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12 November 2018

Gaelic heritage enthusiasts invited to attend drop-in sessions at Dunstaffnage Castle

Volunteers sought to help shape castle tours

Exterior view of Dunstaffnage Castle

Drop-in taster sessions are being held at Dunstaffnage Castle from 11am – 2pm on Sunday 18 November for anyone interested in joining Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) Gaelic volunteer programme.

The volunteer programme is available to anyone interested in Gaelic language and culture and is not limited to Gaelic speakers. As part of the programme, volunteers will be encouraged to research Dunstaffnage Castle and the surrounding area to develop bespoke and creative tours for visitors. The drop-in sessions will take place in the educational suite above the visitor centre.

The Gaelic volunteer programme forms part of the HES Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023 and Scotland’s Gaelic Tourism Strategy which aims to grow awareness and use of Gaelic through visitor engagement.

These drop-in sessions will run alongside A Medieval Yule, which is part of the Oban Winter Festival. Visitors will be taken on guided tours to discover forgotten Yuletide traditions, learn what life was like in the castle kitchens, and see how the ladies of the court spent their time.

In order to support communities to engage with Gaelic culture as part of the Gaelic Language Plan 2018–2023, Iain Craig has joined the HES team as a Gaelic Outreach Officer.

Iain said: “We’re encouraging anyone with an interest in Gaelic heritage to come along to our drop-in sessions and find out more about our new volunteer programme.

As well as engaging with the local community, we hope to inspire people to explore the Gaelic culture surrounding Dunstaffnage, one of Scotland’s oldest castles.”

Dunstaffnage Castle, one of over 70 staffed Historic Scotland attractions managed by HES, was built before 1240. The Castle was captured by Robert the Bruce in 1308 and in 1746 was used to hold Flora MacDonald until she was sent to the Tower of London for aiding Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape.

A Medieval Yule takes place from 10.30am – 3pm on Sunday 18 November. Entry is free for Historic Scotland members.

Find out more about the HES Gaelic Language Plan.

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For further information, please contact:
Stacey Dent
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
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