First uni trip to Stirling Castle

Well I started my masters course on Monday and so far so good. We have been looking at the history of conservation, its origins in ancient Rome with peitas through the medieval period with gothic architecture, then the romantic period and through the wars to the modern day.Through these periods the values of conservation have changed and even with the emergence of the conservation movement these values have changes but some have remaned the same throughout the centuries.

The purpose of todays trip to Stirling Castle was to see the idea of restoring a building to a certain point in time. So at Stirling it was an army barracks after the king moved to London with the union of the crowns 1603. So when the army were resident at the castle they converted the great hall, chapel and placae into smaller quarters and put in extra floors. When historic scotland, as it was known then, it is now historic environment scotland, took over they decided to restore the great hall, chapel and palace back to the renaissance period when it was built under James IV and James V.

The chapel frescos were found under the army renovations, they were in poor condition but some parts of it were complete, which made them able to create a copy of the fresco that is still on display today.

In the great hall all the army partitions were removed. Thearmy tiles on the floor were poor so new stones were laid, believe they were laid on top of the army tiles and the floor dips at the fire places. The roof was reinstated as it would have been and the walls repainted. However there are still traces of the army changes around the walls particularly near the bridge to the palace.

In the palace there were roundels with heads in them on the ceiling of the King’s inner hall, but when one fell the army decided to replace the whole ceiling. Many of the heads survived and are on display in the castle. The ones on the ceiling are replicas and the whole ceiling is what they believed to have been in place. The whole palace has wall paintings and tapastries that they believe could have been hung in the palace. The windows are interesting as the timber are from the renaissance period with the lead style windows. Then on the outside there are the 19th century army windows. This is one of the instances that they kept some of the army changes to the castle.

On the way up to the castle We stopped to look at a couple of interesting buildings like Argyll’s Lodging, the tolbooth, broad street which was the market place of the medieval town. Its interesting how little of the medieval buildings survived due to the slum clearances, the building seen today are dated from the 19th century but made to look medieval.

Thats it for todya, I will leave you with some lovely pictures and I will have another post tomorrow about the Newhailes trip.


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