doune Castle.  

“It looks at the people who were behind its construction, and what life would have been like there.

“We are really pleased with the results and hope that visitors will enjoy it for many years to come.”

The audio guide is included in the standard ticket price for the castle.

  • Doune Castle is 10 miles north west of Stirling off the A84. Tickets are £4.20 for adults, £3.20 concessions and £2.10 for children. Telephone 01786 841742.

  • The 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 the duke and his father had done too little to secure his release. Doune Castle was confiscated by the Crown and was used as a royal hunting lodge.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

GUARD:        You don't frighten us, English pig-dogs!  Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person.  I blow                       my nose at you, so-called Arthur-king, you and all your silly English kaniggets. Thppppt!

GALAHAD:    What a strange person.

ARTHUR:       Now look here, my good man!

GUARD:         I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough whopper!  I fart in your                        general direction!  You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

GALAHAD:     Is there someone else up there we could talk to?

GUARD:         No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time-a!

About Terry Jones

  • Best known as part of Monty Python. Jones and the other Pythons got together in 1969 and wrote and performed Monty Python’s Flying Circus until 1974.  

  • Jones co-directed the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam in 1975 and directed Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979 and Monty Python’s Meaning of Life in 1981, which won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes. He directed Personal Services (1987), and in 1989 he wrote and directed Erik The Viking. He wrote, directed and played Toad in The Wind In The Willows (1995) which won the Chicago Children’s Film Festival and the Wisconsin Children’s Film Festival. He also wrote the screenplay for Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.

  • He has presented numerous TV documentaries: The Crusades (BBC 1993) Ancient Inventions  (Discovery, 1997) Hidden Histories (Discovery, 2002) and Medieval Lives (BBC 2004) The Story Of One (BBC 1 2004) Barbarians (BBC 2005). He has just finished Ogilby’s Roads a four part documentary about the first road atlas of Britain (1675) for BBCWales. (2007)

  • His first children’s book Fairy Tales, written in 1981, has been translated into six foreign editions and adapted for television and radio. The Saga of Erik the Viking won the 1984 Children’s Book Award. Nicobobinus was awarded a Silver Seal by the Parents’ Choice editors; Fantastic Stories won the Smarties Prize 1992; His new series of books, The Knight and the Squire and The Lady and the Squire was short-listed for the 2002 Whitbread Prize. He is just finishing the third in the series: The Tyrant & The Squire.

  • Jones wrote Chaucer’s Knight in 1981 and frequently lectures on the late fourteenth century in universities in Britain, Europe and the United States. His most recent book Who Murdered Chaucer? was published in 2003, paperback 2004. He has just finished an article for Fourteenth Century England edited by Nigel Saul called Was Richard II A Tyrant?

  • Terry Jones’s War On The War On Terror was published Jan. 2005 by Nation Books, New York.

  • Currently writing various screenplays. His opera/musical Evil Machines premiered in Lisbon, Portugal, 12 Jan 2008.

  • Jones was born in Colwyn Bay, Wales, and read English Literature at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.

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