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Crime Scene Fortification

24 May 2007

History becomes most horrid at Stirling Castle. There’s been a murder. The victim? The Earl of Douglas. The culprit? James II. The accomplices? Royal courtiers and attendants. Cause of death? 26 stab wounds, and fall from a window at Stirling Castle. Time of death? 555 years ago! This is just one of the many dark tales visitors can dare to experience at Stirling Castle on 2 and 3 June 2007 as Historic Scotland delves into History Most Horrid, a fun event suitable for the whole family.

Over the weekend, visitors will get the chance to discover how many well-known historical figures came to an untimely end as well as get involved in a bit of sword fighting for themselves… a real lesson in how to make new enemies. Find out about the tales of murder and treachery that surrounded Mary Queen of Scots, or how Scottish hero William Wallace came to an especially grizzly end.

Would you have the guts to go to the doctors in medieval times? With bile, bubonic plague and big needles on the agenda, then maybe not! Brave visitors will discover all there is to know about early treatments for headaches, sore throats and even bad tempers. Let’s hope these are a little kinder than the treatment women received if they were found to be in league with the devil in the middle ages. Join an ensemble cast for an amusing and informative display of the techniques used by witch hunters. And if that doesn’t entertain, why not hear a different view of what was considered ‘good’ entertainment in medieval times; sure to make you think twice about ‘hanging’ out with friends.

Nick Finnigan, Events and Filming Manager at Historic Scotland said: "History Most Horrid is an entertaining and light-hearted look at the dark side of Scottish history. Visitors will be able to hear about and even witness some truly gruesome tales involving some of the most renowned historical figures.  

Murder, execution and the bubonic plague may be horrid but there will be nothing terrifying about the magnificent surroundings of Stirling Castle and the event promises to be an exciting day out for all the family."

History Most Horrid is at Stirling Castle on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June 2007 from noon to 4.00pm on both days. Entry to the event is free after Stirling Castle normal admission. This event is part of Historic Scotland’s summer Legendary Days Out programme and supporting campaign.

Notes for editors
Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town. Telephone 01786 450000. Tickets are £8.50 for adults, £6.50 for concessions and £4.25 for children (includes admission to Argyll’s Lodging).

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.

The Castle sits above two of the most famous battlefields in Scottish history: Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn.

Tradition suggests that there was a settlement on the Castle site in the 7th and 8th centuries. Kenneth MacAlpin, shortly before becoming King of Alba, is said to have besieged the rock in 842. It was MacAlpin who placed the Stone of Destiny at Scone.

Legends associate Stirling with the story of King Arthur, and some have suggested that it could have been Camelot itself.

The first reference to the Castle alludes to King Alexander I’s endowment of a chapel within the castle between 1107 and 1115.

For further details of Historic Scotland events, please visit our website at

The Historic Scotland Legendary Days Out summer campaign was launched this week promoting Historic Scotland membership as a great value for money way to experience a fabulous range of activities at heritage attractions across the country including jousting, falconry, a celebration of the 1940s, a festival of magic and lots of living history events.

Historic Scotland Membership prices start at £37 for an adult, £28 for concessions and £70 for a family. To find out more about the benefits of Historic Scotland membership visit

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.

Historic Scotland’s mission is to Safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959