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From painters to short story writers, why artists – past and present – are drawn to Scotland’s heritage



The Magazine for Historic Scotland Members | Summer 2013 | £3.95

Magic and reality at Scotland’s most sacred place

Ambitious new project brings Iona Abbey’s story to life





The Perfect Whisky Experience  Beautiful location at the heart of Highland Perthshire

 Traditional working distillery  Atmospheric heritage exhibition & warehouse experience

 NEW Blender’s Tour - Take your own blend home

 Café serving local produce  Exclusive brand store bottlings  Check our website for admission prices & opening times

Discover the spirit of Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2EB Tel 01887 822010


This issue brings with it news of the completion of a major project at Iona Abbey. This has been one of our most significant initiatives since the Stirling Castle Palace project, seeing the creation of new permanent exhibitions, improved interpretation and visitor facilities. With the summer season now here, it’s well worth a visit. To spark your imagination, within these pages we also feature a selection of notable works of art that capture the beauty and history of some stunning locations. From JMW Turner’s well-observed paintings of Scottish castles, to Michael Ayrton’s atmospheric interpretation of Skara Brae, generations of artists have found their muses in forlorn fortresses and sweeping scenery. We also learn from Iona Leishman, former Artist in Residence at Stirling Castle. Looking back at Scotland’s tumultuous past, she reveals how the Battle of Flodden became the subject of her recent paintings portraying the visceral terror of warfare. Elsewhere, Elizabeth McCrone, our Head of Listing and Designed Landscapes, surveys another stage for expression as she treads the boards of our most important theatres. In great gilded auditoriums, we discover that entertainment for 19th-century audiences demanded venues with a classical flourish and more than a touch of opulence. Leaving behind the refined worlds of fine art and theatregoing, Bonawe Iron Furnace at picturesque Loch Etive has had its fair share of creative output as well. Historian Chris Tabraham gives an account of the seasonal toil that was required to feed raw materials to the burgeoning Industrial Revolution. There’s a lot to read and enjoy, and I hope you will also be encouraged to pick up your camera, head into the sun and take part in our annual photography competition. It’s the perfect opportunity to share your best images of Historic Scotland’s properties and prove a picture really is worth a thousand words.


Find out about gift membership at www.historic-scotland.


CAROLINE VON SCHMALENSEE Caroline is a short story writer. She has written for New Writing Scotland 30, The Seven Wonders of Scotland and The Scotsman

CHRIS TABRAHAM A medieval archaeologist, Chris retired in 2010 as Historic Scotland’s Principal Historian

Dr David Mitchell Director of Technical Conservation Group


Discover Scotland’s most sacred place – Iona Abbey, see page 38



Reach back into the dawn of civilisation at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, see page 46


Aim for some family fun at Medieval Mayhem this summer, see page 51


Get snapping for our annual photography competition, see page 13


Celebration of the Centuries returns to Fort George, see page 51


IONA LEISHMAN Historic Scotland’s first Artist in Residence, Iona was based at Stirling Castle from 2011 to 2012

historic scotland | summer 2013 | 1

Summer 2013

contents The quarterly magazine for Historic Scotland members Headquarters Historic Scotland Longmore House, Salisbury Place Edinburgh EH9 1SH Membership enquiries 0131 668 8999 Editorial enquiries 0131 668 8692 Membership & CRM Manager Claire Bowie Assistant Membership Manager Morag Paterson Membership Co-ordinator Pauline Brews Editor Jack Kibble-White Deputy Editor Andrew Cattanach Design Matthew Ball, Dom Scott Sub-editors Sian Campbell Mark Jardine Advertising Sales Daniel Haynes 0208 962 1257 Publisher John Innes Think Woodside House, 20-23 Woodside Place Glasgow G3 7QF 0141 582 1280 Photography

All images provided by Historic Scotland Images unless otherwise stated. For access to images of Scotland and our properties, call 0131 668 8647/8785, email, or visit Historic Scotland is an Agency within the Scottish Government and is directly responsible to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. Historic Scotland is published four times a year, and is printed on UPM Finesse, which is made from pulp sourced from sustainable materials. The views expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect those of Historic Scotland. All information is correct at the time of going to press. Š Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole is prohibited without prior agreement of the Membership and CRM Manager and Historic Scotland.

Cover Iona Abbey

2 | historic scotland | Summer 2013


out and about at dunstaffnage castle



in this issue Stones of Stenness P46

Fort George P51

Urquhart Castle P21 Bonawe Iron Furnace P29 Dunstaffnage Castle P38 Linlithgow Palace P49

r egul A r s 4 NEWS Scottish Government

plans to merge Historic Scotland and RCAHMS


HISTORIC SCOTLAND’s major project at ionA

49 EVENTS 55 LETTERS 56 VIEWFINDER fe at ur es


Art inspired by Historic Scotland properties

bonawe iron furnace


The Battle of Flodden portrayed through art



Elizabeth McCrone on Scottish theatres

Inchcolm Abbey




Historic Scotland’s woodland heritage

29 COOLING DOWN FOR SUMMER The fires of Bonawe Iron Furnace


An island hopping trip to Mull and Iona reveals history’s prose


Research is key to developing new displays and interpretation at Iona Abbey

46 OUR WORLD HERITAGE… ORKNEY Explore our prehistoric inheritance

i nc lu di ng


Mary Queen of Scots exhibition Portal opens into Scotland’s past Underwater heritage sites announced


This shot of Inchmahome Priory comes from RCAHMS’ photo library

Vision for the future

Merged body will lead Scotland’s historic environment


istoric Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) are to come together to create a new non-departmental public body for the historic environment in Scotland. The two organisations look after Scotland’s built heritage and collections. ‘Scotland has a unique historic environment and both Historic Scotland and RCAHMS play key roles in managing, understanding and preserving it for the nation,’ says Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. ‘Establishing a single body will create a more resilient organisation better able to manage and celebrate the historic environment and to build on and protect the valuable skills, knowledge and expertise of its staff.’

Historic Scotland Chief Executive Ian Walford and RCAHMS Chief Executive Diana Murray said, ‘We will create a single body driven by a passion for heritage, which thrives on knowledge, expertise and research, and which carries out its work for the benefit of Scotland’s people – now and in the future.’ The merged body will have a leading role in delivering the new draft strategy for the historic environment, in partnership with others. The draft strategy has been developed with partners and provides direction and a longterm vision for the historic environment that reflects the importance this government places on the sector. l Public consultation on the strategy and the merger will run until 31 July 2013. You can find out more at and we will provide updates in future issues.

Ian Walford and Diana Murray

An overview of RCAHMS The mission of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) is to help people to value and enjoy their surroundings, to provide a world-class record of the historic and built environment for local, national and international audiences, and to advance understanding of the human influence on Scotland’s places from earliest times to the present day. RCAHMS holds Scran, Scotland’s foremost online learning resource, and the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), one of the world’s largest aerial photographic archives. l

i n t his y e a r 174 6

shutterstock, canmore

The Dress Act bans the wearing of the kilt in Scotland

The Battle of Culloden is the last major battle fought on British soil

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Scottish poet Robert Blair famous for his poem Grave, dies, aged 46

Samuel Johnson is contracted to write A Dictionary of the English Language

The Earl of Kilmarnock and Lord BalmeRiNo are beheaded in London

Hawick Missal Fragment inspires music events


Bird’s-eye view

Medieval music revival Trio of abbey events reveal divine sounds of the Middle Ages


12th-century liturgical musical manuscript created for Holy Week is inspiring some unique performances at three beautiful Border abbeys. The historical document, known as the Hawick Missal Fragment, has lain unknown for hundreds of years. Now, in the light of its discovery, the Fragments project is setting out to explore a landscape of medieval spirituality. Led by Historic

Scotland and community arts group The Red Field, the three principal events are entitled Blue, Black and Red, after the colours used in the manuscript’s illumination and text. Beginning at Jedburgh Abbey in July, Fragments of Blue will host new music from the winner of a nationwide young composer competition. Fragments of Black at Kelso Old Parish Church and Abbey will be an evening of song, and Fragments of Red will complete the trilogy at Melrose Abbey in the lead-up to Easter 2014.

l For more information and to book tickets, turn to our Events section on page 49

Jedburgh Abbey (above), and captured in a 1890s engraving (left)

M agic a l his tor y tou r

Hop on a journey into Edinburgh’s past

From the Scott Monument to Calton Hill, Historic Scotland members can now take advantage of 10 per cent off sightseeing in style with Edinburgh Bus Tours on the Edinburgh World Heritage Official Tour. Passengers on the recently unveiled Edinburgh World Heritage Official Tour: A City of Contrasts will find out about the great events in the city’s history, marvel at the beautiful architectural sights in the Old and New Towns, and discover more about the capital’s historical figures. l To buy tickets visit and use promotional code HS13 to receive your discount

We have three copies to give away of James Crawford’s Scotland’s Landscapes: The National Collection of Aerial Photography. Discover Scotland from on high in this stunning book that captures the uniqueness of the nation. From remote hilltop to stormlashed coastline, spectacular new imagery builds up a picture of a dramatic terrain forged by thousands of years of incredible change. PRIZE QUESTION: In which long, narrow, freshwater loch is Kilchurn Castle situated? For your chance to win, post your answer and details to Scotland’s Landscapes Competition, Think Scotland, 20-23 Woodside Place, Glasgow, G3 7QF, or email hs. comps@thinkpublishing. (with ‘Scotland’s Landscapes Competition’ in the subject line). The closing date for entries is 19 July 2013. Historic Scotland readers can also purchase a copy at a special price of £18.99 (RRP £25.00). Call Booksource on 0845 370 0067 and quote ‘LANDSCAPES’ to receive your discount.

historic scotland | summer 2013 | 5


LAST FEW SPACES REMAINING: call to book your place now


Bo’ness teens are Heritage Heroes Railway restorers honoured at Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards


Cast of the tomb of Mary Queen of Scots

There’s something about Mary

Exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland charts the dramatic life of an enigmatic monarch


ou may recall in our spring issue we followed the travels of Mary Queen of Scots around her kingdom. Now the National Museum of Scotland is welcoming her across its threshold with a new display illuminating a turbulent regal life. Drawn from the museum’s Scottish collections and supported by international loans, the exhibition will run from 28 June to 17 November and will provide an opportunity to revisit much that has been written and speculated about the charismatic monarch. Highlights include a cast of Mary’s tomb on loan from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and a silver one-third royal coin minted in 1565, during her illfated marriage to Lord Darnley.

Tome of her life

A new book about Mary Queen of Scots will be published by Historic Scotland to coincide with the National Museum exhibition. Mary Was Here is a lively, colourful and slightly irreverent account of Mary’s world, told through the many places she visited in Scotland, France and England. Mary Was Here is available from the National Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and selected Historic Scotland shops from late June, priced £7.95.

l historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 7

sunday mail

eenagers from Bo’ness have been named the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards Heritage Heroes 2013 following an awards ceremony in April. The Heritage category is sponsored by Historic Scotland, and recognises and celebrates young people who give their time to protect, maintain and support Scotland’s historic environment. This year’s winners are members of the Bo’ness Scottish Railway Preservation Society Youth Group, who devote their free time to preserving Scotland's oldest steam railway. ‘We have been working so hard to restore the steam engine and promote the site for tourists. It is amazing to win the award and have that work noticed. We want to bring more young people and make it even bigger,’ said Aaron McKinnon, aged 13 (pictured below right), one of the award recipients.


