You'll Hear A Lot Of Stories At Historic Scottish Castles And Abbeys

By Caroline Lewis | 04 July 2006
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photo of a man dressed in a simple 18th century costume sitting on a barrel in front of an audience of children

There's a good yarn to be spun in Scotland's Historic venues. Courtesy Historic Scotland

There’s a tale or two to be told about the old buildings and castles of Scotland. And you’ll hear a few if you visit Historic Scotland properties between now and October 2006.

The organisation’s interpretation team has set up a brand new initiative to promote storytelling at its sites, in association with the recently opened Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Local storytellers will hold court, drawing on hundreds of years of history to describe the chronicles and sagas that have taken place at castles and abbeys across the land. It won’t be just for children, either – the stories will intrigue young and old alike.

photo of a man in mid-story dressed in a late 18th century officer's uniform with gold buttons and a tricorn

And as I looked through my eyeglass... Courtesy Historic Scotland

“These sessions are bound to have a few surprises in store. Even regular visitors are likely to learn something they didn’t know,” said Nicola Holland, Historic Scotland Interpretation Manager. “Many of these stories have been passed down orally through the generations, and this initiative will help keep these alive for others to enjoy.”

“We’ll be concentrating on providing sessions at our smaller sites initially, as many people know a lot less about these places compared to our larger, more well-known properties.”

The first sessions will take place at Tolquhon Castle, The Black House on the Isle of Lewis, Dunstaffnage Castle near Oban and Dundrennan Abbey in Dumfriesshire. Sessions will run on weekends from July 8, with one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

photo of part of a castle exterior

Dunstaffnage Castle, built on a huge rock, dates back to the 13th century and was captured by Robert the Bruce in 1309. Courtesy Historic Scotland

Other participating sites include Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace, Dallas Dhu Distillery, Balvenie Castle, Clenluce Abbey, Cardoness Castle, Cairpapple Hill, Dirleton Castle and Tantallon Castle. Call 0131 668 8600 or check www.historic-scotland/events for dates and times, or look for StoryExplorer events on the Scottish Storytelling Centre website.

“It will be really interesting to hear some of the tales,” said Nicola. “Storytelling is such a simple activity, but something which is really effective and enjoyed by all. Rather than reading facts in a guidebook, visitors can hear real people telling real tales. However, we can’t promise that all of them end happily ever after!”

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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