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Explore prehistoric pursuits and get hands on at Holyrood

14 February 2011

Edinburgh’s most popular green space, Holyrood Park, is welcoming families to come along this week to discover and try out a variety of ancient skills and handicrafts that were once commonplace in Ancient Britain.

The Rangers Service based at the park is inviting visitors of all ages to the Education Centre on Queen’s Drive on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th, from 11am to 3pm, for ‘Hands On Holyrood: Prehistoric Pursuits’.  

At the drop-in events – which tie in with the BBC’s ‘Hands On History: Ancient Britain’ series – visitors will be able to find out all about a range of ancient technologies and have an opportunity to get hands on by having a go at a range of activities such as wool carding, using a bow drill, and a quern stone (similar to a pestle and mortar and used to grind grain) and wool carding.  

They’ll have some expert guidance from an early prehistoric hunter who’ll  tell them how various tools were used and how important they were to the survival of our early ancestors.

Also on hand to provide lots of fascinating information on daily life in prehistoric times will be professionals from Archaeology Scotland.  And visitors will be asked to help an archaeologist assemble evidence in an exciting forensic archaeology CSI challenge.

Specialists Adrian Cox of Historic Scotland’s Cultural Resources Unit and Hugh Morrison of the Agency’s Collection’s Unit will also be at the two-day event to show visitors some real prehistoric artefacts and talk about their importance.

Assistant Ranger Katy Chalmers said: “Our ‘Hands On Holyrood: Prehistoric Pursuits’ events on Tuesday and Wednesday provide a great opportunity for visitors to learn what daily life was like for early man and the skills and equipment they needed to survive.  Our drop-in activities are designed to be interesting and fun for all ages, and are packed full of fascinating facts, so we hope that as many families as possible will come along to experience and enjoy ancient history hands on!”

For further details on the events, call the Ranger Service on 0131 652 8150.

Notes for Editors

  • Holyrood Park is one of Edinburgh’s most famous and popular historic landmarks. It encompasses a 5-mile radius of land and has probably been a Royal Park since the 12th century. It designated as both an Ancient Monument and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

  • Holyrood Park is in the care of Historic Scotland, which is responsible for maintaining the natural environment and presenting the Park for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors.  The Ranger Service based at Holyrood Park cares for this unique historic and natural attraction and provides a range of important educational services.

  • Historic Scotland cares for over 345 heritage properties and sites throughout Scotland, from the Highlands and Islands to the Borders, ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings. 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.

  • 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 8734 / 07801 820757