Portal opens into Scotland’s past Archaeological website launches with a comic book chronicle


xperts from a wide range of disciplines have been pooling their skills and knowledge in a bid to compose a comprehensive record of Scotland’s history. The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework – ScARF – has unveiled a major new online hub that aims to ref lect a wealth of interests, ranging from prehistoric lifestyles to contemporary ethics.

High quality material has been drawn together from all sectors of the archaeological community, as specialists who work across completely different fields and time periods add their own pieces to the jigsaw. Heralding the website’s arrival was an accompanying graphic novel-style guide – Telling Scotland’s Story – illustrated by the Scottish comic artist Sha Nazir of Black Hearted Press and written by RCAHMS Communications Manager James Crawford. Attractive art and imagery present a series of surprising and unusual stories about Scotland inspired by the latest research taken from this important new resource. l The website and Telling Scotland’s Story can be found at

A virtual night at the opera

Sha Nazir’s illustrations from Telling Scotland’s Story

Sydney Opera House is being modelled in 3D

Iconic Australian venue scanned by Scottish project Sydney Opera House is being surveyed inside and out by a team of laser scanning experts from Scotland to create an extraordinarily detailed 3D model of one of the world’s most recognisable buildings. The project is part of the Scottish Ten initiative, a cuttingedge collaboration between Historic Scotland, specialists in 3D scanning and visualisation at Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio and digital heritage organisation CyArk.

8 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

The Opera House joins Mount Rushmore, India’s Rani ki Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) and China’s Eastern Qing Tombs as one of five international and five Scottish UNESCOinscribed, World Heritage sites to be preserved for posterity. As the only modern structure included, the Opera House will also be provided with valuable building-management and conservation data to help

improve the experience of the 8.2 million people who visit each year. Scottish Ten’s interactive rendering will be delivered in time for the Opera House’s 40th anniversary celebrations in October (see


Celebrating a big year for Iona Thanksgiving service and new museum herald the start of a series of anniversary events for Iona


his year marks the 1,450th anniversary of the arrival of St Columba to the Hebridean island of Iona. It’s also 75 years since the founding of the Iona Community, a dispersed Christian ecumenical group. On 19 May, a Service of Thanksgiving took place in Iona Abbey to commemorate these anniversaries. The service was attended by senior church leaders. The day also marked the formal opening of the new museum at Iona Abbey. The museum is part of a major Historic Scotland project to significantly improve the visitor experience at the abbey. ‘Iona is a very special, spiritual island which attracts visitors from all around the world,’ said Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Scotland. ‘We believe that our investment to enhance the museum at Iona Abbey, including the restoration of the World’s Oldest Celtic Cross, will help attract even more visitors to Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong this beautiful location.’ Learning rings a replica 8th-century saint’s handbell to open the new l Read more about Iona Abbey on page 44

Iona Abbey Museum

Master craftsmen celebrated in print New publication reveals secrets behind Glasgow University's amazing architecture

Gilbert Scott Building, Glasgow University

l You can buy Building Knowledge – An Architectural History of the University of Glasgow (£19.95) from the University of Glasgow visitor centre shop or at

historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 9


Historic Scotland has been working with the University of Glasgow to produce a lavishly illustrated book about the architectural history of the university – which encompasses some of Glasgow’s most recognised buildings. For over 560 years the university acted as a remarkable patron of architecture. Often the university turned to the finest architects, engineers and craftsmen of their day to realise its ambitions. Building Knowledge – An Architectural History of the University of Glasgow has unearthed the extraordinary record of these partnerships, and much of the material in this book has never been published before.

news Inside the Burrell Collection

Safeguarding Scottish seas

First Historic Marine Protected Areas announced


number of underwater heritage sites around Scotland’s coast are being brought under revised government protection. Scotland’s first tranche of Historic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) includes a well-preserved merchant shipwreck discovered close to the harbour of Drumbeg, a 17th-century Scottish warship off Duart Point, Mull, and a Clyde-built former Blue Riband-winning Cunard liner. This summer, the Scheduling, Marine and Battlefields team will be visiting Orkney to consider the case for a Historic MPA focusing on the underwater remains of the key naval anchorage of Scapa Flow. A small number of other high priority underwater sites may also be considered between now and 2015.

Burrell and battery make the A list

A Fife twin gun battery and an outstanding Glasgow museum are two of the latest buildings recognised through listing


he Carlingnose former twin gun battery at North Queensferry, Fife is a remarkable survival of pre-First World War coastal defences in Scotland. Operational from 1902, the battery was an early and important part of an inner line of defence across the Firth of Forth. The Burrell Collection in Glasgow is an outstanding bespoke museum commission of international importance, and is

arguably Scotland’s best 1970s architectural design, and possibly one of the UK’s most impressive buildings of the period. Although completely different in form and function, both the battery and the museum are considered to be of national importance and have been awarded Category A-status. See the listed building record on the revamped search facility at

Consultation for great wall


Public asked to comment on proposed management plan for former Roman frontier Communities along the Antonine Wall (pictured right) are being encouraged to play their part in finalising the new five-year management plan for the World Heritage Site. The 12-week consultation, led by Historic Scotland and the five local authorities through which the wall runs, seeks to encourage communities and all interested parties to comment on a draft management plan drawn up last year. Stretching from Bo’ness on the River Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde, the 60km Antonine Wall was once the most northerly frontier of the Roman Empire.

The wall became a World Heritage Site in 2008 and since then significant progress has been made to protect and promote it. The next five-year plan aims to build on this and continue the momentum that has been created. The public consultation will close on 28 June 2013 and the draft plan can be viewed and downloaded at antonineconsultation Comments can also be submitted via or by post to Patricia Weeks, Historic Scotland, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SH.

historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 11


History under the High Street A new series of publications unearths Perth’s buried treasures and sheds light on life in medieval Scotland Some of you may remember Scotland’s first ‘Big Dig’ – the excavation on the present site of Marks and Spencer on Perth High Street from 1975–77. It was here that we saw for the first time in Scotland just how rich the archaeology of our towns can be. After much anticipation, Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee (TAFAC), with Historic Scotland support, has published the results of the project. The 1975–77 Perth High Street excavation was unique in the high quality of its artefacts and environmental evidence, providing a remarkably detailed picture of domestic and commercial life within a medieval Scottish burgh. A huge number of intriguing objects were found preserved in the waterlogged soil – including a French wine barrel, silk fabric and over 6,000 pieces of leather alone. The project has been published in four fascinating volumes, covering subjects such as the excavation process, history of the area and archaeological finds in metal and ceramics. Single volumes cost £15 each (plus £6 p&p) or £40 for all four (plus £12 p&p) and can be obtained from TAFAC, c/o Derek Hall, 34 Glenfarg Terrace, Perth PH2 OAP, or email Derek.hall1@blueyonder. for more information.

Perth is a treasure trove of archaeological finds

c om pe t i t ion

Artists’ impressions

Now in its third edition, Scottish Painting: 1837 to the Present by William Hardie is an authoritative account of skilful Scots’ brushwork. Beautiful illustrations show how groups such as the Glasgow Boys and the Colourists revolutionised painting with a keen sense of innovation and imagination. We have four copies to offer our readers. PRIZE QUESTION: Which of the Scottish Colourists has a gallery named after him in Perth? l For your chance to win, post your answer and details to Scottish Painting Competition, Think Scotland, 20-23 Woodside Place, Glasgow, G3 7QF, or email (with ‘Scottish Painting Competition’ in the subject line). The closing date for entries is 19 July 2013. LAST ISSUE’S COMPETITION ANSWERS AND WINNERS are AS FOLLOWS DECADES AND HISTORY Aleister Crowley was the correct answer as given by Iain Wilkinson, S Clarke, Isobel Dickson, Ray Heyworth, P Caswell,

David McVey FAUNA SCOTLAND The answer was a robin. Well done Jeffrey Thomas, Margaret Milne, Stuart Burnet,

Barbara Davidson, Joy Gladstone COUNTRY FAMILY The answer was MacphersonGrants. Well done Mary Jarvie

Go with the flow at Linlithgow Canal cruising offers a special view of this historic town



hile the palace ruins and large loch may be Linlithgow’s most well-known landmarks, another body of water close by is also worth discovering. Linlithgow Canal Centre presents an excellent introduction to the heritage and wildlife of the town’s waterways. 12 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

Visitors can take a canal boat to the magnificent Avon Aqueduct or find out how important canals used to be to working life in the only canal museum in Scotland. Budding skippers can also take the helm of the Leamington, a self-drive hire boat. l For more details on the Canal Centre visit

canal survey

Scotland’s historic canal network comprises the Union, Forth and Clyde, Caledonian and Crinan canals. This year and next, Historic Scotland’s Listing and Designed Landscapes Team will be conducting a survey of buildings associated with canals in Scotland, including former workers’ cottages, bridges and aqueducts. For more information visit


Birds, buildings, battlefields… Send us your best shot for your chance to win an iPad mini

2013 Photography competition


any Historic Scotland members are better than average photographers. Perhaps there is something in admiring attractions from our past that goes hand in hand with the ability to frame a good shot. With the return of our popular photography competition, we are once again giving you the chance to show off your photographic prowess.

j mcneilage, DAVID COLEMAN


JUNIOR: Photographs taken in and around Historic Scotland properties by children under the age of 16. PROPERTIES: Shots of, or showing individual features of, castles, cathedrals, mills, chapels, barracks or any other properties under Historic Scotland’s care. WILDLIFE: Snaps of the natural world in and around our properties.

How to enter

Please ensure each entry is labelled with your name, address, telephone number,

From castles to cats, past winners have captured Scotland’s heritage on camera

membership number and email and the name of the property where the photo was taken. You must be 8 or over to enter and all entries by under 16s should be marked accordingly. To enter email your photographs to, or send digital images on CD to

Historic Scotland Photography Competition, Think, 20-23 Woodside Place, Glasgow G3 7QF. The closing date for entries is 18 October 2013. Images will be judged by a panel made up of the Historic Scotland membership and photographic teams, and the editor and publisher of Historic Scotland magazine.



1. An entrant can submit a maximum of three photographs. 2. Entries must be taken in or near Historic Scotland locations. 3. All images must be submitted as digital files. 4. Digital images should be high resolution and submitted by email or on CD. Each image should not exceed 6MB in size. 5. Images may be enhanced only to remove spots or scratches. 6. All entries are sent at the photographer’s risk and Historic Scotland cannot accept liability for damage or loss. Entries will not be returned to entrants. All photos must be legally obtained, with permission if appropriate. 7. Entrants must be the sole author and owner of copyright for all images entered. 8. Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. Where an image is used, the photographer will be credited. However, in consideration of entering the competition, each entrant grants Historic Scotland a licence to feature competition images in the publication, web site or promotional material connected to Historic Scotland. 9. The competition is not open to employees of Historic Scotland or Think. 10. Winners will be notified by 11 April 2014. 11. Historic Scotland reserves the right to cancel this competition or alter any of the rules, if necessary. 12. If the winner is unable to be contacted after reasonable attempts, Historic Scotland reserves the right to either offer the prize to a runner up or to re-offer the prize in any future competition. 13. These rules are governed by the laws of Scotland. 14. The decision of the judges is final. 15. Stirling Castle tour to be redeemed by 31 December 2014 at a time agreed by both parties. 16. The first prize includes an iPad mini. The prize is subject to availability. If, for any reason, it becomes unavailable we reserve the right to supply a suitable alternative prize of similar value. 17. Entrants must be a Historic Scotland member or, in the Junior category, their parent/guardian must be a Historic Scotland member.

Each category winner will receive a year’s renewal membership to Historic Scotland. The overall winner will also receive a tour for four people around Stirling Castle and an iPad mini. The winners will be announced in the spring 2014 issue of Historic Scotland.

