On Saturday the 18 June 2016, Ardrossan Castle will come alive with the sights and sounds of medieval Scotland, a special celebration re-connecting people with their local heritage. The Ardrossan Castle Carnival 2016 is the first project to be funded through our latest Our Place initiative. In this blog Dr Amanda Simpson of the Ardrossan Castle Heritage Society (ACHS) welcomes the £53,304 award and gives us some background to the upcoming event.
When ACHS formed in late-2012, I don’t think any of us ever imagined that in a few short years we’d be spear-heading a major cultural event designed around about sharing a previously unknown piece of history about this Scottish Castle. Saturday, June 18, 2016, sees the 470th anniversary of the Privy Council of Scotland meeting in Ardrossan Castle to settle a landholder dispute between the 4th Earl of Argyll, Gillespie Roy Archibald Campbell and James Cannochtston, also known as James MacDonald, of Dunyvaig and the Glynns. Lord James Hamilton, the 2nd Lord of Arran and Regent for the 4-year old infant Mary, Queen of Scots, presided over the meeting. Nobility from as far away as Orkney, and as close as Paisley, attended the meeting. History tells us it was a rare occasion for the government of Scotland to meet on the West Coast in this time period. This meeting suggests Ardrossan Castle, and its inhabitants were held in high esteem within Scotland’s aristocracy. Nevertheless, we are left with many questions about this event.
Why was Ardrossan Castle chosen as the site to settle this dispute? Was it seen as neutral ground between the warring landowners? Was the effective King of Scotland simply in the right place at the right time to keep the peace?
Regardless of reason, this event gives a tantalising clue to the historical significance of Ardrossan Castle in mid-16th century Scotland. That local ACHS volunteers have helped uncover this wonderful story and will help participate in sharing it with the local community of Ardrossan at the Castle Carnival is a real source of pride.
Carnival guests will be transported back to medieval times to learn the customs of horse jousting and the many secrets of Ardrossan Castle. Knights will show off medieval weaponry and battle garments, while the Ladies will share their beauty secrets and beautiful dresses. Younger visitors are invited to earn the honour of becoming a ‘Guardian of Ardrossan Castle’ by participating in the many, many activities across the carnival
We are thrilled to be the first recipient in Scotland of this Our Place funding and hope this event will help bring the whole community together and stimulate Ardrossan and the Castle as a place to visit; for the local community as well as further afield.
To find out more about the Ardrossan Castle Carnival 2016, visit their facebook page or follow them on Twitter @ArdrossanCHS.
The Our Place website explains more about the initiative and the local areas involved.