December 20, 2020

Is Stirling Castle now a theme park or does the ‘flame’ of independence still burn here?

Robert Booth

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The Castle Speaks,

Many experts were assembled to interpret Stirling Castle as a 16thC royal palace. This has proved to be so successful that some, with the morbid habit of worrying, are concerned that the castle is becoming a Disney type tourist theme park. Stirling Castle was once the refined, powerful, and graceful seat of governance in Scotland and one that impressed the courts of the known world. (One wonders if Holyrood is at present a theme park of ‘devolved government’, that will become the democratic seat of governance of a, once again, independent Scotland.) Freeman Tilden, ‘Interpreting Our Heritage’, writes: ‘The chief aim of interpretation is not instruction but provocation.’ So what emotions does the castle raise in us now? The castle speaks to me in many ways and I try to capture it mellow grandeur through a glass lens and a warm heart. It is important to keep the ‘flame’ alive. Keep it under your hat, but I love this special place. As Joachin Zeune wrote: ‘It is in a class of its own.’ Many thanks to the wonderful staff who safeguard and love our heritage.