THE CHAPTER HOUSE On the east range of the cloister, the chapter house is one of the earliest surviving structures. This was where the abbey’s business was conducted.

THE 15TH-CENTURY CHURCH Little of the replacement church remains. The vaulted south transept, which seems to defy gravity, is the most substantial survival.

14 | historic scotland | SPRING 2012

THE 12TH-CENTURY CHURCH Parts of the first church still stand, including the bell tower and the nave. In the 1400s, it was adapted to provide domestic accommodation for the abbey, and was no longer used as a church.

THE CLOISTER The best-preserved medieval cloister in Scotland. The main domestic buildings of the abbey are arranged around a central garth (enclosed quadrangle) which is surrounded by a barrel-vaulted cloister walk. The upper level of the cloister contained the dormitory, refectory, kitchen, warming house and guest accommodation.

Spotlight on

A bird’s-eye view of these wonderful monastic buildings

THE HERMIT’S CELL This small stone building is said to be where Alexander I took shelter in 1123, though the present structure is later.


TIMELINE 1123 King Alexander I and some of his courtiers are forced to take shelter in Inchcolm. He vows to build a monastery on the island About 1200 A bell tower is raised above the original chancel and an extension added to the east 1228 Prior Henry is appointed. Seven years later he becomes Inchcolm Abbey’s first abbot 1385 The abbey is ransacked by English plunderers. They are later apprehended by Scottish knights 1924 The now ruined abbey is placed into state care historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 15



nchcolm means ‘Columba’s Isle’, though the ‘Iona of the east’ has no known link with St Columba. The island is dominated by its dramatically located abbey complex, which features the best-preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland. The Augustinian canons settled here in the early 12th century, enjoying the island’s isolation and tranquillity. However, its location in the Firth of Forth also made it a target for English naval raids throughout the wars with England from the 14th to the mid-16th century. The brethren increasingly spent more time ashore in Fife. After the Protestant Reformation of 1560 brought monastic life to an end, the island continued to serve in the defence of the country right up to the Second World War. The island’s remains testify to this history of conflict as well as the history of the medieval church in Scotland.


Picture t his


Throughout the centuries, many of the properties in Historic Scotland’s care have stirred the spirits of artists, inspiring them to capture beautiful landscapes and momentous events

16 | historic scotland | Summer 2013



asily identifiable to modern eyes, Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline and overshadows some of the lively bartering taking place in this imaginative view of an 18th-century fair. An accomplished mapmaker turned landscape painter, Paul Sandby was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy whose skills were applauded by fellow artists such as Thomas Gainsborough. Sandby delighted in sketching people as well as places and the scene is full of colourful

characters. A strong army presence is also evident in the numerous red coats dotted around the composition. Some of the soldiers pictured may well have taken part in the last military action at Edinburgh Castle during the second Jacobite rising of 1745. Although Bonnie Prince Charlie took the city without a fight, their lack of heavy guns meant the castle held out easily, remaining in the hands of the ageing deputy governor, General George Preston.



A sculptural landscape is captured with a sculptor’s eye in Michael Ayrton’s rendition of this most celebrated prehistoric settlement. The painting depicts Skara Brae on Orkney, the Neolithic village that had been hidden in the sand dunes for over 40 centuries before it was uncovered by a violent storm in 1850. Laid bare by tempestuous weather and archaeological excavation, the site holds the priceless remnants of a tightly knit farming community. The reason for its remarkable survival can be seen in Ayrton’s geometric brushstrokes conveying the large stone slab walls set into clay soil in a semi-subterranean design. A respected painter, sculptor and novelist, Ayrton wrote and created many works associated with the myths of Daedalus, the legendary inventor and maze builder. It’s possible that he saw parallels between Skara Brae’s ancient intertwining underground chambers and Daedalus’s great Cretan labyrinth.


This spectacular view of Tantallon Castle in East Lothian illustrates Alexander Nasmyth’s talents in producing panoramic views of great Scottish seats of power coupled with sweeping romanticism. He is generally regarded as one of Scotland’s most important landscape painters but also lent his fine tastes to landscape gardening and architecture.



The dramatic setting of Castle Campbell high and alone in the Ochil Hills is vividly realised here by the Scottish painter James McIntosh Patrick. The castle was the lowland stronghold of the powerful Campbell earls of Argyll who were seldom far from the major political and religious events of late medieval Scotland. The execution of the eighth earl in 1661 effectively ended the castle’s days as a noble residence. While it’s also been called ‘Castle Gloom’, this bold painting shines some bright sunlight on one of the best-preserved tower houses in Scotland. Patrick was celebrated for his finely observed paintings of the Angus landscape and Dundee, which, as in this example, are often very wide in scope and meticulously detailed. 18 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

The Scottish architect and painter John Anderson Bell brought a deft touch to picturing the abbey’s ivyclad ruins which are expertly reproduced here by William Miller

Nasmyth’s choice of subject probably reflected his creative response to the immense reputation of Sir Walter Scott, whose epic poem Marmion (1808) celebrated the historical associations of Tantallon. Built in the 1350s by a nobleman at the height of his power, Tantallon Castle was the seat of the Douglas earls of Angus, one of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland. Tantallon’s end came in 1651, when Oliver Cromwell’s army laid siege to the castle, resulting in such devastating destruction that the mighty medieval fortress was abandoned.

While it’s also been called ‘Castle Gloom’, this bold painting shines some bright sunlight on one of the best-preserved tower houses in Scotland


There’s a fittingly melancholic and contemplative atmosphere to this engraving of the final resting place of Sir Walter Scott at Dryburgh Abbey. The Scottish architect and painter John Anderson Bell brought a deft touch to picturing the abbey’s ivy-clad ruins which are expertly reproduced here by William Miller, a Scottish Quaker who was one of the principal engravers of JMW Turner. Nestled in wooded seclusion beside the River Tweed, Dryburgh Abbey was established in 1150 by the white-clad Premonstratensian canons, originally from Laon in northern France. Dryburgh never quite aspired to the heights of wealth and inf luence achieved by its neighbours at Kelso, Jedburgh and Melrose, and on the whole the monastic life was lived out quietly. historic scotland | summer 2013 | 19


The founding father of the Pre-Raphaelites, John Everett Millais, evocatively illustrates in this painting the ruinous state of what was once one of Scotland’s largest strongholds. Urquhart Castle, on the banks of Loch Ness, witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress and its history from the 13th to the 17th century was particularly bloody.


Joseph Mallord William Turner is perhaps the bestloved English Romantic artist. His depictions of sunlight and ships adrift in boiling seas influenced many

artists in the 19th century and set the course for modern painting. A notable example of his work drawn from Scotland is a painting of Linlithgow Palace dated 1806-07. The favourite residence of James V and the birthplace of Mary

The castle passed back and forth between Scottish and English control and when the last soldiers marched out in 1692, they blew it up. The only forces that lay siege to the castle in Millais’s landscape, however, are a man navigating a rowboat across the loch and a leaden sky overhead. A pioneering British painter, Millais is perhaps best known for his painting of Hamlet’s Ophelia, shown singing in a river just before she drowns, which is celebrated as a masterpiece of tragi-romantic art. Queen of Scots fascinated Turner and he sketched Linlithgow extensively on his tour of 1801. The painting is full of classical notes with trees framing the foreground and the palace’s silhouette rising out of a blue haze in the middle distance. Bathing nymphs are, however, a less recognisable sight for Linlithgow’s visitors today. Expeditions north of the border proved especially fruitful for Turner and he had a close association with Sir Walter Scott, providing a series of watercolours in 1831 to illustrate a new edition of Scott’s Poetical Works. One excellent watercolour resulting from this commission

shows Caerlaverock Castle (pictured), dominating the rolling pastoral scenery of Dumfries and Galloway. Based on extensive sketches, Turner presents a view of the grand castle gatehouse with its flanking cylindrical towers, and an early evening moon and its reflection in the mouth of the River Nith in the distance. Instead of a wooden bridge or drawbridge crossing the moat to the gatehouse, the crossing was, in Turner’s time, filled in with a mound of earth. Now hanging in Aberdeen Art Gallery, the painting provides an intriguing insight into the collaborative efforts of two of Britain’s greatest creative minds.

historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 21

aberdeen art gallery



Catastrophe to Crown Former Stirling Castle Artist in Residence Iona Leishman on her latest Historic Scotland exhibition, which focuses on the Battle of Flodden in 1513

...The Flooers of the Forest, that focht aye the foremost The prime o our land, lie cauld in the clay ...The Flooers of the Forest are a’ wede awa.


aken from the fragment of an ancient ballad, these mournful lines lament the death of James IV at Flodden, Northumberland, in September 1513. The last British monarch to die in battle, he was one of around 10,000 men who lost their lives at Flodden. They were indeed Scotland’s ‘Flowers of the Forest’. Marking five centuries since the Scots invaded England to support their French allies, Stirling Castle’s series of commemorative events in September will include an exhibition of my new paintings entitled ‘Catastrophe to Crown’, which is my most challenging exhibition to date. Since being asked by the Stirling Castle team to contribute to their commemorative events, many of my waking hours have been filled with visions of a war that took place 500 years ago. As my work takes me between portraying the clatter of combat to more contemplative painting, my intention is to present a body of work that represents both war and peace. My aim is to express a visceral reaction to the battle and its aftermath. From the outset, I knew I wanted to depict the emotional struggle of conflict by imagining the terror of pitched battle. 22 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

As I painted I was reminded of the line, ‘my subject is of war and the pity of war’ written by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen. Although he wasn’t writing specifically about Flodden, it helped me visualise some sense of the horror for the battling men and the terrified horses of the conflict, and provoked in me a compassion for a frightened, grieving country. Through various works I am creating for this exhibition, I am imagining the loss, annihilation and panic that ensued on that fateful day, in September 1513.

Defeat At Flodden

This first piece was inspired by Alison Gean, a historian friend of mine as she described the ferocity of hand-to-hand combat that prevented the Scots from retrieving James IV’s body. Through her words I felt the heat and tumult of battle come to me. Working on a large scale (the painting is 122cm x 122cm), the struggling figures against fiery reds and yellow give way to a muted palate against which grief and disbelief are played out over a suggested outline of Scotland’s border and eastern coastline. Defeated men pay homage to their dead king as he fades into the eternal horizon and the younger man, the king’s heir, red-haired James V, comes into focus, belligerent and angry with his father. The king was dead, long live the king.

The pity of war

In this painting, James IV’s face stares out beneath a bristling sprawl of men and horses, pikes, bills and swords. An animal rears in fear as the rider slumps lifelessly across its withers. The king’s expression is of utter dismay at the carnage he has unleashed. I let the painting take its course around that central image. As I worked on the fight, I was aware of a lone figure on a horse on the right flank of the painting and knew him to be the sole survivor from the 70 men of Ettrick Forest who went out for the king at Flodden.


About Iona Leishman Iona was Historic Scotland’s first Artist in Residence, based at Stirling Castle from 2011 to 2012. She is now in residence at Cowane’s Hospital in Stirling’s Top of the Town.

Focusing on the coronation paintings that also form part of the exhibition, I turned to a former colleague at Stirling Castle, steward David Frame, to get an idea of just what the Chapel Royal would have been like in 1513 at the time of James V’s coronation. It was wonderful hearing an enthusiast talking as if he had been there himself. He brought in to clear view for me the opulence of the interior, the soaring stained glass, the richness of the gold and silver fixtures. David was able to provide me with names and faces for the congregation that was brought together to witness the coronation of the new king. From our discussion was borne the painting ‘Coronation’. I imagined the disbelief that this crowning was happening at all. The country was in fear and tumult, the king was a toddler and there were many factions vying for supremacy at court.

