Visitors at Stirling Castle try on period costumes

From Skara Brae to Stirling Castle, we’re on a mission help people value and celebrate Scotland’s historic environment. This is one of the key aims set out in our new Corporate Plan – but how are we doing it? Orkney Rangers Sandra and Elaine, and Kirsten from our Learning Services Team shared their experiences.

Sandra Miller and Elaine Clarke, Orkney Ranger Service

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is a second home to Sandra and Elaine, but sharing its stories with visitors from across the world means they never take it for granted. In this short video, they share some of their stories from eleven years (and four days!) promoting the value of these ancient sites.

Kirsten Wood, Learning Development Officer at Stirling Castle

“A lot of people know about our work with schools, but our team engages with diverse audiences, including adult learners, vulnerable and minority groups, to make the historic environment accessible and relevant. I always think it’s important to make activities fun, because people remember positive experiences.

Art and Design Students at Stirling Castle

“One of the things I like most about my job is working with other people. For instance, you can currently see an exhibition at Stirling Castle called ‘New Renaissance’ which contains renaissance inspired fashion designs. This involved working with local community groups as well as independent designers from Craft Scotland, and Forth Valley College.

“The process of putting the exhibition together involved a lot of coordinating. I met with tutors from Forth Valley College to agree a design brief for the HND2 Art and Design students. Then I met the students themselves, and made sure they had the space and resources they needed. They had a tour where they learned about the palace architecture, met our historical interpreters who explained about their costumes, and explored the exhibitions. The course requires proof of researching and keeping sketchbooks and photographic records of ideas and influences, so they got completely immersed in the castle’s history.

sketchbook showing renaissance inspired fashion designs by student from Forth Valley College

“We aligned our activity with the college curriculum, but there are other outcomes which are great to see. It has improved the students’ confidence, as they can say they’ve showcased their work to an international audience at Stirling Castle, learned about Renaissance history and gained careers advice from working alongside practicing designers.”

Do you have an #HESstory to share? Let us know on Twitter, or drop us a line in the comments below.


About Author


Ali George

Ali works in our Digital Team coordinating our social media and blog content. She enjoys helping our expert staff across the country tell their stories in new and interesting ways.