Soldiers march back from history
2 November 2006
This month will see soldiers from history march back to Stirling Castle to talk about the past. The costumed performers will portray what life was like for troops billeted at the Castle in 1858 and 1916.
On Saturdays, Sergeant MacDonald of the Black Watch will recall Victorian times when soldiers, along with their wives and children, lived within its walls. Each Sunday, a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will tell visitors about the training he and his comrades are undergoing before heading for the trenches to fight in World War I.
Nicola Holland, Historic Scotland Interpretation Manager, said: "This year is the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in which many Scottish soldiers lost their lives.
In 1916, there were around 800 soldiers based at the Castle and some 12,000 in camps nearby being trained to go to the front. This is a chance to commemorate their bravery and to let visitors find out about the significant role the Castle played in one of the most important and terrible battles ever fought.
There will also be the chance to meet a soldier from the mid-19th century and talk about what it was like to be among the soldiers and their families who lived at the Castle."
Performances will take place at 11.45am, 12.45pm, 2.45pm and 3.45pm every weekend in November and are included in the standard admissions price.
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 concessions and £3.50 for children.
- 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.
- More than 400,000 people on average visit the Castle each year.
- The Castle sits above two of the most famous battlefields in Scottish history namely 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.
- Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic 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.