The Child King

The tragedy of the young monarch, James V, is represented in ‘The Child King’, where the highly decorative work of the Scottish artist Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh (wife of renowned Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh) was in my mind as I painted. All around the vulnerable little child are great swooping figures, one kneeling in obeisance. The child’s legs dangling over the edge of the throne emphasise his defencelessness. Clockwise from top left: The battle rages in ‘Defeat at Flodden’, a detail from ‘The Pity of War’, the young monarch in ‘The Child King’ and the new king in ‘Coronation’

See page 52 for details of the exhibition historic scotland | summer 2013 | 23


Re-encountering the spirit O Cleaning trials of a historic canvas bode well for conservation of an artist’s masterpiece

n display at Trinity House, Leith, ‘Vasco da Gama Encountering the Spirit of the Storm’ by David Scott takes up almost an entire wall of the Convening Room. Scott is renowned for large moody canvases and Vasco da Gama is possibly his largest – and most ambitious. It portrays the famous historical event of the eponymous Portuguese explorer rounding the Cape of Good Hope en route to India to open up trading routes. Scott worked from a large studio he had built at Easter Dalry, Edinburgh and he painted large historical works depicting biblical or mythological subjects. His later years were doom-laden, marked by unrequited love and illness. Scott’s work met harsh criticism throughout his career and he died in 1849, at 43.

24 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

Since it was first painted in 1842, the ‘Vasco da Gama’ canvas has darkened considerably through the deterioration of heavily applied varnish layers. Most of the fine original detailing is near impossible to see and the tonal values do not represent what Scott intended. Naturally, this has a detrimental impact on the public’s appreciation of this fine work. As such, in December Historic Scotland’s Collections Unit and Painting Conservators spent two weeks examining the painting, culminating in a series of successful cleaning trials. It is hoped that as a result of these trials, Historic Scotland will be able to conserve this painting and return it to its former glory. In order to do so, it would need to be cleaned in situ via a mobile scaffolding tower before being

Top: Historic Scotland Paintings Conservator, Damiana Magris undertaking cleaning trials. Above: David Scott’s ambitious artwork

lowered to the floor and restretched. This would be a lengthy process and it is important that any approach to cleaning is continually assessed throughout the conservation process. Trinity House is open Monday to Friday (pre-booked guided tour only). Call 0131 554 3289 or visit

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Deep roots Scotland’s woodland heritage is a window into how we once used the land, reveals Historic Scotland’s Bob Tevendale



hat do Cadzow Castle, Dryburgh Abbey, Seabegs Wood on the Antonine Wall and Inchmahome Priory all have in common? Apart from being Historic Scotland properties, they all have trees or associated woodland of great natural and cultural significance. Cadzow Castle sits within an oak wood, consisting of some 300 trees of considerable age. King David I is believed to have planted the oaks in the 12th century to improve the hunting and they are now a rare example of medieval wood pasture. Being open parkland, the trees are far enough apart to allow grass to grow well so that animals can graze there, while the trees give shelter and wood products. In addition to their historical interest, the oaks provide a wonderful habitat for many rare and endangered invertebrates and other wildlife. Sitting in the middle of the Lake of Menteith is the well-wooded island of Inchmahome. Within the woodland is Inchmahome Priory, once home to Augustinian canons. It is steeped in history, notably providing refuge for the four-year-old Mary Queen of 26 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

Dryburgh has some of the finest examples of cedars in Scotland

Scots following the Scots defeat at the Battle of Pinkie. Many fine specimen exotics, including giant sequoia and Douglas fir, were planted in the woodland surrounding the priory in the 18th century at a time when better public transport made Inchmahome Priory a popular attraction as a romantic and picturesque sepulchral ruin. Originally, however, the canons would have largely cleared the island of woodland, probably retaining some hazel coppice both for shelter and for a source of timber. (Coppicing is the management of trees for wood, cutting at ground level every few years to harvest timber.) The canons were on the island from the early 13th century to the early 16th century and hazel is



Wild garlic

still very much in evidence around the perimeter. Some time during the canons’ tenure the island was divided by a walkway known as the Nun’s Walk. To the west remained the canons’ grounds, while the east was landscaped to form the garden of the Earl of Menteith. The Earl’s principal residence was on the adjacent island of Inch Talla, which was too small to have a garden. At this time the Spanish chestnuts, which border each end of the Nun’s Walk, were planted. Among the finest veteran trees in Scotland, the chestnuts’ heavily gnarled and twisted trunks abound with character. Reckoned to be over 400 years old, they are showing many signs of age, being hollow and decayed but are very

Inchmahome boasts many ancient trees, including some gnarled veteran Spanish chestnuts (below)


Anemone flowering

The wet woodland at Seabegs makes it an ideal habitat for rare insects

much alive and well. Spring visitors should take care as nesting geese use the hollow trunks and father goose is very protective. The trees associated with Dryburgh Abbey are of similar character to those found at Inchmahome. They were largely planted during the late 18th and 19th century to complement the

abbey as a romantic ruin and to form a landscape feature. Dryburgh now has some of the finest, and largest, examples of the exotic cedar of Lebanon and Atlas cedar to be found anywhere in Scotland. The property is also home to the Dryburgh yew, a tree that was supposedly planted by monks in 1136, pre-dating the abbey and nearly 900 years old. Because of its relatively modest girth there has been some discussion as to whether it really can be this old, although yew trees are notoriously difficult to date. Seabegs Wood is one of the sites along the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site. The east end consists of an area of semi-natural ancient woodland that has been in existence for as long as records

show. Some plant species do not spread well, and their presence is evidence that the woodland is very old. Among these varieties found throughout Seabegs Wood are bluebells, wood sorrel and honeysuckle. Seabegs is also important in that it has very poor drainage, and as a result there is a lot of standing water throughout. Not only did this probably save the woodland from cultivation, as it would have been unsuitable for agriculture, but wet woodland is an ideal home for many rare insects. This makes it an important habitat, and the biodiversity of Seabegs Wood is probably one of the highest in the Historic Scotland estate. Follow Bob’s blog at yearofnatural. historic scotland | summer 2013 | 27

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Cooling down for summer It was the time of year when the Bonawe Iron Furnace workforce downed tools and turned off the heat, bringing production to a standstill for a well-deserved break. Chris Tabraham tells us about the yearly cycle of one of his favourite Historic Scotland properties


ummertime, and the livin’ is easy,’ goes the song from Porgy and Bess. It certainly must have felt that way for the workmen at Bonawe Iron Furnace on the southern shore of Loch Etive in Argyll. Since autumn of the previous year they would have toiled non-stop, round the clock, casting iron for an increasingly hungry market. Now, with the coming of summer, they could switch off, cool down and spend more time with their families.

But while the furnacemen attended to the less stressful work of relining the furnace and repairing or replacing wornout machinery, it was the turn of the colliers to ‘bust a gut’, replenishing the depleted stocks of charcoal that fuelled the whole process. During those summer months there could be as many as 600 of them labouring in the company’s extensive woodlands making charcoal. For Bonawe to produce 700 tons of iron per year it required roughly 1,400 tons of

charcoal. For sustained operation it’s estimated Bonawe would have needed at least 10,000 acres of deciduous woodland – that’s around 5,000 football pitches. With the return of autumn, it was back to business for the furnacemen. With the furnace stack relined, the charcoal and iron ore sheds stacked to the rafters, and the River Awe rushing again after the late summer rains, everything was ready for ‘blast off’ once more. When in full swing, the Bonawe Furnace’s stock-in-trade was pig iron. ‘Pigs’ were one-metre long bars of rough cast iron that were shipped to markets elsewhere in the British Isles for forging into finished products. The only finished products actually made at Bonawe were cannonballs for the army and navy. Picture the scene as blasting commenced. The barrowmen – historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 29


wheelbarrows piled high with iron ore, charcoal and limestone – scurry from the storage sheds to the charging house where the bridge-servers weigh the contents of the wheelbarrows before tipping them into the furnace mouth. And in the casting house far below, the furnacemen tap the molten iron from the hearth, their fevered brows beaded with sweat. All the while the great iron waterwheel turns ceaselessly and the giant leather bellows in the blowing house rise and fall, blasting huge lungfuls of cold air into the furnace. It was thirsty work, and the men would have looked forward to their ale at the end of their 12-hour shift. The trouble was they liked their drink a bit too much. ‘Put a stop, if possible, to that confounded drinking,’ wrote the company director George Knott to a colleague following his annual visit in 1782, ‘for I believe there is not such another drunken hole in the kingdom!’


furnace facts

The blasting went on continuously throughout the long winter months and well into the following spring. In 1788 the furnace stayed in blast for almost the entire year, producing a massive 700 tons of pig iron. Even in dry spells, when the water level in the River Awe was low, it wasn’t unknown for the men to propel the waterwheel themselves, in the manner of a treadmill. Making iron was a dangerous business. Diderot’s Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, published in 1763, ten years after Bonawe was set up, likened the iron furnace to ‘a stomach which demands feeding steadily, regularly and endlessly. It is subject to change in behaviour through lack of nourishment, to indigestion and embarrassing eruptions through too rich or voluminous a diet’. So volatile was the process that the iron founder and his deputy took turns being in constant attendance. They even had a little sleeping-room, squeezed into the gap between furnace and charging house. We know little about the workforce, but we can assume one thing – most 30 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

My Bonawe Bonawe has a special place in my affections. Shortly after it came into state care in 1973, I was asked to prepare the most complete charcoal blast furnace in the British Isles as part of a visitor attraction.

I learned so much about the place from chatting with locals and Historic Scotland stewards, and managed to acquire for the site exhibition the last remaining Bonawe ‘pig’ and Bonawe cannonball, thanks to the landowner’s son who’d found them in the grounds and used them in a school project. The slate plaque commemorating Admiral Nelson, erected by the workforce after Trafalgar in 1805, was recovered from the retired minister’s garage.

would have been English, sent north from the Furness district of what is now Cumbria by the partnership that set up Bonawe, the Newland Company based near Ulverston. Surnames such as Atkinson, Hallmire and Harrison betray their Cumbrian roots. The furnace community was tightknit and largely self-sufficient. They lived in the company’s housing, worshipped in the company’s church, sent their kids to the company’s school, shopped in the company’s store and drank in the company’s inn. We don’t know how the incoming workers got on with the local Gaelicspeaking population. We do know, however, that the company made good use of the locals as colliers. The company’s wood agent was responsible for this side of the operation. It’s doubtful he had the Gaelic, and it’s more likely he took a translator with him when recruiting in the townships. Much of the woodland lay within a day’s journey by packhorse or clog cart, including Glen Nant in the hills to the south of the furnace. Charcoal was also procured from forests as far away as Morvern and Mull, and brought to the company’s Lorn Quay by boat. The company was good at recycling. It sold the oak bark left behind by the charcoal-burners to leather tanneries on the Clyde, the charcoal dust from the

But I guess I love Bonawe most of all because it’s a little piece of my native Cumbria in Scotland. Apart from the woods and the water, pretty much everything else was shipped up from the south, including the great iron lintels, the red sandstone lintels quarried from around St Bees, and those expanses of green slate covering the storage sheds were brought from the foothills of Helvellyn. Even Lord Nelson’s plaque was made from Cumbrian slate.

