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Historic Scotland unveils colourful new interpretation at three castles

17 August 2012

                                       Glenbuchat Castle

The splendours of Glenbuchat, Hailes and Kilchurn castles have been re-imagined following consultation with archaeologists and historians.

Colourful and intricately-detailed illustrations reconstructing life at the castles have now been installed at the three sites.

Specialists within and outside the agency contributed their expertise to the projects, producing a lively resource that brings new insight into life at these popular attractions.

Interpretation Officer at Historic Scotland, Steve Farrar explained: “The new panels offer a surprising amount of detail. The artists have created stunning illustrations – at Glenbuchat, showing the tower house of the celebrated Jacobite general Old Glenbucket, who lived here in the early 18th century and supposedly fought in the three main Jacobite risings.

“The digital reconstruction with cut-away walls, created by artist Bob Marshall, shows interior details including fires in hearths, wine on the table, stairwells and figures – without kilts, as they had not yet become fashionable.”

At Hailes, artist Heath Gwynn has created a stunning illustration showing the Castle as it may have looked when Mary Queen of Scots and the Earl of Bothwell left to be married in Edinburgh in 1567. The reconstruction shows the southern aspect of the Hailes in its attractive riverside setting, enclosed by high walls and surrounded by a deep defensive ditch.

The new panels tell how this small East Lothian stronghold was twice attacked by Henry Hotspur Percy, a character immortalised by Shakespeare in “Henry IV”. Hailes is also renowned for hosting Mary Queen of Scots, who stayed at the Castle before marrying Bothwell.

The new interpretation image at Kilchurn, by Bob Marshall, depicts the home of the Campbells of Glenorchy, who rose to become one of the most powerful dynasties in the country. The photo-realistic digital reconstruction shows the first Earl of Breadalbane inspecting work at the castle in the 1690s, when the first purpose-built barracks in Scotland were constructed here.

Steve said: “Interpretation lies at the heart of Historic Scotland’s mission to present our built heritage effectively and imaginatively to visitors. The stories unique to each site bring these special places to life, and the new panels give an added dimension to three of the nation’s most important and cherished historic attractions.”

Image caption
The illustration of Glenbuchat Castle, by Bob Marshall, shows a cut away view of the Castle in the early 18th century.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with ensuring that our historic environment provides a strong foundation for a successful future for Scotland. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

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  • The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at:

  • The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at

                                                       Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For further information

David Gray
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8588 or 07854 366 805