An arresting drama unfolds at Dundonald Castle
29 July 2010
AN ARRESTING DRAMA UNFOLDS AT DUNDONALD CASTLE
Dundonald Castle provides the dramatic setting for a historic re-enactment event this Sunday, 1st August, which Historic Scotland is staging on behalf of The Friends of Dundonald Castle.
‘The Arrest of Robert Stewart’ brings to life an ancient tale of tale of conflict between king and countryman. It sees David Morton of Girvan-based Carrick 800 Battle Re-Enactment Society portraying the High Steward of Scotland in 1363, Robert Stewart, and presenting – together with other costumed members of the group - the fascinating story of Robert Stewart’s rebellion against King David II.
Visitors to Dundonald will get an insight into the roles played by the fascinating key characters in the conflict as the drama unfolds, find out what the Ring of Treachery was, and why Stewart – a powerful and influential figure - was arrested with his family by the king’s men, tried, and subsequently imprisoned. They’ll also hear all about the intrigue and plots which thrived in the complicated political scene in Scotland during the dark days of the 14th century.
The event’s colourful entertainment for all ages includes costumes, weaponry and armour of the period, crafts and games, and trials of skill and strength. And children coming along better be on their guard – King David’s men will be looking for brave young volunteers to see if they have what it takes to join the spear wall, the mainstay of the Scottish army.
The ‘Arrest of Robert Stewart’ takes place at Dundonald Castle from 12.30 to 3.30pm and is included in the cost of admission to the historic property (adult - £3.50, concession - £3.00, children aged 5 to 15 - £1.50 and under fives -no charge.)
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- Dundonald Castle is in the village of Dundonald on the A71, 12 miles from Ayr and 5 miles from Kilmarnock. Tel: 01563 851489.
- The present castle stands on land where evidence suggest there used to be a hill fort. The place name Dundonald means “Donald’s Fort”. Historians do not know who Donald was but he may have been one of three kings of that name who ruled in Strathclyde in the 10th century.
- There have been three medieval castles present on this site. The first was built by one of the stewards of the king of Scots, most probably Walter, the first steward, who came to Scotland in 1136. There is no surviving evidence of this castle above ground today. The second castle was built in the late 13th Century by Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward and was largely destroyed by the English during the Wars of Scottish Independence in the early 14th century. There is little remaining of this castle, however there is a well and a rounded stump of a tower near to the present castle. The third castle was built by Robert Stewart, probably to mark his accession to the throne as Robert II in 1371, and comprises almost everything seen above ground today, including the tower which dominates the hill.
- Dundonald one of 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland. Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. For further details of all Historic Scotland’s sites visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places
- Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.