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Historic Homecoming events galore - Go follow your family footsteps!

9 July 2009

Families looking for great days out this month have a host of choices at historic attractions across Scotland.

Historic Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and the Historic Houses Association for Scotland (HHA) have teamed up to organise a whole variety of activities especially for the 2009 Year of Homecoming.  

Each activity is related to the Follow in the Family Footsteps heritage trails which have been created by the three organisations to highlight the histories of 15 famous Scottish surnames.  Properties included range from Edinburgh, Inveraray and Urquhart castles to the battlefields of Culloden and Bannockburn.

Sheena Garden, Historic Scotland interpretation manager, said: “There are more than 20 activities taking place this month alone – all of them will add an extra dimension to a visit to a great Scottish heritage attraction.  They have been specially designed to be suitable for all the family, and are ideal for those looking for things to do during the summer holidays.  It’s a great chance to find out more about the stories of famous clans and some of the remarkable characters from Scottish history.”

At Edinburgh Castle there’s the chance to meet a costumed performer in the role of the 9th earl of Argyll and discover what this once-powerful man had done to be locked up and condemned to execution.

Visitors to Haddo House will be able to find out about the great days of the Gordons and see the weapons their Medieval warriors used to defend their lands.

Alternatively, Glamis Castle offers the chance to hear tales of the royal Stewarts, from a member of one of their hunting parties.

Historic Scotland have been running a special membership offer especially for the Year of Homecoming.  People signing up to Historic Scotland membership at Historic Scotland properties will gain free entry as part of their membership.  

Claire Smith, Historic Scotland Members manager, said:  “Our membership benefits are fantastic as they include really great solutions to great days out all summer long to our Historic Scotland properties for only £6.16 a month for the family as well as discounts in our shops and exclusive offers.”

Brochures giving details of the Following in the Family Footsteps trails are available free from participating properties and www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/homecoming

These include maps showing sites included on the trails and some brief details about the clans and their past.  Historic Scotland’s principal historian, Chris Tabraham, has also written Clan and Castle, a beautifully illustrated guide to some of the families linked to Historic Scotland properties.

Details can be found at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/v1/product_detail.htm?productid=1691.

Homecoming events for July


Wednesday 8th

Blair Castle: Stewart
Blair Castle brings together two of Scotland's great families – the Murrays and the Stewarts. Meet one of the Murray clan who will relate how these families came together.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HHA: www.blair-castle.co.uk/thecastle/highlights.asp


Saturday 11th

Edinburgh Castle: Campbell
Meet Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll and find out why he is imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle awaiting execution.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HS: for details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk


Sunday 12th

Edinburgh Castle: Campbell
Meet Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll and find out why he is imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle awaiting execution.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HS: for details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk


Monday 13th

Glencoe: Campbell
Private George Campbell was a member of the 2nd company of Colonel Hill’s Regiment. In 1692 they were billeted amongst the MacIans of Glencoe part of the Macodonald Clan. Hear his story and that of his comrades.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk


Wednesday 15th

Inveraray Castle: Campbell
Campbell vs. Campbell.  The Jacobite cause divided families as well as neighbours. Find out about one such encounter when Jacobite Campbells met a force of Hanoverian Campbells in 1715.
HHA: for details visit www.inveraray-castle.com/Pages/content.asp.


Friday 17th

Aberdour Castle: Douglas
Meet James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, better known as Regent Morton at his home in Aberdour Castle. Find out how he was involved in the murders of David Riccio and Lord Darnley and decide if you think he is loyal to Mary, Queen of Scots.
Performances throughout the day
HS: for details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

Threave Castle: Douglas
Join us in this most evocative of castles to hear the story of the Black Douglas family.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HS: for details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk


Saturday 18th

Stirling Castle: Stewart
The Royal Stewart family considered Stirling Castle a home for hundreds of years and created much of the castle as you see it today. Hear from one of their close courtiers about life at a high point in Scotland's past.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HS: for details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk


Sunday 19th

Stirling Castle: Stewart
The Royal Stewart family considered Stirling Castle a home for hundreds of years and created much of the Castle as you see it today. Hear from one of their close courtiers about life at a high point in Scotland's past.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HS: for details visit  www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

Haddo House: Gordon
Meet the Gordon family. Discover more about the origins of the name and what the Gordon clan have been getting up to from the early medieval period. Get a close look and what your Gordon ancestors would have been wearing and their weapons of choice in defending their land.
Performances are at noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk


Monday 20th

Glencoe: MacDonald
The fate of the Macdonalds in Glencoe is infamous in Scottish history, find out more about what took place here in 1692 and its effect on the Macdonald clan.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk


Wednesday 22nd

Scone Palace: Stewart
Join us at the crowning place of the Kings of Scotland. Hear the very different stories of Robert Stewart and Charles Stuart who were both crowned here, James Stewart who gave the Palace to the Murray family and another Charles Stuart who divided Scotland but won the loyalty of those who lived in this remarkable building.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HHA: for details visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

Urquhart Castle: Gordon
Meet the Gordon family. Discover more about the origins of the name and what the Gordon clan have been getting up to from the early medieval period. Get a close look and what your Gordon ancestors would have been wearing and their weapons of choice in defending their land.
Performances are at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
HS: for details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk


Saturday 25th

Glamis Castle: Stewart
A fine hunting 1538-60. A member of the hunting party at Glamis will let you in on some of the secrets of the Royal Stewarts who visited here.
11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm.
HHA: for details visit www.glamis-castle.co.uk

Glencoe: Campbell
Private George Campbell was a member of the 2nd company of Colonel Hill’s Regiment. In 1692 they were billeted amongst the MacIans of Glencoe part of the Macodonald Clan. Hear his story and that of his comrades.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk

Bannockburn
Bruce: Discover more about a battle which shaped Scottish history.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk


Saturday and Sunday 25 & 26

Holyrood Park: The Gathering
The organisers are planning one of the largest clan gatherings in history. Holyrood Park, which is cared for by Historic Scotland, will be the venue for a magnificent Highland Games over the two days, then on the Saturday evening Clan members will parade up the historic Royal Mile and take their seats on the castle esplanade for a spectacular Clan Pageant.
Further details - The Gathering


Sunday 26th

Brodick Castle: Hamilton
Lady Anne, Duchess Hamilton spent many years of her childhood at Brodick Castle. Join her as she reflects on her life and that of her part of the Hamilton family.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk


Monday 27th

Brodick Castle: Hamilton
Lady Anne, Duchess Hamilton spent many years of her childhood at Brodick Castle. Join her as she reflects on her life and that of her part of the Hamilton family.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk


Tuesday 28th

Culloden: Campbell
A look at the role of Duncan Campbell of the Argyll Militia in the events of 1746 and how the Campbell family were affected.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk


Wednesday 29th

Culloden: Macdonald
The Macdonalds reputedly played a critical role in the failure of the Jacobite forces at the Battle of Culloden. Get the real story and find out about the fate of the clan members on that day.
Contact site for times.
NTS: for details visit www.nts.org.uk

Notes for editors

  • See the Homecoming area of our website at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/homecoming.

  • Historic Scotland has 345 historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. 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