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Crafts of the past offer a bright future

25 September 2006

Historic Scotland is inviting teenagers to consider learning ancient skills as their route to a bright future.

A group of forty students from high schools in the Stirling area will tour Stirling Castle on Thursday, 28 September 2006 to see how traditional crafts and trades are being used to restore the royal apartments to their original Renaissance majesty.

They will then go to the nearby Historic Scotland Maintenance Centre to learn some of the secrets of the stone cutting, carpentry, slating and leadwork.

Kirsten Wood, Historic Scotland Education Officer, said: "We want to introduce a new generation to these ancient skills. This event is a chance to meet some of the fabulous tradesmen and craftsmen we employ to care for the country’s heritage and talk to them about their careers.

Men and women who are trained in these skills are not only in demand with organisations like ours, but also for the care and maintenance of the tens of thousands of old houses and historic buildings throughout the country."

Earlier this year, there was extensive media coverage of an ongoing shortage of skilled craftsmen and tradesmen in Scotland.

Historic Scotland trains and employs craftsmen and women who use traditional materials and techniques to repair and maintain the buildings in its care. Their work can range from cleaning gargoyles high up on the outside wall of a cathedral through to carrying out repairs on spiral staircases in some of Scotland’s most magnificent castles.

Historic Scotland’s own monument conservation teams also work in a remarkable variety of locations from medieval abbeys in the Borders through to Neolithic settlements and tombs in Orkney. The Stirling schools initiative is part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to raise young people’s awareness of the fulfilling careers available from learning these kinds of skills.

Notes for editors
  • The event has been organised in association with Careers Scotland and a total of seven schools are taking part from all over Scotland.
  • Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town. Telephone 01786 450000.
  • Tickets are £8.50 for adults, £6.50 concessions and £3.50 for children.
  • Stirling Castle, with its splendid decorative stonework and mass of still complete buildings, is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Europe. It is also the royal residence that best represents the Stewart dynasty in Scotland.
  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding 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 information

Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959