Bonawe is the most complete charcoalfired ironworks in the British Isles


1735 The Newland Company opens for business near Ulverston, Cumbria 1753 The Newland Company builds Bonawe Iron Furnace 1759 The world’s first cokefired iron operation, Carron Ironworks, opens 1781 Bonawe makes cannonballs for use by the army and navy in the War of American Independence 1805 The workforce erect a monument to Admiral Nelson following his death at Trafalgar 1876 Bonawe closes after 123 years of production 1973 Bonawe is taken into state care

The sheds, which housed stocks of charcoal and iron ore

Woodland in the area was used to make charcoal

Water was channelled from River Awe to the waterwheel

1984 Magnus Magnusson, chairman of the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland, officially opens Bonawe to visitors

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e x plor e Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace Isle of Mull


BONAWE HISTORIC IRON FURNACE is by the village of Taynuilt off the A85. Open summer only

storage sheds to the Carron Ironworks, and the iron slag to an Edinburgh glass manufacturer. Today’s environmentalists would have admired their green credentials but for one basic flaw – all that carbon dioxide belching out of the furnace stack and high into the Argyllshire air. For 123 years the workforce went about their business. The wonder is that Bonawe lasted so long given the pace of technological change. Even before it was built, Abraham Darby at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire had found a way to smelt iron using coke (a cleaner form of coal) rather than charcoal as the fuel. And just six years after Bonawe went into blast in 1753, the first ironworks to use coke blast furnaces, in Carron near Falkirk, was founded.

The competition

The Carron Company that gave James Watt his first big break in 1766 and locked out Robert Burns in 1787 grew to become the largest ironworks in Europe, employing 2,000 people and casting anything from cannonballs to kitchen sinks. Burns wrote the following verse on an inn window in Carron after being refused entry: We cam na here to view your works In hopes to be mair wise, But only, lest we gang to hell, It may be nae surprise! Despite fierce competition from ironworks utilising the latest in furnace technology, including coke-fired ironworks, Bonawe continued to

We know little about the workforce, but we can assume one thing – most would have been English, sent north from the Furness district of what is now Cumbria produce iron at a viable cost, thanks chiefly to the 110-year woodland leases negotiated with two local landowners, the earl of Breadalbane and Campbell of Lochnell, back in 1752. After over a hundred years in blast Bonawe’s impressive furnace-stack fell cold for the final time. When Bonawe finally shut up shop in 1876 only two

other charcoal furnaces remained operational in Britain, both in Cumbria and run by the Newland Company. A century later, in 1973, the fascinating complex of buildings came into state care and visitors can now explore the most complete charcoalfired ironworks remaining in the British Isles.

Charcoal making in Glen Nant No visit to Bonawe is complete without a walk through Glen Nant National Nature Reserve, managed by the Forestry Commission. Dotted about along the 2.5 mile (4km) ‘Ant Trail’, under the canopy of oak and birch, you’ll see numerous hearths where the locals made charcoal for the hungry furnace. The coalers spent much of the summer in the woods, coppicing and coaling. Coppicing involved cutting down the trees and letting the stumps grow shoots that were harvested again 20 years later when they had reached around 15cm in diameter. The coalers stacked the shoots around a central stake and when the stack had reached 4.5m in diameter they covered it with turf and earth to form a clamp kiln. Taking the central stake out and lighting a fire in the centre, they left it to smoke away. Around ten days later the charcoal was ready for taking to Bonawe.

historic scotland | summer 2013 | 33


The smell of the greasepaint Historic Scotland’s Elizabeth McCrone raises the curtain on the hidden heritage of some of our most prestigious theatres Illustrations by jonathan edwards


pulent and lavish or crowded and unsanitary – Scotland’s theatres in the 19th century offered a variety of experiences for their audiences depending on the size of their wallet and their status. Step into one of these listed treasures and the atmosphere and character is a heady mix. Each has its own history, its own personality, its own triumphs and tragedies. Each has its own story to tell. Tracing Scotland’s early theatres is not an easy task. Many began as concert halls or circuses and they often passed through a bewildering succession of different owners and name changes. This was to avoid the legal restrictions placed on theatres as it was not until later in the 19th century that theatregoing became respectable. While being ‘in the limelight’ is the goal of every actor, such an ambition in the 19th century could be highly dangerous. A great number of 34 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

19th-century theatres were destroyed by fire. A combination of timber interiors, candlelight, gas lighting and limelight (produced by heating a piece of lime in a flame of burning oxygen and hydrogen) to illuminate the performance made theatres highly flammable. Fumes and heat from gas lighting also made the air quality very poor. Designed by the renowned architect David Hamilton and opened in 1805, the Theatre Royal in Queen Street, Glasgow is thought to have been the first theatre in the country to have had gas lighting installed in 1818. In 1829, it was destroyed by fire. One of our earliest surviving purpose-built theatres is the listed Theatre Royal in Dumfries, which is still in use today. As theatregoing at the time was still considered somewhat disreputable, a classical style of architecture at Dumfries helped to foster a sense of legitimacy and respectability. It opened in 1792 and was designed by a local architect, Thomas Boyd. It is thought that he took inspiration from

the Theatre Royal in Bristol and the now long-gone Shakespeare Square example in Edinburgh. The poet Robert Burns took an active role in its establishment and the building was completed at a cost of around £800.

Music halls

While some theatres sought respectability, there was a growing market in the 19th century for cheaper, less highbrow types of entertainment, especially in the cities. Influxes of workers often living in poor conditions would find escapism in music halls with their mixture of songs and comedy. Often music halls were attached to a public house, and smoking and drinking during the performance was accepted, in contrast with established theatres, which had separate bars. One of the earliest and finest surviving examples of a music hall in the UK is found in Glasgow’s Trongate. The Britannia Panopticon music hall is a rare gem, which remains full of atmosphere, with the feeling of a rowdy music-hall audience still tangible in the

auditorium. Dated 1857, it was speculatively built as a warehouse, but this proposed use was abandoned and it was turned into a music hall instead. Patrons would have sat on chairs and wooden benches, with up to 1,500 people watching at a time and several performances a day. With an interior largely composed of applied and carved timber, it is remarkable that it has survived. While the Britannia would not have been the most comfortable place to watch a performance, the music-hall tradition found a successor in variety theatre, and the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow is a luxurious example of the type. Designed in an exuberant French Baroque style, it makes a striking and distinctive contribution to the architectural character of the city. The Pavilion Theatre opened in 1904 and it remains renowned for its variety programme and pantomime season. Designed by celebrated theatre architect Bertie Crewe (c.1860–1937), it is one of the country’s best surviving Edwardian theatres.

A great number of 19th-century theatres were destroyed by fire. A combination of timber interiors, candlelight, gas lighting and limelight (produced by heating a piece of lime in a flame of burning oxygen and hydrogen) to illuminate the performance made theatres highly flammable The Victorian and Edwardian period saw theatre building evolve into an architectural specialism. Legislation to reduce the risk of fire by including fire exits and escape routes was introduced. Electric lighting and the safety curtain further reduced the risk. For the wealthier theatregoer, plush upholstered seats replaced wooden benches, and ornate gilded plasterwork for the auditorium and public spaces became the norm. The proscenium arch, the structure that frames the stage, became very decorative. Gas, followed by electric, lighting allowed for

sparkling interiors where the bright lights reflected off the gilding, mirrors and elaborate chandeliers. The wealthy could choose to occupy expensive boxes, which were designed to flank the stage and, while they did not offer the best view of the performance, they gave their users an opportunity to be seen by the audience. The middle classes could sit at the front of the stalls, divided from the cheaper seats in the rear stalls (also known as the pit) and in the balcony. Lit by electricity from its outset in 1883, the Category A-listed Royal historic scotland | summer 2013 | 35



Left: Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow; Bottom left: Eden Court Theatre, Inverness; Bottom right: Edinburgh Playhouse; Below: Britannia Panopticon

Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh is an excellent example of the skill of a specialist theatre architect. Designed by Charles John Phipps (1835–97) in a classical style in keeping with the predominant architecture of the city, it was built at a cost of £17,000.

These fabulous buildings still shine brightly and add life to our streets

multipurpose venues

their audiences, particularly when faced with competition from television. Many theatres were demolished at this time or converted to other uses. The first completely new, full-scale theatre to be built in Scotland within approximately 50 years was constructed in Inverness. Eden Court Theatre opened in 1976 and was designed by Graham Law of Law & DunbarNasmith architects in collaboration with theatre consultant John Wyckham. Composed of hexagonal glass walls with slated pitched roofs, the internal spaces make use of the dramatic views of the River Ness. When built it was

In the early 20th century, theatre buildings began to be multifunctional. The immediate popularity of cinema made it expedient for any theatre to be equipped to show films as well as put on live performances. The Playhouse in Edinburgh is a significant and rare example of just such an early dual-purpose super theatrecinema. The well-known cinema architect John Fairweather (1867–1942) constructed it on a huge scale, along the lines of similar theatres built in New York. Opened in 1929, the Edinburgh Playhouse is particularly important for its opulent interior décor, which remains substantially intact. In the second half of the 20th century, entertainment venues struggled to retain 36 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

one of the first high-status, large, modernist buildings in the Highlands and in 1977 it won a Royal Institute of British Architects Award. Eden Court Theatre was tailored to accommodate orchestral and chamber concerts, opera, ballet, drama, conferences, dances and films. In contrast to other types of modern theatre, it was designed with a traditional three-tiered auditorium, a significant factor in making the venue so flexible. While limelight no longer illuminates the performances, these fabulous buildings still shine brightly and add life to our streets. The next time you visit the theatre, remember to look beyond the action onstage to discover a few of the fascinating acts that have been played out in its grand design and architecture. Find out more about our theatre heritage in our free publication, Acting with Confidence: Scotland’s Theatre Architecture, available to download at uk/actingwithconfidence.pdf

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The opening clash


RIse Of THe ReD DevILs

The Bruneval raid, 1942


IMPHAL, 1944 The forgotten army’s struggle for Burma

HISTORY June 2013 | Issue 33 | £3.95


Richard III | Gettysburg Part Two | Rise of the Red Devils | Imphal, 1944

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June 2013 | Issue 32

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he King was unhorsed, isolated, surrounded by enemies, and without the protection of a helmet. His desperate gamble had failed. He had reached the heart of Henry Tudor’s battle-line only to find himself alone against the personal retinue of his rival. Though still young and an experienced soldier in an age when kings fought in the line, he was lightly built and disabled. He was, as Shakespeare said, ‘not shaped for sportive tricks’. Yet now, on the field of Bosworth, on the morning of 22 August 1485, he faced a visceral hand-to-hand struggle against the odds for both his life and his crown. The Lancastrian military elite confronting him would have been encased in plate-armour weighing around 60lbs. They would have carried lances, swords, pole-axes, and war-hammers – weapons designed to bore through or batter their enemies’ plate-armour. The risk to a surrounded man who had lost his helmet was extreme. Even so, the cornered King remained dangerous as long as he was on his feet. Close-quarters fighting was hardly ever the swashbuckling fury depicted in movies. It was heavily defensive, with men keeping their distance, their guard up, lunging forwards only occasionally when sensing an opening. Kills were slow in coming and rarely clean. So it was now, as Henry Tudor’s leading henchmen massed around the Yorkist king…

the final moments of



Caroline von Schmalensee follows her story writer’s muse to Mull and Iona


caroline von schmalensee

magination only gets you so far. I was writing a short historical story set on a Scottish island and knew I had to see with my own eyes the intricacies of the kind of landscape I wanted to describe. What’s more I needed to experience, as best I could, what living on a small island in days gone by was actually like. I had, of course, already researched island life on the internet and ‘f lown’ over Islay and Mull countless times (courtesy of Google Maps). But that wasn’t enough. That didn’t bring me into contact with the sounds and smells of these places.

