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Creature Comforts

9 October 2007

Historic Scotland encourages visitors to get beastly at Stirling Castle. 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, Historic Scotland, which cares for the Castle, has organised special mask-making sessions on 13 and 14 October 2007. Visitors will be invited to not only look at the carvings on the Palace but also use the animals and beasts from paintings and tapestries within the Castle to create their own beastly work of art.

Sheena Garden, Historic Scotland Interpretation Manager, said: ‘It’s time to delve into the world of beastly myths and legends at Stirling Castle. We will be asking children to draw inspiration from the fascinating carvings and art within the Castle, but at the same time really let their imagination run wild when creating their masks. There will be nothing comforting about some of the scary creatures I’m sure will appear!  It promises to be a really fun event for the whole family.’

Where the Wild Things Are mask-making event is on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October at Stirling Castle. Sessions begin at 11.00am, noon, 2.00pm and 3.00pm. The event is free after Stirling Castle admission. During October, entry to all Historic Scotland properties including Stirling Castle is free for children during October. Families can also take part in the Cartoon Caper, searching for 10 historical cartoon characters hidden around the attraction.


Notes for editors
Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s Old Town and off the M9. Stirling Castle admission: adult £8.50, concessions £6.50, children are free throughout 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 Cartoon Caper is part of the Historic Scotland Kids Go Free campaign. Historic Scotland commissioned Scottish artist Alice Druitt to specially create the ten cartoon characters covering as many periods of history as possible. After completing the trail, budding cartoon detectives will win a special gift.  Details will then be entered into a prizedraw to win a VIP trip to Edinburgh Castle, art session at Doodles Ceramic workshop, signed originals of the historic cartoon characters artwork by Alice Druitt and lots more art goodies.

‘Kids Go Free’ throughout October at Historic Scotland attractions listed below. Children must be under 16yrs and accompanied by a full paying adult (maximum of 6 children per paying adult). For further information and opening times, please visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/kidsgofree or text ‘KIDSFREE’ to 84118, or call 0131 668 8926.

The Big Draw runs from 1 to 31 October 2007, with a special focus on Saturday 13 October. Throughout the country, over 1000 venues - including galleries, museums, science centres, heritage sites, libraries, community and shopping centres, colleges, schools and art clubs - will be hosting drawing activities suited to all levels of ability.  Participants of all ages will be invited to come along to experiment with a variety of medium, including pencils, crayons, charcoal, sand and digital imagery. For further information on The Big Draw Campaign, visit www.campaignfordrawing.org.

OCTOBER KIDS GO FREE
PARTICIPATING ATTRACTIONS IN CENTRAL AND WEST REGION

ARGYLL’S LODGING
Argyll’s Lodging is Scotland’s most splendid and complete example of a 17th century townhouse.  Situated on the upper approaches to Stirling Castle, its fine architecture marks it out as a property intended for a great nobleman serving the royal court.
Location: In Stirling’s historic old town just below Stirling Castle off the M9.
Contact: Tel 01786 431319

CASTLE CAMPBELL
Dramatically situated above Dollar Glen, is the forbidding-looking 15th century fortress, Castle Campbell.  The castle was the lowland stronghold of the senior branch of the powerful Campbell clan who were seldom far from the major political and religious events of 15th, 16th and 17th century Scotland. Summer café (home baking).
Location: 1.5 Km north of the A91, East of Stirling.
Contact: Tel 01259 742408

DOUNE CASTLE
Built for the Regent Albany, Doune Castle is a magnificent late 14th century courtyard castle.
Its most striking feature is the 100ft high gatehouse which includes the splendid Lord's Hall with its musicians' gallery, double fireplace and carved oak screen.
Location: In Doune, 16km north west of Stirling off the A84.
Contact: Tel 01786 841742

DUNSTAFFNAGE CASTLE AND CHAPEL
Built before 1275 on a huge rock overlooking the Firth of Lorn, Dunstaffnage was the mighty stronghold of the MacDougalls.  The castle, with its huge curtain wall, was captured by Robert the Bruce in 1309 and remained in royal possession for some years. Dunstaffnage became the temporary prison of Flora MacDonald in 1746.
Location: Near Dunbeg 5km north of Oban off the A85.
Contact: Tel 01631 562465

INCHMAHOME PRIORY
Set on an island in the Lake of Menteith, Inchmahome is an idyllically-situated Augustinian monastery dating from 1238. Much of the 13th century building remains.   There is a wide range of plant and wildlife on the island.
Location: On an island in the Lake of Menteith. Reached by ferry from Port of Menteith 13km south of Callander off the A81.
Contact: Tel 01877 385294

IONA ABBEY AND NUNNERY
One of Scotland’s most historic and sacred sites, Iona Abbey was founded by St Columba and his Irish followers in AD 563. A celebrated focus for Christian pilgrimage, Iona retains its spiritual atmosphere and remains an enduring symbol of worship.  Iona’s historical and religious attractions include the abbey church and cloisters, St Columba’s shrine, the site of St Columba’s writing cell, and a superb collection of over 180 medieval carved stones and crosses. In the Abbey graveyard, many early Scottish kings and chiefs, as well as kings from Ireland, Norway and France are buried, and nearby are the remains of the 13th century nunnery.
Location: On the Island of Iona, public ferry from Fionnphort, Mull.
Contact: Tel 01681 700512

STIRLING CASTLE
One of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, Stirling Castle commands the countryside for many miles around.  It towers over some of the most important battlefields of Scotland’s past including Stirling Bridge, the site of William Wallace’s victory over the English in 1297, and Bannockburn where Robert the Bruce defeated the same foe in the summer of 1314.
Location: At the head of Stirling's historic old town off the M9.
Contact: Tel 01786 450000

*Please note:  Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace will be closed from 1 October 2007-31 March 2008

For further information


Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959
kate.turnbull@scotland.gsi.gov.uk