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Sorting out the knights from the knaves in the 'K' factor

26 June 2009


Knight School events – in which ‘knights in armour’ demonstrate for visitors the chivalric code of honesty, bravery, honour and loyalty – have become a popular highlight of Historic Scotland’s annual educational and interpretation programme at leading heritage venues throughout the country.  And from Saturday 27th to Tuesday 30th June, knaves of all ages will once again be challenged to find out if they have what it takes to become a knight when The ‘K’ Factor comes to Stirling Castle.

The family event, from 11am to 4pm on all four days, will give everyone an opportunity to try their hand at the quintain (which was used for training in the use of the Medieval jousting lance), firing a crossbow, and handling a sword.  The ‘K’ Factor will also highlight the importance of ‘the knightly code’ of personal values and demonstrate how, for a gentleman soldier in the Middle Ages, such virtues complemented valour.  

Sheena Garden, Historic Scotland Interpretation Manager, said: “Our Knight School events are always extremely popular so I’m sure that The ‘K’ Factor will be a big hit with families and children of all ages.  The varied activities we’ve planned, complete with costumed performers, and play weapons and armour for kids to try out, are lots of fun and will help youngsters learn a great deal about Stirling Castle by bringing its history to life.  They will also demonstrate what life was like for the people of the past, and why the values held highly then are still relevant and important today.”

Admission to The ‘K’ School is included in the normal admission price to Stirling Castle (adult £9, concession £7, and child £4.50).

Notes for editors

  • Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. From the castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views over two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000. Admission: Adult £9.00; Child £4.50; Concessions £7.00 (includes admission to Argyll’s Lodging).

  • Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. An ambitious £12 million scheme, the Stirling Castle Palace Project, is currently underway to restore and refurbish the Royal Palace at Stirling and present the Royal Lodgings as they might have appeared in the heyday of Scotland’s Stewart court in the mid 16th century. An interpretive display on the court of James V will be created in the palace vaults and a Renaissance Gallery on the upper floors of the palace will house the original Stirling Heads, a rare group of intricately carved oak ceiling medallions depicting kings, queens, courtiers and mythological creatures.  Costumed interpreters will bring the rich history of the 16th century to life to enrich visitors’ enjoyment.

  • Stirling Castle is one of over 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. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

  • Visits to Historic Scotland attractions can help bring Scotland’s past to life and the Agency is committed to maximising the unique learning opportunities presented for all ages by the properties in its care.  Historic Scotland’s Education and Interpretations Units provide a wide range of imaginative initiatives, activities and resource materials designed to encourage children and adults to learn about Scotland’s built heritage, and encourage an appreciation of its importance, both locally and nationally, in giving us an insight into our past and cultural identity.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871