38 | historic scotland | AUTUMN 2012

Of the Scottish islands, Mull, and its little sister Iona, are among the easiest to get to. So booking a ferry crossing was straightforward. One Friday I asked my partner, Christopher, to pack the car and off we set. Our first close encounter with history came just outside Oban.

Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

Sitting on a promontory overlooking the Firth of Lorn, a few minutes’ drive from Oban, Dunstaffnage Castle is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland.

It guards the seaward approach from the Firth of Lorn to the Pass of Brander – and thereby the heart of Scotland. Its martial heritage is immediately obvious. Its perimeter wall is tall and, as you walk towards it from the car park, there appears to be no weaknesses to speak of – not even an entrance. As we got closer though, we noticed stairs on the side of the wall. The entrance was half-way up. Dunstaffnage has played a role in the history of Scotland and Argyll for centuries. But despite its place in

out and about

historical events, I was more interested in getting a sense of the geography of the place: the changes to the building and how people lived there. And of course the best way to do that is to walk among the ruins. So after examining a model of the castle as it once looked, we walked up the stone stairs, through a narrow passage and emerged in the castle courtyard, which is enclosed by the curtain wall with its three mighty towers. The donjon, the largest of the towers added after the original wall, is where the lord of the castle had his rooms. Although the etymology is not quite clear, we know that the word ‘donjon’ is related to ‘dungeon’ and donjons could sometimes be used as a place to incarcerate high-status prisoners. For those prisoners deemed more ‘ordinary’, the castle had a pit prison, situated in the west tower. When you stand inside the towers it’s difficult to imagine people living there in any kind of comfort, yet when in

Dunstaffnage Castle is one of our oldest stone castles. It guards the heart of Scotland use as a residence the rooms would have been lavishly decorated. This was in fact a comfortable residence, a place where business could be conducted and entertainment would take place.

Moving along, stairs took us up to the wall walk and along the gatehouse’s top f loor where we could take in a view that stretched for miles. Our next stop was the gatehouse, which was home to the castle’s captain. Apparently, the first captain was appointed in 1502. It was their job to keep the castle in readiness for conf lict and look after it. And this they did. Through wars and risings, Dunstaffnage’s captains have served the dukes of Argyll and left their mark on the castle. The ‘new house’, a two-storey family home, leans against the curtain wall on the north-west side of the courtyard. All that remains today are the outer walls and two chimneys. But high up on the back wall we saw the seats for the beams that held up the second floor. An elegant fireplace floated alone on another wall. It’s the kind of image that feeds a writer’s muse. In the woods, surrounded by mossclad trees, some 150 yards from the castle, sits Dunstaffnage Chapel.

The approach to Iona Abbey from the ferry

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out and about

The abbey church was restored in the early 1900s

Although as ruined as the castle it once served, it has a very different atmosphere. The castle is martial and imposing; the chapel is light and uplifting. Once, the walls and windows were decorated and the lords in the castle would have worshipped here. After a moment to admire, we returned to the car and drove into Oban to catch the ferry to Mull.

Iona Abbey and Nunnery

A trip to Mull without visiting Iona is unthinkable. This is where St Columba settled with his 12 followers in 563, to spearhead the spread of Christianity across Scotland. The Iona Community,

The abbey was founded 1,450 years ago by St Columba an ecumenical Christian community, moved to the island in the 1930s and still lives and works here. The ten-minute ferry crossing gave us some wonderful views of Iona Abbey. It was a sunny day with one, persistent, cloud shading the building.

It gave it a serious look: grey stone walls, sombre against the green grass and blue sky. On the way to the abbey, we visited the ruins of the Iona Nunnery. The church here is well preserved and boasts the same type of tall, elegant windows that we saw at Dunstaffnage Chapel. The nuns on Iona followed St Augustine and wore black habits so the nunnery church was known as the ‘black church’. In the sun, it looks anything but. I walked the cloisters, listening to crows cawing and

Timeline: Dunstaffnage Castle Circa 1220 Dunstaffnage Castle is built, probably by Duncan MacDougall

1309 King Robert I (the Bruce) captures the castle after defeating Macdougall forces at the Pass of Brander

1652–60 Cromwell’s Roundheads garrison the castle in the third civil war

1685 The marquess of Atholl burns out the castle after the rising against James VII (right), started by Archibald, ninth earl of Argyll, collapses

1810 The castle is devastated by fire and the hereditary captains move out. Tenants remain in the ‘new house’

1912 The Court of Session rules the captain is the hereditary keeper of Dunstaffnage Castle and has right of residence

historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 41

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We visited the cloisters to see the beautifully carved grave slabs of West Highland Gaelic chiefs, who were laid to rest in the sacred soil of their ancestors imagining solemn women in black walking the same path. The abbey was still under a gloom when we left the nunnery and continued along the traditional pilgrim route, ‘Street of the Dead’, or Sràid nam Marbh. But as we got closer, the persistent cloud lifted and Iona Abbey welcomed us with a golden glow. The monastic community was founded 1,450 years ago by St Columba. It suffered Viking raids in the early 800s, and many monks were martyred. By 1164, Somerled had gained control of the island; his family then took up patronage of the abbey. In 1203, his son Reginald built a Benedictine church on the site. This was extended in the 15th century before being dismantled and abandoned during the Scottish reformation. In 1899 the Duke of Argyll established a trust which completed the restoration of the abbey church in 1910. To my eyes, the cloister buildings looked quite fresh, which is not surprising as they were rebuilt by the Iona Community from the 1930s to the 1960s. Yet when you enter the abbey church, it feels unmistakably ancient. The church is a mix of old and new, with rustic walls spotted with rare green ferns. Twentiethcentury marble effigies of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll glimmered in a sunbeam as we found a colourful stained glass window portraying St Columba. We visited the cloisters to see the beautifully carved grave slabs of West Highland Gaelic chiefs, who were laid to rest in the sacred

Iona’s Gaelic connections

 Although the monks on  Gaelic has been spoken  Many of the great Iona used Latin for their formal proceedings, Gaelic would have been the informal language of the abbey and community.

in Iona since before the Gaelic chiefs were buried arrival of Calum Cille in Reilig Oran. (St Columba), and was the main language of the islanders until recently.

Aerial view of Iona Abbey

soil of their ancestors. Clearly there is much to take in at Iona Abbey and a return journey to enjoy the new visitor centre is definitely on the cards. When we went outside again, I climbed Tòrr an Aba, or the Abbot’s Hill, to give me another perspective. Even though the abbot’s monastery was smaller than the one I was looking down at, I could only imagine that he felt proud surveying his domain. It was while walking back to the ferry that we noticed Maclean’s Cross (pictured left). It stands, slim and tall, at a bend in the road. The side that faces away from the sea shows the crucifixion of Christ, carefully worked. It was a fitting last stop before we headed back over the water to Mull and the scenic route to Tobermory. As the landscape slipped away behind us, there was something about Mull

and Iona that lingered – at least in my imagination. The play of light through tall windows and the cawing of crows evoked an incredible sense of history. I needed to finish that story. Find out more about the stunning new visitor centre on Iona Abbey on the next page

e x plor e

Isle of Mull

1 Oban

3 2

1 DUNSTAFFNAGE CASTLE AND CHAPEL is located near Dunbeg, north of Oban off the A85 2 IONA ABBEY AND NUNNERY is located on the Island of Iona and accessible by public ferry from Fionnphort, Mull 3 MACLEAN’S CROSS is on the island of Iona historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 43

Iona Abbey

Revealing Scotland’s most sacred place Peter Yeoman on the story of one of Historic Scotland’s most ambitious initiatives - the Iona Abbey redisplay project


later Middle Ages and, later still, by his year Historic Scotland Dr Johnson, Scott and Wordsworth. took up one of its greatest It could be said that the objective challenges – to separate wasn’t fully realised until the Iona and St Columba 20th-century restoration of the from their accumulated later church and cloister. mythological baggage, to reveal the far Undaunted by this, we knew that more extraordinary reality. But how to Historic Scotland must somehow set about doing this? On the face of it chart a clear path through the heavenly little survives of the early monastery mists to enhance the founded by experience for visitors, Columba, a highmarking this year as born Irish monk, in the 1,450th anniversary 563, or of the even of Columba’s arrival. more successful And this is important, religious settlement because to understand which grew up the real historical focused on their people behind Iona priceless treasure – Abbey is to understand the bones of the so much of the greatest saint in an early history of age of saints. Scotland and its The picture has place in Europe. been further obscured All this had to be by repeated attempts Shona Walker, underpinned by the three Rs to repackage the Columban experience, chief ly stonemason at Iona – research, research and Abbey, works on research. And this began with to attract wealthy pilgrims. the new museum a bang in Easter 2012 with a Such attempts have happened conference held in the abbey, on a regular basis, with the first where great scholars laid out the wealth one, by the saint’s biographer Abbot of new discoveries from historical and Adomnán, occurring almost within archaeological study. living memory of Columba in the The chief outcome was a consensus 600s. Subsequent attempts at of the extraordinary importance of the interpretation were undertaken early monastery on the European stage. by the Benedictines of Iona in the

44 | historic scotland | summer 2013

Iona was the place where the Church first got involved in the making of kings; and was where the first book in Britain and Ireland (a psalm book written by Columba himself ) was produced. In fact, it’s a place of ‘firsts’ – the first location in western Europe to produce sacred texts; the first great school and library and the site of artistic innovation and craftsmanship, producing unprecedented artistry in metalwork (to adorn the saints’ shrine), manuscripts (the Book of Kells as the finest illuminated gospel book in western Europe), as well as in stone (the first great Celtic high crosses). Iona was central to a Gaelic Golden Age, lasting into the 800s, the effects

places of Jerusalem on this wee Hebridean island, as an aid to their constant contemplation of the Passion of Christ. This idea unlocks an understanding of the Street of the Dead as the Via Dolorosa, passing the High Crosses representing Golgotha, culminating in Columba’s shrine chapel as the Holy Sepulchre. Informed by this new research, teams have come together across Historic Scotland to create new permanent exhibitions, improved interpretation and visitor facilities. This includes a well-designed new ticket office; a superb new display of the early carved crosses, as well as of the later unique grave slabs of West Highland nobles and priests; a new display in the abbey church telling the story of the Columba pilgrimage; a new audio tour; and a display telling the story of the restoration and of the Iona Community. We work in close partnership with the faith community, who are still based at the abbey, and who are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. The new facilities open in early June 2013. So this is a great year to come to Iona, to experience the tranquillity and rich heritage of Columba’s holy isle as never seen before.

