Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Saturday, 13 February 2010

Stirling Heads return to castle

John Donaldson with heads. Pic by Rob McDougall
Craftsmen John Donaldson took five years to carve the replica heads

A one-off exhibition offering a close-up view of the 37 replica Stirling Heads is being held at Stirling Castle.

The artefacts are to be used to recreate a lost Renaissance royal palace ceiling.

The exhibition will be the only time visitors will be able to see the hand-carved, metre-wide oak medallions in their natural state.

They are to be painted in bright colours - in authentic Renaissance style.

The new heads, which took Livingston wood carver John Donaldson five years to complete, are copies of the 16th Century originals.

They are a key part of Historic Scotland's £12m project to return the royal palace inside Stirling Castle to how it may have looked in its prime.

The recreation of the long-lost ceiling of the King's Inner Hall will be a very important part of what visitors experience
Fiona Hyslop
Culture Minister

The originals once adorned the ceiling of the King's Inner Hall and are of such artistic importance they are sometimes called Scotland's other crown jewels.

The ceiling had collapsed by the end of the 18th Century, but many of the heads were kept safe.

They include images of the Scottish royal family, such as James V who built the palace and had the originals made, great noblemen and women, Roman emperors and Classical heroes.

'Authentic taste'

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "The project to return the royal palace to its Renaissance glory will provide Stirling, and Scotland, with a fantastic new attraction which will draw visitors from around the world.

"The recreation of the long-lost ceiling of the King's Inner Hall, which was famous for its wonderful carved heads, will be a very important part of what visitors experience."

Peter Buchanan, Stirling Castle Palace project manager, said: "The palace will give visitors an authentic taste of what the Scottish Renaissance royal palace was like - rich with colour, sumptuously decorated and finely furnished.

"But before the new heads are attached to the ceiling we wanted people to have the chance to see the workmanship that has gone into carving them."

The exhibition is running until 21 February and is the centrepiece of Stirling Castle's carving month.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
In Pictures: Stirling Heads
13 Feb 10 |  Scotland
Ancient Stirling Heads unveiled
02 Jun 09 |  Tayside and Central
Stirling Heads travel to France
26 Sep 08 |  Tayside and Central
Castle restoration work under way
02 Sep 08 |  Tayside and Central
Royal lodgings to get 12m revamp
10 Jun 08 |  Tayside and Central
Ancient Scots clock chimes again
28 Aug 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Queen's death warrant copy shown
09 Apr 08 |  North East/N Isles

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific