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Stirling Castle celebrates first anniversary of the re-opening of its palace apartments

6 July 2012

Stirling Castle is celebrating the first anniversary of the re-opening of its palace apartments to the public after a £12 million restoration.

The palace apartments were re-opened to the public last July by Her Majesty, The Queen. Since then over 300,000 people have visited the palace which was home to a young Mary, Queen of Scots.

Staff from Historic Scotland, who run the castle joined costumed characters from the castle’s past to mark the anniversary of the official re-opening on July 6th.

The palace was built by James V and is regarded as one of Britain’s finest renaissance buildings.

Historic Scotland spent several years returning the palace apartments to how they may have looked in the mid sixteenth century, employing a team of skilled craftspeople from carvers to weavers to return the palace to how it may have looked shortly after the death of James V, when it was home to his wife, Mary De Guise, and his daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots.

Gillian MacDonald, Executive Manager, Stirling Castle said;

“The first year of the opening of the renovated palace apartments has been hugely successful, with visitor numbers to the castle up by almost a fifth over the past financial year.

“From the beginning of the project we wanted to create a visitor experience unlike anything available in the Scottish market by transporting visitors back to the height of the renaissance court and making every detail as authentic as possible.

“We also wanted to make it as engaging an experience as possible for visitors and through the costumed performers they can find out first hand about life at the castle during the time of one of the most famous royal dynasties in history.

“The first anniversary is a key milestone for all involved in the renovations and we look forward to sharing the palace experience with visitors from around the world who are keen to find out more about this key period in Scotland’s past.”

Notes for editors:

  • For all the latest on what is happening at Stirling Castle, visit our website at and sign up for our free e-newsletter.

  • 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:  

  • 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

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858