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16 March 2016

How do you look after an 800-year-old castle?

A specialist 'Insight Tour' of Urquhart Castle gives the public a chance to see experts at work to maintain the medieval stronghold.

A moody view of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness on a cloudy, foggy day.

On Thursday 17 March, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to climb the scaffold at Urquhart Castle, as part of a tour of conservation works being undertaken at the site.

Urquhart is one of Scotland’s most recognisable landmarks, with tourists from across the globe flocking to visit the site. Looking after the building is no mean feat however, with parts of the sprawling site dating back 800 years.  

In joining the specialist ‘Insight Tour’, led by the castle’s conservation architect, participants will access areas of the castle rarely seen by visitors, watch the expert stonemasons carry out meticulous repair work to the Grant Tower, and find out about the many challenges inherent in looking after a nationally important ancient monument.

Stephen Watt, Historic Environment Scotland District Architect said: “Anybody who has ever been to Urquhart will likely have been blown away by its majesty and its incredible location, situated as it is on a promontory on the banks of Loch Ness. It was undoubtedly a huge undertaking to build the castle, and it takes a lot of planning and work by our highly-skilled conservationists to maintain it in a condition befitting one of Scotland’s best-known historic sites. This is a rare opportunity for members of the public to get to get a candid insight into that see that work, and I would encourage people to snap up tickets while they are still available.”

Anybody interested in taking part in the tour is asked to dress in appropriate, warm clothing, and be aware that some of the demonstrations involve walking up scaffolding to see how the work is being done in-situ. Safety clothing will be provided.

To book tickets please visit the events section of our website.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • As of the 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland is a sub brand of HES.
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Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

2016 is the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design (IAD). Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland's position as an "innovation nation", its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and supported by a variety of partners.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

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For further information

Alan Bannon
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8588
Mobile: 07854 366 805