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Abbey ‘strikes a pose’

27 October 2006

For two months Arbroath Abbey has been the centre of attention as children and adults alike try to capture the true essence of this beautiful 12th century monument.

Armed with cameras, pupils from local primary and secondary schools and adults from a local community group have been participating in the Arbroath Abbey Photography Project run by Historic Scotland.

On Friday 3 November, all their hard work can be seen for the first time at the launch of a special exhibition in the Arbroath Abbey Visitors Centre, where the Provost of Arbroath will present awards to the winners of the best photograph from each category, judged by a panel of experts.

Alison Muir, Historic Scotland Education Officer said: "The Arbroath Abbey Photography Project was first piloted last year and we are delighted the 2006 event has aroused just as much, if not more enthusiasm and interest. I have had a sneak glimpse of the photographs already and the standard is exceptionally high.

As well as being great fun, we hoped this project would encourage the local community to take a real interest in their local heritage, maybe discover something new about Arbroath Abbey, and also see how different it can look in varying light throughout the day."

The project began in September when the participants attended photography and darkroom workshops led by professional photographer, Malcolm Thomson.

His teaching inspired them to look and consider different textures and elevations and also emphasised the importance of always being prepared, as that definitive shot could happen at any time!

The best picture from each of the 54 participants will be displayed at the exhibition. The winner from each category (primary; secondary and adult) will receive a £50 Jessops voucher and the runners up, a £25 voucher. All six prize winners will receive Historic Scotland membership for one year, allowing them to photograph over 300 sites across Scotland for free.

The Arbroath Abbey Photography Exhibition runs from 3 November until 30 November 2006 in the Abbey Visitor Centre. Admission to the exhibition is free.

Notes for editors
  • Arbroath Abbey is in Arbroath town centre on the A92. Telephone 01241 878756.  Admission is £4 for adults, £1.60 children and £3 concessions.
  • The Abbey was founded in 1178 for monks of the Tironensian order by King William the Lion.
  • The Abbey is famous for its connection with the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath in which Scottish nobles swore their independence from England. The visitor centre features an exhibition on the declaration.
  • The Arbroath Abbey Photography Project was originally developed in consultation with local education and community groups, and is organised by a ‘working group’ made up of representatives of various local interests.  The Project aimed to highlight the Abbey as a learning resource for local groups and the medium of photography provided an excellent opportunity for participants to learn a new skill while interacting with this magnificent ancient building.
  • There are 54 participants in total including 2 primary schools (Arbirlot and Kinloch); 2 secondary schools (Arbroath Academy and Arbroath High School); and a local community adult group.
  • The judging panel for photography competition includes:  Norman Atkinson (Senior Cultural Services Manager, Angus Council); William Payne (Director of The Hospitalfield Trust, Arbroath; and Malcolm Thomson (professional photographer).
  • 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
kate.turnbull@scotland.gsi.gov.uk