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

Kids Castle

by StirlingCastle 14. February 2014 08:31

Looking to keep the kids occupied during this week’s school holidays? Visit Stirling Castle!  There you can meet the characters of the Royal Stewart Court in the Royal Palace and find out what it was like to live here 500 years ago.  Maybe you will run into Mary Queen of Scots' mother or governess who will tell you what the young queen has been up to recently. 

 

 

You could also get hands on with history in the palace vaults where children can dress up in period costume, try their hand at medieval musical instruments or find out how to be a good court jester.

 

On Saturday and Sunday, families can join our History Hunters Tours.  Lasting around 20 minutes, the tour gives young visitors a broad introduction to the castle and its history at level they will understand in delivered in a format they and you will enjoy.

 

Add to that our skeletons light table in the Castle Exhibition, kids quiz and loads of open space to run around in, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

 

All activities are included in the castle admission price but family membership is also available from £8 a month.

 

Check out our Kids Castle section for fun activities before and after your visit.

 

History Hunters tours run on Saturday & Sunday at 2.15pm.

 

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Our kingdom for a horse

by StirlingCastle 31. January 2014 10:01

Today is Chinese New Year and 2014 is the year of the horse.  This got us thinking about the important role that horses have played in the castle’s history from cavalry horses to working horses and everything in between.

 

Through the centuries the horse has been integral to the day-to-day running of the castle from those used in the farming of the land and transportation to more sensational pursuits like hunting, jousting and even battle.

 

 

 

However the role of this magnificent animal is not relegated to the distant past - some of the most poignant stories have emerged in more recent times.  A few years ago when the movie 'Burke and Hare' was being filmed at the castle, one of the scenes involved horse drawn carriages.  Hearing their hooves on the cobbles was a powerful experience that instantly transported you to a completely different time.

 

When our former artist-in-residence, Iona Leishman, first began her tenure she surprised herself when her art started to heavily feature horses which she freely admitted she hadn’t drawn since she was a young girl.  As she began to discover more of the castle’s history she realised what a central figure the animal had been at the site and the many different areas of castle life it was involved in.

 

One of the more charismatic creatures to have carved a place in the castle’s history and people’s hearts is Cruachan, the Shetland pony mascot of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Cruachan was a gift from Princess Louise, the regiment’s original patron, and was their official mascot from 1928 through to 2009 when it was adopted by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  Many of the former soldiers based at the castle always remember his antics with a smile and can recount the amusing stories of this beloved animal.  Cruachan III made his final public appearance at the Military Tattoo in 2012 and now enjoys a happy and peaceful retirement after 23 years of service.

 

So next time you visit the castle, keep an eye out for all the equine references and try and imagine our kingdom without the horse.

 

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Poetry in Motion

by StirlingCastle 22. January 2014 08:08

This weekend, we will be celebrating all things Robert Burns with a programme of events exploring the life and works of Scotland’s most famous bard.

 

 

Our Burns Tour will take the route of a normal castle tour but will include recitals of Burns’ poetry and prose. For the little ones, in place of our History Hunters children’s tour, we will have Burns for Bairns; a fun tour of the castle especially for children, designed to teach them more about the bard.

 

Visitors of all ages can try their hand at composing a few lines about their visit to Stirling Castle in the manner of Burns in a pop-up Poet’s Corner. Furthermore, in the Great Hall our historic chef will teach visitors more about the History of the Burns’ Supper and Deanston Distillery will be hosting whisky tastings in the gift shop.

 

A Celebration of Burns programme runs from 12pm until 4pm both Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January 2014 and all activities are included in the cost of admission.

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