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3 June 2019

Viking warriors descend on Dumbarton Castle

Explore 2,000 years of Scottish history with the action-packed event The Rock of Ages

A group of reenactors dressed as Vikings brandish weapons and shields

The Rock of Ages returns to Dumbarton Castle this weekend (Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June) featuring costumed performers and family-friendly activities.

The event will recreate the rich history of Scotland’s west coast - from the Roman Age through to the Second World War. Now in its fifth year, The Rock of Ages will focus on the Vikings, celebrating Norse heritage and exploring how the Vikings’ influence continues today.

Visitors can watch in awe as the Viking warriors re-enact the 9th century siege of Dumbarton Castle led by Olaf the White and Ivar Beinlaus, before visiting their camp to find out how they lived, what they ate and how they made their weapons and clothes. Visitors familiar with CBeebies show Gudrun the Viking Princess will also get the chance to meet King Sigurd played by Johnny McGuinnes.

Get ready to ‘haud yer lugs’ as the Covenanters open fire in a spectacular display of fire power. The programme will also include displays from the Romans who will be performing testudo drills as a demonstration of imperial power.

Reenactors dressed as Romans brandish swords and spears and shields

Visitors can also explore vehicles from the Second World War and meet historical figures, from suffragettes to Mary Queen of Scots and even Robert the Bruce. As well as meeting the warriors in the medieval camp, visitors can get hands-on with medieval activities such as armoury, heraldry and calligraphy.

Dumbarton Castle, one of over 70 staffed Historic Scotland attractions managed by HES, is one of Scotland’s oldest strongholds and has a long and varied history filled with Vikings, nobles and military campaigns.

Laura Gray, Assistant Events Manager at HES, said:

“We are all gearing up for this fantastic weekend which will encourage locals and visitors alike to explore and celebrate the fascinating history of Scotland’s west coast.

The Rock of Ages offers a fun day out for the whole family with historical re-enactments and various have-a-go activities.

“Where better than to enjoy the action-packed arena performances than in the shadow of Dumbarton Rock?”

The Rock of Ages takes place at Dumbarton Castle from 12 noon–4pm on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June. Entry is free for Historic Scotland members.

Find out more

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Stacey Dent
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct line: 0131 668 8097
Mobile: 07557 489 322