About Us

13 September 2023

See behind the scenes at the Engine Shed

Scotland’s building conservation centre to open its doors to visitors on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September

A man and girl looking at a screen showing thermal imaging

The Engine Shed, Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre in Stirling, will throw open its doors to visitors on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September as part of Doors Open Days.

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the Engine Shed’s fascinating history and see how it was transformed from a wartime goods transfer shed to a state-of-the-art research and education centre using local, traditional materials in a contemporary way.

The centre’s specialist labs are home to Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) Heritage Science and Digital Documentation & Innovation teams, who recently undertook significant new research of the Stone of Destiny. These experts will be on hand to demonstrate some of the digital and scientific techniques they use to investigate, analyse and document building materials and archaeological remains, as well as objects in HES’ collections and archives.

Visitors will see some of the digital equipment the team use in their work, including a giant 3D printer, Digital Imaging Lab, and The Howff, a walk-in immersive experience. They will learn how HES is using these innovations to support the traditional skills vital for the conservation of Scotland’s historic buildings.

Visitors will also be introduced to traditional building skills and materials by the HES Technical Education and Training team, and will have the opportunity to try their hand at the basics of stonemasonry through soap carving; to use their creative skills in construction and design activities; and to build their knowledge of the impact of climate change and why this is so important in conserving the historic built environment.

Rachael Dorman, Technical Education and Training Programme Delivery Manager at HES, said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming visitors to the Engine Shed as part of Doors Open Days, and to offer members of the public the opportunity to explore one of very few places across the world to house such cutting-edge heritage digital and science work.

Through a range of demonstrations and activities, visitors will learn more about our rich built heritage, the traditional material and skills that have been used to create it, and how we’re using technology and innovation to sustain it for the future.

Entry is free however booking is essential for Saturday 23 September. A drop-in approach will be in operation on Sunday 24 September, however prompt arrival for the advertised session times is encouraged. For more information and to book, visit the Engine Shed website.

About the Engine Shed

The Engine Shed is our dedicated building conservation centre. Based in Stirling, the centre is a hub of digital innovation and heritage science home to specialist labs. Through events and training, the Engine Shed shares technical knowledge to support Scotland’s skills needs and to ensure built heritage can be explored, understood and looked after for future generations.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead body for Scotland’s historic environment, a charity dedicated to the advancement of heritage, culture, education and environmental protection. It is at the forefront of researching and understanding the historic environment and addressing the impacts of climate change on its future, investigating and recording architectural and archaeological sites and landscapes across Scotland and caring for more than 300 properties of national importance. We are also the lead on delivering Scotland's strategy for the historic environment, Our Past, Our Future.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle, and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering to receive our media releases. Already registered? You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link, included in every email.

Follow HES

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory
Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland | @VisitHistoricScotland
Instagram: @HistEnvScot | @historicscotland


For further information, please contact:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
07721 959 962