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Make your own Stirling Head and see it on our website

20 October 2010

Young visitors to the castle can make their own version of one of the famous Stirling Heads – then see it on our website.

The Stirling Heads are impressive oak carvings, more than 450 years old, which show the faces of kings, queens, emperors, great heroes and characters from the Scottish royal court including a jester and a poet.

On the weekend of 30th and 31st October there will be fun family sessions where youngsters can create their own clay head to take home.

They can then paint it and email us a photo – we’ll put a selection on the internet for other people to admire.

Kirsten Wood, Stirling Castle education officer, said: “Kids love making their own clay versions of the heads, some do copies of real ones and others let their imaginations run wild and come up with something completely original.

“They can then take it home and paint it once the clay has dried. We are also creating a special internet gallery where we would like to put some pictures of the finished heads.”

The Heads of Clay activity is being organised by Historic Scotland, which runs the castle, as part of the annual Big Draw campaign to promote drawing and art.

Sessions are included in the normal ticket price to the castle and will be led by Kirsten. They will take place at 11am and 2pm both days.

More than 30 of the original 16th century carved heads still survive and will be put on display in a gallery at the castle for the public to see from next April.

Hand-carved copies are also being used to decorate the ceiling of the castle’s Renaissance royal palace, just as the originals would have been in the 1540s.

A full media pack about the palace project and the Stirling Heads is available online at

Notes for editors:

  • Stirling Castle is at the top of Stirling Old Town off the M9 at junction 9 or 10. Call 01786 450000.

  • 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.

  • 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:  

For further information

Matthew Shelley
0131 668 8734