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Stirling Castle hosts creative writing exhibition

14 May 2010

Budding authors from an adult creative writing group are having their work displayed at an exhibition at Stirling Castle from Friday 14th May until Friday 21st May.

The event, “Castles in the Sky”, was launched today, Friday 14th May, at the Exhibitions Space, Nether Bailey, Stirling Castle.  It forms part of Adult Learners’ Week and celebrates a year of partnership between Historic Scotland’s Education Unit, The Argyll and Sutherland Regimental Museum and Stirling Council’s Adult Learning Team.

One of the writing groups, who have been meeting at Stirling Castle in the Douglas Gardens Education Room, have also had a trip to BBC Scotland’s new premises in Glasgow to audio record excerpts of their written work in the LAB  (Learn at BBC) department.  Their work, some of which was read by a professional actor, was put onto a CD which will be played during the exhibition.

In addition there will be a display of photographs taken by the Have Your Say Group which visited the castle recently.  

Kirsten Wood, Education Officer for Historic Scotland said:  “Historic Scotland’s Education Unit aims to encourage imaginative use of the built and natural heritage as an educational resource by learners of all ages. The partnership between Historic Scotland, the military museum and Stirling Council has enabled local learners to access one of Scotland’s finest castles in order to inspire their creative writing. Each group has also had the opportunity to go on day trips to a number of other inspiring sites such at Inchmahome Priory and Doune Castle, all within a forty minute drive from Stirling Castle. The exhibition Illustrates the diverse range of themes which can be taken from these magnificent sites steeped in history”

Pat Morrissey, a literacy development worker from Stirling Council said: “This project is a wonderful example of partnership in action. The writers have had opportunities to find great stimulus and inspiration from Historic Scotland’s remarkable venues and the artefacts they contain, and they have also had exceptional guidance and support with their work from the tutor provided by the Adult Learning Team.  The creative results are there for all to see.”

Nicola Hodge, one of the writers said, “I have only been with the course a few weeks and already it has inspired me to write. The castle tour and visit to the archives have been really inspiring.”

Jim Slatter, another writer added: “It is a privilege to have the venue in Stirling Castle as a base for writing where I can explore my skills to their full potential.”

Councillor Steven Paterson, Stirling Council Executive - Portfolio Holder for Empowerment & Citizenship, commented: “This is an excellent initiative that encourages adult learning through the use some of the wonderful historic buildings in the Stirling area to inspire creativity in writing.

“With the wonderful wealth of history, legend and folklore on our doorstep, this project presents an fantastic opportunity for participants to let their imaginations run wild and be inspired by these iconic locations.”

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Stirling Council contact : Pat Morrissey – 01786 432360

  • 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. For details of opening times and further information on the castle, visit

  • 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 to life the history of the 16th century to enrich visitors’ enjoyment.

  • Stirling Castle is one of the most popular of 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.For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit: and for more information on Stirling Castle, visit:  Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland’s current ‘Make Your Own History’ membership promotion is offering 15 months’ membership for the price of 12 when membership – enabling unlimited access to over 75 heritage attractions -  is purchased by direct debit. Family membership costs less than £7 a month.  For more information on the ‘Make Your Own History’ membership offer, visit:
· - search for Make Your Own History

For further information

Jennifer Johnston Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866