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13 July 2016

Visitors to experience the Aberdour Castle of 1325

The Keys to the Castle event tells the story of King’s gift

The oldest part of Aberdour Castle, dating to the 1100s.

Historic re-enactors are set to bring a unique part of Aberdour Castle’s past to life this weekend. Visitors will be stepping back in time to the early 14th century to when King Robert the Bruce gave the castle, in Fife, to his nephew as a gift.

Taking place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July, The Keys to the Castle event will explore and introduce visitors to the stronghold’s history around the time when Sir Thomas Randolph was granted Aberdour, in recognition of his role and contributions during the Wars of Independence.

The once residence of the Randolph family is one of the oldest masonry castles in Scotland and served as a seat for a number of other powerful Scottish dynasties for over 500 years, including the Mortimer and Douglas families.

As well as opportunities for visitors to be put through their paces and discover what it took to be ready for a medieval battle, the event will also provide an insight into what the noble residence might have been like 691 years ago. Visitors will be able to learn about different aspects of life in medieval Scotland, from armoury and archery to calligraphy and even experience what a bustling working kitchen from the time might have looked like.

Fraser Napier, Events Assistant at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “The Keys to the Castle event will see this interesting point in Aberdour Castle’s historical timeline brought to life by our re-enactors over the course of a weekend.

“Visitors can expect to get a real insight into what life at Aberdour might have been like in 14th century Scotland. As well as finding out about the story of how Sir Randolph was granted Aberdour, there will be opportunities to get involved with hands-on activities such as schiltron and combat training. Visitors will also be able to learn about other aspects of medieval life such as cooking, armoury and defence, amongst others. It promises to be a great event for children and adults alike.”

The Keys to the Castle takes place at Aberdour Castle on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July from 12pm-4pm. This event is included in the cost of admission and is free for members.

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

Grant Thomson 
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8603
Mobile: 07580 702 611