Iona was the place where the Church first got involved in the making of kings; and was where the first book in Britain and Ireland was produced of which still ripple through society to this day. Careful archaeological study has revealed that more of the remains of the early monastery survive, within the landscape of the abbey, than was previously realised. The key concept here is that the monks consciously set out to replicate their idea of the holy

The redisplay project will feature reconstruction drawings, including a pilgrimage to the abbey in the 1400s (above) and Columba’s shrine chapel in the 700s (right)



In the last issue of Historic Scotland, we featured St Kilda, which is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland. In the second of our series on Scotland’s World Heritage Sites, Alec Mackenzie looks at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a perfect place to explore our prehistoric inheritance



et in roaring seas and whipped by winds from the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, the 70 or so stark, low-lying islands of Orkney are one of Scotland’s most distinctive landscapes. The simple beauty of its geography holds the cradle of a Stone Age civilisation and architectural treasures older than the pyramids of Egypt. Masterpieces of prehistoric design, a cluster of important domestic and ritual monuments on the main island have been christened the Heart of Neolithic Orkney and designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The rich archaeological sites that fall under this protective umbrella include the great tomb of Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness and Skara Brae. Together with a number of unexcavated burial and ceremonial sites in the vicinity, these form a complex and important prehistoric landscape. Rising out of a lush grassy plain near the south-east end of the Loch of Harray is an outstanding example of

46 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

Orkney’s ancient past. A great moundshaped chambered tomb more than 5,000 years old, Maeshowe is one of the finest examples of Neolithic construction in Europe, though it hides its monumentality within. While the beliefs of its builders may be unknown, one period of the year brilliantly illuminates Maeshowe’s precise design. In the weeks leading up to the winter solstice, as the midwinter sun slips below the horizon, its last rays shine directly down Maeshowe’s entrance passage to light up the rear wall of the awe-inspiring central chamber. Modern-day archaeologists, locals and tourists aren’t the only ones fascinated by Maeshowe. Curious Norsemen, descendants of the Vikings, broke into the mound and left behind an intriguing legacy in the lighthearted runic graffiti they carved all over the walls. Two other sites sure to leave their mark on everyone who encounters them are the stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness, built between 5,100 and 4,500 years ago. Although some are

missing, the stones are imposing monuments and visitors will find themselves dwarfed by amazing megaliths, with some at Stenness standing up to six metres in height. Archaeologists call monuments of this kind ‘henge monuments’. The henge itself was the substantial circular ditch and outer bank, a considerable physical obstacle around the standing stones. The only way into and out of the circle was by causeway – one in the case of Stenness, two at Brodgar. Like Maeshowe, the exact rituals that took place at these sites are a mystery. It is thought they might have involved activities celebrating the relationship between the living and the dead. Ceremony and religious belief aside, the domestic life of Stone Age Orcadians is also evident on Orkney. It was in the winter of 1850 that a violent storm ravaged the Bay of Skaill, ripping up grass and sand to reveal Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old Neolithic village with houses connected by narrow passageways. It is not its age alone that makes Skara Brae so remarkable and so

The Stones of Stenness


World Heritage Sites are described by UNESCO as having ‘outstanding universal value’ and ‘belonging to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located’. Orkney’s Neolithic monuments were formally inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1999, placing them on a par with internationally recognised monuments such as Stonehenge and the Acropolis. All of the monuments that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney are cared for by Historic Scotland and are open to visitors. Archaeological excavations on the islands are ongoing and unique new finds are changing our whole view of prehistoric society. Exciting discoveries tell us that Orkney has yet to reveal the whole of its heart. You can find out more about Historic Scotland and World Heritage by visiting

Skara Brae (left) and Maeshowe (above) show where our Neolithic ancestors lived and were buried

important, but also the extraordinary preservation of the buildings. Nowhere else in northern Europe are we able to see such rich evidence of how prehistoric people actually lived. Every house has the same layout a single living space, with stone furniture, including a dresser opposite the door, box-beds and a centrally placed hearth. Built from stone because of a lack of timber for construction, the dark but cosy houses are a window into Neolithic home life. Visitors can also explore the interior of a replica house, piecing together the puzzle of this village that was occupied for at least 600 years before being abandoned, eventually to be reclaimed by sand and sea. A testament to the cultural achievements of ancient peoples, the monuments that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney provide a vital link to our distant past. Contemporary island life coexists with these remnants from the very dawn of European civilisation and a dynamic community that was at the forefront of technology, society and religion. historic scotland | summer 2013 | 47






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Pathology-Art-Scottish History-Medicine-Education-Tours & Public Programmes Special events include: Women in Warfare Exhibition: Words and Deeds Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man, a free public lecture by Prof Peter Abrahams The Artist’s Book Day Exposed Spines: The French Stitch Opening hours: – 5pm, 7 days a weeks from April – More than 18010am events for adults and children October (12-4pm, Monday-Friday 01988 for the403222 rest of the year) Admission £5/3 Charity No. SCO37984

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lots of exciting things to do right across scotland

Pick up your events guide at any of our properties or visit for full details. Daytime events are free to members, unless otherwise stated.

Spectacular Jousting Linlithgow Palace Sat 29, Sun 30 June, Sat 6, Sun 7 July  12.30pm–4.30pm 0131 668 8885 Our daring knights return to the magnificent setting of Linlithgow Palace Peel to stage an unforgettable display of horsemanship and skill. Hear the thunder of hooves and the crack of lances splintering as our knights battle it out in the arena. Enjoy a full programme of supporting activities with shows and presentations in the Palace and on the Peel. Wander through the bustling camps and see the exciting foot combat and living history displays.

Horsemanship and skill on display at Linlithgow Palace

Key to icons Toilets Restaurant/café Gift shop Parking A Year of Natural Scotland 2013 event

Reasonable wheelchair access

Dogs not permitted

historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 49


Living History

Urquhart Castle All summer  12pm–4pm 0131 668 8885 Fort George  12pm–4pm 0131 668 8885

Gun Salute – Royal Week

Edinburgh Castle Mon 1 July 0131 225 9846 To celebrate the arrival of HM The Queen for Royal Week.


Queen of the Castle

Stirling Castle Sat 15 June  12pm 01786 450 000 Our annual gun salute celebrates the Queen’s official birthday.

Launch of Summer Afternoon Tea Menu

Edinburgh Castle Mon 17–Sun 30 June  10am–5pm Members’ 20% discount on the standard price of afternoon tea (£16) applies, plus Prosecco. 0131 668 8686

Restaurant / café


Check website for full listings.

Gun Salute


Edinburgh Castle Every Tues in July and August  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 Meet Mary Queen of Scots.

Pirates and Patriots

Edinburgh Castle Every Thurs, July–September, except 1 Aug and 19 Sept  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 Discover what it was like to be held prisoner.

A gun salute at Stirling Castle for the Queen’s official birthday

Huntin’, Farmin’, Fishin’

Skara Brae Sat 6–Sun 7 July  12pm–4pm 0131 668 8885 Meet living relics at this World Heritage Site in Orkney.

Men at Arms Tour Blackness Castle Sun 7 July, Sun 4 August

Tantallon Castle Sun 14 July, Sun 11 August

Craignethan Castle Sun 21 July, Sun 18 August Craigmillar Castle Sun 28 July, 25 August All events run from 11am–4pm 0131 668 8885 Join the summer Men at Arms tour and get hands on with armour and weaponry.

Faith, Fire & Faction

St Andrews Castle Sun 7, 14, 21, 28 July, Sun 4, 11, 18, 25 August  12pm–4pm

Members receive a free glass of Prosecco with every afternoon tea ordered in the tea rooms.

Ladies of the Renaissance

Edinburgh Castle Every Fri 28 June–23 August  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 In the Great Hall meet two ladies of the 16th-century court


Renaissance Music

Edinburgh Castle Sat 29, Sun 30 June, Wed 3, Sat 6, Sun 7, Sun 21 July, Sun 4, Sun 25, Sat 31 Aug, Sun 1, Sat 21, Sun 22 September  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 Listen to some Renaissance tunes in the Great Hall. 50 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

Fragments of Blue – Under One Sky Jedburgh Abbey and Jedburgh Old and Trinity Church Sat 20 July  7pm (Doors open 6.30pm at Jedburgh Old and Trinity Church) 0131 668 8885,

Music and imagery in the first in a trilogy of events inspired by the Hawick Missal Fragment. To buy tickets, please visit

Gift shop

Reasonable wheelchair access

Dogs not permitted


A Year of Natural Scotland 2013 event

Music and dance of the 1940s

Thistle do at Linlithgow Palace

Babe the Sheep Pig

0131 668 8885

Trebuchets and Trickery

The Reformation had farreaching effects and did much to shape the Scottish nation in the 1500s.

Swords of the Righteous

Edinburgh Castle Mon 8, 15, 22, 29 July, Wed 31 July, Thurs 1, Mon 5, 12, 19, Fri 30 August, every Mon in September  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 A Cromwellian soldier explains exactly why they stormed Edinburgh Castle.

Theatre in the Palace

Linlithgow Palace Sun 4, 11, 18, 25 August  2.30pm, 3.30pm 0131 668 8885 Join characters from the Renaissance period in a delightful afternoon of courtyard theatre.

Kilts and Captivity

Edinburgh Castle Wed 10, 17, 24 July, every Wed from 7 August–18 September  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 A soldier explains his part in the Jacobite uprising of 1745.

Edinburgh Castle Sat 13, Sun 14, Sat 20, Sat 27, Sun 28 July, Sat 3, 17, 24, Mon 26 August, Tues 3, Sat 14, 28 September  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 Hear how Sir Thomas Randolph captured Edinburgh Castle.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Dunblane Cathedral Sat 13 July  8pm Adults £14, senior citizens and Historic Scotland members £12, children, U26s, students, unemployed people and people with a disability (and carer) £5. 01786 473544 SCO Strings, led by celebrated violinist Anthony Marwood, return for a programme of beautiful music, including Elgar’s wonderful ‘Serenade for Strings’.

Babe the Sheep Pig by Dick King-Smith Duff House Thurs 18 July  6.30pm (gates open at 5.45pm) £12 adult, £10 conc and £8 child, family £35 (2 adults, 2 children), 10% discount for Historic Scotland members. Tickets available at Duff House, 01261 813003 and

Celebration of the Centuries

Fort George Sat 10–Sun 11 August  11am–5pm 0131 668 8885 The award-winning Celebration of the Centuries returns to Fort George. Set in one of the finest military fortifications in Europe, the flagship feature of Historic Scotland’s event calendar celebrates more than 2,000 years of Scottish history. The fort will come to life as more than 250 performers depict centuries of history from Picts and Romans, through Viking, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation and Jacobite eras, to the First and Second World Wars. Wander through the colourful living history camps, watch dramatic presentations in the main arena and enjoy the music and dance in our 1940s zone. Keep an eye on our website for further details being released on this year’s event highlight.

0131 668 8885

Dick King-Smith’s heartwarming tale of friendship, courage and determination is vividly brought to life by the same creative team that were behind Illyria’s sensational, record-breaking 2012 production of The Twits. This event is suitable for all ages over five. Bring a seat and a picnic, and please dress appropriately for an outdoor performance.

Meet Elizabeth Barlow, confidante of Margaret Tudor (the wife of King James IV), and hear of life in the royal court. Join her as she receives news from the battlefield at Flodden and learns of the devastating loss suffered by the Scots.

The Marriage of the Thistle & the Rose Linlithgow Palace Sat 20–Sun 21 July  12pm–4pm

Medieval Mayhem

Caerlaverock Castle Fri 26–Sun 28 July  12pm–4pm 0131 668 8885 Experience medieval life as this favourite Historic Scotland family day out returns. historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 51

events Meet the Palace Alewife

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, which was a key event in Scotland’s long and dramatic history. We will mark the occasion at the castle with a number of events across the fortnight, including special themed tours that explore the legacy of the battle, and a special exhibition by local artist Iona Leishman.

Linlithgow Palace Sat 27–Sun 28 July  12pm–4pm 0131 668 8885 Meet Annie the palace alewife and hear her stories about life in the palace and the politics of the time.

Cooks, Crossbows and Costumes Doune Castle Sun 28 July  12pm–4pm 0131 668 8885

Come to see the cooks, soldiers and ladies of the castle prepare for a royal visit in 1525. Informative costuming, food, musketry and archery displays throughout the day.

