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Get beastly at Stirling Castle

6 October 2006

Come along and transform yourself into one of the weird and wonderful beasts of Stirling Castle. The outside of the Royal Palace is decorated with a whole menagerie of carved stone creatures from lions and wild boars through to mythical monsters and even a she devil with the tail of a scorpion.

As part of the nationwide Big Draw weekend of 14 and 15 October, Historic Scotland, which cares for the Castle, has organised special mask-making sessions. Visitors will be invited to look at the carvings and use them as the inspiration to create their own beastly work of art.

Nicola Holland, Historic Scotland Interpretation Manager, said:

"We really want people to let their imaginations run wild. After all, that’s just what the craftsmen who created the carvings did. Even though they had never seen a lion they carved these fabulous statues of all kinds of real and mythical creatures. And while these are some of the most impressive features of the Castle, they often go unnoticed because they are high up."

At the moment, some of the statues are covered by scaffolding while they are given their first recorded clean up since the Renaissance, so photos will be provided so visitors can get a really good close-up view of what they are like.

A storyteller will also be present to tell tales inspired by the various sculptures, both animal and human.  Among them is one of King James V, the builder of the palace, whose likeness has stared out from its walls since the mid-16th century.

"Where the Wild Things Are' mask-making event is on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October at Stirling Castle. There are two sessions, the first is from 11.00am – 1.00pm, the second from 2.00pm – 4.00pm. The event is free after Stirling Castle admission. Children are free for the whole month of October at all Historic Scotland properties including Stirling Castle.

Notes for Editors
  • Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s Old Town and off the M9. Telephone 01786 450000. Tickets are £8.50 for adults, £6.50 for concessions and children are free (with a full paying adult) for the month of October.
  • 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 Big Draw weekend is designed to encourage more people to get involved with art. To find out more visit . Other Historic Scotland sites staging events open to the public as part of The Big Draw are Fort George, Skara Brae and Holyrood Park.
  • 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 complete events guide can be seen online at

For further information

Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959