Stirling Castle in All Its Glory

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in News

At present Stirling Castle is undergoing extensive refurbishment with the aim to return the castle to its 16th century magnificence.

The first step was to find out how the palace might have been furnished and decorated. In some cases there were surviving records, for instance that there were a great many tapestries and also that James V had bought himself some four poster beds, which were the latest fashion in his day.

Other inspiration came from comparison with Scottish royal and noble residences of the time, paintings and inventories of people’s belongings, as well as surviving items in museum collections in the UK and overseas.
Top-quality craftsmen were commissioned to use authentic materials and techniques to refurnish and redecorate the palace. A team of weavers are also recreating a series of late medieval tapestries.

A special feature are the Stirling Heads. Thirty three of these large oak medallions, which once decorated the ceilings of some of the royal apartments, have been handed down to us. They are carved with the faces of Scottish kings and queens, European royalty, Roman emperors and Classical heroes.  The original ones will be on show in a special display area on the first floor of the palace. The gallery will also have exhibits and displays about the fine stone statues on the outside walls of the palace, and about Scotland’s place in Renaissance Europe. However, a replica set of the heads has been hand-carved and will be used to decorate the ceiling of one of King’s Presence Hall.

The refurbishment should be finished by Easter 2011, when visitors will be able to experience the 16th century in all its splendour.

To find out more about this fascinating project click here, there is also a link to a short film about the refurbishment on YouTube

Illustration:  The Great Hall at Stirling Castle, © Copyright Iain Russell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 15:34 and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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