Read our regular staff blog and get a behind-the-scenes-view of life and work at Stirling Castle.

Wha’s Like Him? Gie Few!

by StirlingCastle 19. January 2015 07:09

At Stirling Castle we’re not short on heroic figures to admire, from Wallace and Bruce to the soldiers of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. However, this weekend (24th and 25th January 2015) we’ll be celebrating another beloved and iconic Scottish hero – Robert Burns.



A Celebration of Burns will include special tours, games, activities and food. What’s not to love?

Our Burns Tour will focus on the poet’s visit to the castle in 1787 and how it went on to inspire The Stirling Lines. Visitors can look forward to hearing more about the Bard as well as passionate recitations of some of his most famous works.

Young visitors can also join in the action on our Burns for Bairns Tour which will be led by the castle’s watchman. Travel back 228 years and follow in Burns’ footsteps as he relives the tour of the castle grounds. Great fun for all the family.

We’re also asking if you have what it takes to be Scotland’s Poet and challenging visitors to pen a few Burns-style lines of their own in Poets' Corner.

And of course no celebration of Scotland’s beloved poet would be complete without a look at a Burns Supper. Join our food historian in the Great Hall to find out the secret to a great haggis and indeed how to properly address it.

After all that, refuel in the Unicorn Café who will be offering a special Burns menu that includes haggis, neeps and tatties, scotch broth and tea and short bread.

So join us in remembering an auld acquaintance of the castle and make sure his legacy is not forgot.

A Celebration of Burns takes place Saturday 24th and Sunday 25 January from 12pm-4pm and is included in Castle admission price.


Nicola McCrae
Marketing Executive, Stirling Castle


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New Year Clean Up

by StirlingCastle 7. January 2015 05:53

Over the next two weeks the furnishings in the Castle’s Palace and Great Hall will be receiving special attention from Stirling’s Monument Conservation Unit and Historic Scotland’s Collections Unit. Between 6th and 19th January visitors will be able to get a glimpse of these teams carrying out conservation cleaning on Stirling’s large textile collection.



The majority of the work will be carried out from scaffolding, and involves using specialist conservation materials to gently remove any dust that may have built up on these delicate items. This process will also allow staff to assess the condition of the textiles and make recommendations about their future care.


The furnishings in both the Palace and Great Hall are reproductions based on years of meticulous research into how the rooms of the Castle may have looked during the 16th century. They include the magnificent Unicorn Tapestries, specially commissioned to adorn the walls of the Queen’s Apartments, and based on a medieval set held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 



Lynsey Haworth
Regional Collections Manager (Central)

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2014: A year to remember!

by StirlingCastle 18. December 2014 07:35

Every year is a good year when you work at Stirling Castle but in the grand scheme of things 2014 has definite stand out. Billed as the year of Homecoming Scotland,  when we braced ourselves to “welcome the world” it had a lot to live up to and it certainly didn’t disappoint.



Things at the castle got underway in May with Road to Bannockburn which told the story of the events that led up to the epic battle in the 700th anniversary year.  This set up Bannockburn Live which took place just down the road at the new Bannockburn Experience in June.  The same weekend Stirling welcomed thousands to National Armed Forces Day with the castle providing a spectacular backdrop to the activities including a fabulous Red Arrows display.


As we caught our breath, the amazing summer of sport was upon us.  The castle, where the oldest football in the world was discovered, hosted a VisitScotland photo shoot with Scottish goalkeeper Alan Rough to mark the start of the World Cup.  A few weeks later we were delighted to welcome Team Scotland to the Castle where they announced their final selection and staged their final portrait before Glasgow 2014.  The castle was also selected as one of the sites for the Queen’s Baton Relay as it travelled round the country.  It was a pleasure to welcome athletes and spectators from across the globe to the castle and the atmosphere was so celebratory.



As the autumn leaves turned red and the eyes of the world fell on Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup,   our focus turned to marking the anniversary of WW1.  Along with the Regimental Museum we staged an event Stirling 1914 that looked at the castle’s role as a recruitment centre and of the fate of the young locals who went off to the front line and the families they left behind.  This was cemented in November when the castle was chosen for the launch of the Scottish Poppy Appeal fronted by local resident and strictly contestant Judy Murray.


As autumn gave way to winter we geared up for a fantastic festive programme which included carols, medieval merriment and Christmas lunch.  We also opened our first ever Christmas Shop on the castle’s esplanade which has been a great success with visitors to the castle as well as locals. 


In December we celebrated a poignant moment in the castle’s history when the 13-year Unicorn Tapestry Project came to its conclusion.  The final tapestry in the series, “Mystic” was cut off the loom completing the series of seven.  It will be hung in the palace in 2015.



This year, the world discovered something that all of us at the castle have known for a long time, that we truly are one of the greatest small countries in the world with the biggest, warmest welcome you can imagine.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Stirling Castle.  We can’t wait to see you again in 2015 for more of the same!

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