The Holyrood Coffins

Children exploring Holyrood Park in 1836 made an intriguing discovery…

In 1836, 17 miniature coffins were discovered by children as they played in the park. Watch Trudi’s sign language story of the moment they found their way into the cave, then discover how she uses British Sign Language (BSL) to bring the tale to life.

The story of the Holyrood Coffins

Discover the story of 17 mysterious coffins in BSL, found in Holyrood Park by children in 1836.

Taking on characters in BSL

BSL linguist Robert Adam explains how people take on characters to tell stories in sign language.

Using classifiers in BSL

Robert describes how hand shapes are used to add descriptive detail in sign language. 

Role shift in BSL

Robert describes how signers use constructed action or role shift to take on the roles of their characters as they tell stories in sign language.

Tell us what you think

Did you learn anything about BSL through these videos? Tell us more in our survey.

A partnership project

This project has been produced in partnership between Historic Environment Scotland and King’s College London, and aims to raise awareness of the performative richness of BSL as a visual language.