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Royal lodgings to get 12m revamp

10 June 08 09:06 GMT

Royal lodgings at Stirling Castle, which date from the reign of James V in the 1530s, are to be restored thanks to a £12m makeover.

Historic Scotland said the project was the most ambitious phase of its plans to conserve the castle's history.

The work will involve the refurbishment of six halls in the royal palace.

The restoration will also see the Stirling heads, a collection of hand-carved oak medallions measuring up to a metre in diameter, go on display.

The lodgings, which would have accommodated Mary of Guise and her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, are on the ground floor of the building, which is thought to be the last intact renaissance palace in the UK.

Chris Watkins, who will head the project team, said the project would "mark the culmination of many years of research and skilled conservation and craft work".

He added: "We have so far completed the refurbishment of the Great Hall and the Chapel Royal. This phase will help emphasise the grandeur of the palace, the royal lodgings and James V's aspiration to create a Scottish court of European importance."

Those behind the project hope it will increase the castle's visitor numbers from about 386,000 last year to nearly half a million in the future.

The work is being completed thanks to a £9m investment from Historic Scotland and £3m from the Scottish Government.

The project will result in the closure of the palace from August 2008 until 2011.

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