AUGUST The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan

Duff House Thurs 15 August  6.30pm (gates open at 5.45pm) £16 adult, £14 conc, £12 child, family £48 (2 adults, 2 children). Tickets available at Duff House, members receive 10% discount 01261 813003 0131 668 8885 This opera gets the Illyria treatment, performed by a reduced cast and brought to life in this outdoor production. Bring a seat and a picnic, and please dress appropriately for an outdoor performance.

Fragments of Black – A Song of Night

After Flodden – Commemoration and Coronation

Kelso Abbey and Kelso Old Parish Church Sat 14 September  7pm 0131 668 8885

Stirling Castle Sat 21–Sun 22 September 12pm–4pm 0131 668 8885,

This is the second event in the Fragments trilogy, inspired by the recent discovery of the Hawick Missal Fragment. Enjoy an evening of light, sound and song, and be taken on an amazing journey through a medieval landscape. For more information on this event visit Members are eligible for a discount of 10%. To buy member discounted tickets log in to the members only website.

In the 500th anniversary year of the Battle of Flodden, which resulted in the devastating loss of James IV, visit Stirling Castle to hear reflections on what went wrong for the Scots on that fateful day. Following the defeat, Scotland faced an uncertain future but placed its hopes in the country’s new king. Join us on this special anniversary weekend as we commemorate the battle and mark the crowning of James V, which took place in the Chapel Royal of the castle.

SEPTEMBER Flodden 1513: Death of Our King

Edinburgh Castle Fri 6–Sun 8 September  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm 0131 225 9846 Relaying the tragic battle that resulted in the death of King

James IV and the reaction of the burgesses to this defeat, the aftermath of battle and the turbulent future of King James V.

Flodden 500

Stirling Castle Sun 8–Sun 29 September  times vary 01786 450 000

Saints and Sinners

Edinburgh Castle Thurs 19 September  11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3pm In 1097, Malcolm Canmore invaded England, leaving his wife Margaret in the safe haven of Edinburgh Castle. Hear his story and learn how Malcolm’s absence impacted on those he left behind.

mary evans

Your early reminder that Christmas is coming!

This Christmas, Historic Scotland will once again host festive lunches at Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, plus two Wine and Dine events at Edinburgh Castle. For more information visit, call Edinburgh Castle on 0131 668 8686 or email For Stirling Castle call 01786 469491 or email

52 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

Ranger Events For details of Ranger events on Orkney, call 01856 841732. For Holyrood Park, 0131 652 8150 and Linlithgow Peel, 01506 842065

Arthur’s Secrets

Holyrood Park Every Tues until end of July  1pm–3pm uk 0131 652 8150

Come along on a guided walk to learn more about Arthur’s Seat’s turbulent past. Booking essential.

Archaeology and Birds at Brodgar – a two in one! Ring of Brodgar Every Thurs until 18 July  10am

Guided walk around the Ring of Brodgar led jointly by the Rangers and RSPB staff. Meet in the car park.

Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park: magnificent views over Edinburgh’s Old Town

Ring of Brodgar Walk

Ring of Brodgar Daily from 1 June to 31 August. Weekly in September on Thursdays only.  1pm

Guided walk around the stone circles in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney’s World Heritage Site. Meet in the car park.

Standing Stones of Stenness and Barnhouse Tour

Standing Stones of Stenness Mon, Wed, Fri from 3 June–31 August. Weekly in September on Weds only  10am

A guided tour of our oldest stone circle and explore the fascinating links with the nearby Neolithic village of Barnhouse. Meet at entrance. An easy walk.

Arthur’s Amble Holyrood Park Every Mon June–July  1pm–2.30pm

Come along on a gentle guided walk around Hunter’s Bog and St Margaret’s Loch to discover more of the history and geology of the area. Booking essential.

Wildflower Wander Ring of Brodgar Sun 16 June, 14 July  11am

Join us for an easy wander around the Brodgar area, enjoying all the wonderful wildflowers in the area and find out all about the work that is being done to protect these species. Meet in the car park.

All-day Arthur’s Adventure Holyrood Park Sat 29 June


Come along on a challenging guided walk to explore far-flung reaches of Holyrood Park. Booking essential.

Arthur’s Adventure Holyrood Park Wed 3, 17, 31 July  1pm–4pm

Come along on a guided walk to learn about Arthur’s Seat, and its landscape created by fire and ice. More physically demanding than Arthur’s Amble. Booking essential.

historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 53



Castle Campbell Sat 13 July, Sun 14 July  11am–3pm 0131 668 8885 Find out more about Scotland’s amazing flora and fauna with this event organised jointly by the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland.

Young Ranger mornings

Linlithgow Palace & Peel Tues 16 July, 22 October Cairnpapple Hill Tues 30 July Blackness Castle Tues 13 August  10am–12pm

A range of environmental activities for primary-age children accompanied by an adult. Contact Rangers for details. Booking essential.

Ness of Brodgar Excavations

Ness of Brodgar Daily from 17 July to 21 August  3pm

This is your chance to see archaeology in action at the award-winning Ness of Brodgar.

Water Safari

Linlithgow Loch Sat 20, Sun 28 July, Sun 11 August  12.50pm–5pm £12 adult, £8 concession, £6 children. HS members £10, £6, £5

Ranger-guided tour of Linlithgow Loch by Canadian canoe with fully qualified instructors. Suitable for beginners or those with some paddling experience. Booking essential.

Royal Pursuits Holyrood Park Sun 21 July  12pm–4pm

54 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

Discover the activities that took place in the royal hunting ground.

Palace Prints and Nature Sketches – art workshop walk

The Ring of Brodgar is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Linlithgow Palace Sat 3 August  10am–4pm £30 adult, £25 concession, £20 child, members 10% discount.

A day in Linlithgow with award-winning local artist Leo du Feu. Booking essential.

Paw Patrol

Holyrood Park Sun 4, Sat 10 August  1pm–3.30pm

Bring your dog along on a guided walk. Booking essential.

Things That Go Squeak in the Night

Family Bat Night

Linlithgow Palace Fri 30, Sat 31 August  8pm–10pm £5.50 adult, £4.40 concession, £3.30 child, members 10% off

Holyrood Park Sat 24 August  8pm–10pm £5 adult, £4 conc, £3 child, 10% discount for members

A short talk with some batty facts, followed by an easy walk to look and listen for bats in and around Linlithgow Palace. Booking essential.

A gentle evening stroll to look and listen for bats in Holyrood Park. Booking essential.

Bats and Bat Survey Night

Bothwell Castle Bat Night Bothwell Castle Sat 24 August  8pm–10pm £5 adult, £4 concession, £3 child, members 10% off

A talk on bats, followed by a walk around Bothwell Castle and the Clyde walkway towards the David Livingstone Centre. This is a joint event with the National Trust for Scotland. Suitable for families with children aged 12 and over. Booking essential.

Linlithgow Palace Sun 1 Sept  8pm–10pm £5.50 adult, £4.40 concession, £3.30 child, members 10% off

An evening talk on the bats of Linlithgow Palace and the surrounding area. Booking essential.

Surviving Eidyn

Holyrood Park Sun 1 September  9am–12pm

Find out what life was like for people in Holyrood Park during prehistoric times on this

three-hour, Ranger-led guided walk. Booking essential.

Craignethan Bat Night

Craignethan Castle Sat 7 September  7.30pm–9.30pm £6 adult, £5 concession, £4 child members 10% off

A quick talk on bats and bat detectors followed by a walk along part of the Nethan Gorge nature reserve and then in and around the castle. Joint event with Scottish Wildlife Trust. Booking for this event is essential.

Celtic Crag

Holyrood Park Sun 8 September  9am–12pm

Join a Ranger for a guided walk. Booking essential.

Battlefield Trail

Linlithgow Leisure Centre Wed 18 September  5.30pm–7.30pm 01506 775626 For Archaeology Month and West Lothian Walking Week, a guided walk of the battlefield with Historic Scotland and Battle of Linlithgow Bridge Project team. Meet at car park. Booking essential.

letters Mosaic significance explained

I was intrigued by the inclusion of the apse mosaic at Santa Pudenziana in Peter Yeoman's interesting article on links between Rome and Iona, in the spring edition of Historic Scotland (page 11). Its significance was not clear! I would also like to congratulate you and your colleagues on the quality of your magazine! Andrew Gilmour Peter Yeoman writes: ‘I included my photo of the apse in Santa Pudenziana as it has, as you’ll know, an image of the Holy Places in Jerusalem in the background, including Constantine’s basilica there. But there wasn’t really enough space for a caption explaining all this! This image reinforces the point about the re-creation of surrogate ritual landscapes, from Jerusalem to Rome, and from Rome to Iona, as well as the reference to Constantine and the Edict of Milan anniversary.’


Write to The Editor, Historic Scotland, Room 3.1, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SH email tweet @hs_members and @welovehistory We are sorry that, due to the volume of mail we receive, the editor cannot reply to every letter personally

The apse mosaic at Santa Pudenziana

permanent population, though it is still in limited use.

Holyrood haven

Our use of the word ‘remote’, refers not just to distance, but the fact that St Kilda is further away from inhabited areas and is far less accessible than other locations, such as Fair Isle. St Kilda no longer has a

Earlier this spring, my wife and I took a day trip to Edinburgh, and ended up walking round Holyrood Park. It was the first time we’d been there, and it really is a lovely place. Arthur’s Seat is an impressive sight – although we didn’t quite have the stamina to venture up. We enjoyed looking at birds

paddling on Duddingston Loch and finished off our visit with a cuppa and cake beside Our Dynamic Earth. All in all, a splendid Sunday. Andrew Michael

Photographer's credit In the spring issue of Historic Scotland we featured a photograph on page 53 as part of our event listing for ‘Holding the Rock for Scotland’. This photo should have been credited to Ronald Dukes.

your t w eets

Remote St Kilda

In the spring edition of Historic Scotland, there is an article on St Kilda (pictured above), in which it is stated that the island is ‘the remotest part of the British Isles’. Surely Fair Isle and the most northern Shetland Isles are much further from the Scottish mainland than St Kilda? Willie Douglas

get in TOUCH

Making 16th century stewed mutton tonight with lemmons and corance from a recipe picked up in Stirling Castle @scotslarder

Dirleton Castle

A splendid new pdf from Historic Scotland on the repair and

maintenance of war memorials bit. ly/warmemorials @S_M_R_G A fantastic visit to Dirleton Castle – lots to explore & great views! @AnxiousAmbler Woke up this morning, smiling

at memory of last night at Lyceum, drew the curtains, blue skies and Edinburgh Castle fill the view. Yes. @DavidWalshST This is our second year of membership – we're lovin' it ;) @OnTheSuperFly

historic scotland | Summer 2013 | 55


GUESS THE MYSTERY LOCATION AND WIN In 1566, a king of Scotland was born in this tiny room. Sitting atop a rock that was formed after a volcanic eruption more than 340 million years ago, this ancient stronghold has witnessed many battles down the years, including a conflict in the late-13th century and a siege that lasted from 1571 to 1573.

Last issue Last issue’s location was the Blackhouse at Arnol. It was correctly identified by Mrs Lewis from Edinburgh

56 | historic scotland | Summer 2013

How to enter If you can identify the mystery location from the clues given below, then visit or post your answer, with your name, membership number and address to Viewfinder, Historic Scotland magazine, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH by 19 July 2013. See member for terms and conditions.

The winning entry will receive a cheese and wine hamper from Scottish Hampers ( containing a bottle of Bordeaux, Scottish cheese, crackers and flame roasted coffee among other treats. Please note this competition is only open to members who are aged over 18

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Profile for Historic Scotland Members

Historic Scotland, Summer 2013  

The magazine for Historic Scotland members

Historic Scotland, Summer 2013  

The magazine for Historic Scotland members