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Rosie names castle boat 'Mary's Spirit'

26 October 2009

Competition winner Rosie Cormack and Lochleven Castle guide Willie McMaster.


One of the boats which ferries visitors across the waters to Lochleven Castle now proudly bears the name “Mary’s Spirit” thanks to local schoolgirl Rosie Cormack.

Earlier this year the 10-year-old won a competition in which Kinross Primary School pupils were invited to come up with a name for the vessel.

There were lots of excellent entries, but Rosie’s was the winner because it captured the romance of the castle and its links to Mary, Queen of Scots.

Now the name has been painted on the side of the boat and a little plaque has been fixed inside which commemorates the competition – and its winner, who was nine at the time.

Last week Rosie and her mum Elaine and brother David were invited along to take a look at Mary’s Spirit.

She said: “I picked the name because we had been doing a project on Mary, Queen of Scots at school and because of the story that her ghost still wanders the castle.”

The queen was imprisoned at the castle for nearly a year before making her escape in 1568, after which her forces were defeated at the battle of Langside and she fled across the border to exile in England.

Willie McMaster, the Lochleven Castle guide who organised the competition, said: “It seemed a shame that a boat which takes visitors to and from the castle did not have a name, and it seemed like a good idea to ask the schoolchildren to help.

“We were very impressed with the number of good ideas and it was hard to choose just one winner.

“But we went for Mary’s Spirit because so many of the people who come here are fascinated by the tale of how she escaped from the castle by boat.”

Rosie’s prize was a £40 book token and a trip to the castle in the boat she named.

Notes for editors

  • Lochleven Castle dates from the late 14th or early 15th century and stands on an island in Lochleven near Kinross.

  • It is reached by boat from Kinross, which is off the A90. Call 07778 040483.

  • The site is open for the summer season only. Tickets are £4.70 for adults, £3.70 concessions and £2.35 for children.

  • Historic Scotland has 345 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. 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.

For further information

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