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Centuries Come to Life at Dumbarton Castle

May 31, 2016 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

IMAGE 3The Rock of Ages returns for a second year in celebration of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

More than 100 costumed performers will descend on Dumbarton Castle this weekend (4th – 5th June) for The Rock of Ages. Now in its second year, this multi-period extravaganza – the only one of its kind on the west coast of Scotland – will bring ten centuries of Scottish history to life in a series of demonstrations and displays.

The Rock of Ages event will welcome a colourful cast of characters from Dumbarton’s history, from the Norse King Olaf the White, to English Knight Sir Marmaduke Tweng. New for 2016, the event will also see a regiment of Roman soldiers, who guarded the nearby Antonine Wall nearly 2000 years ago.

For over 1,000 years, Dumbarton Castle has witnessed many social, technological and other changes. As one of the oldest strongholds in Scotland, the castle and the volcanic rock it stands on have a long and varied history filled with Vikings, nobles and military campaigns.

Fran Caine, Assistant Events Manager for Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We’re thrilled to be back at Pier Park for the second time with The Rock of Ages, which is once again shaping up to be a great family day out.

“As 2016 is Scotland’s year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we’ve got a new addition to the programme in the form of a fashion show. Our performers will be exploring the evolution of weaponry, technology, craft and clothing of the past 1,000 years at Dumbarton Castle and rock, bringing these to life for visitors. We’ll have demonstrations from Vikings, Medieval and Renaissance figures, Covenanters, and new for this year the Antonine Guard.

The Rock of Ages is an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to re-live the centuries at Dumbarton Castle. We can’t think of a more magnificent backdrop to bring over 1000 years of history to life.”

As well as witnessing demonstrations from a range of performers, visitors will be able to follow a path through the living history camp, from the Romans who guarded the nearby Antonine wall in AD145 to the late medieval period when a rebellious earl attempted to take the castle, to the 20th century and the Second World War.


Rock of Ages 2016-Dumbarton Castle Neil Hanna Photography 07702 246823

David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director said:

Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is shining a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, as well as its unique hidden gems.”

The Rock of Ages is set to be a vibrant, exciting and educational date for the diary – giving both locals and visitors of all ages a chance to admire great examples of 18th century Georgian military architecture at Dumbarton Castle, as well as marvel at how fashion evolved over time.  It’s also a great opportunity to explore everything the region has to offer.”

There will also be a craft and traditional skills area where visitors can get hands on with skills such as stone carving, with badge making and other crafts for younger audience members. Conservation experts from Historic Environment Scotland will be on hand to explain how skills used as far back as the medieval period are still relevant today.

The Rock of Ages takes place at the Pier Park and Dumbarton Castle on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June from12pm to 4.30pm. Tickets are priced at £9.00 for adults, £7.00 for concessions, £5.00 for children (5-15 years old) and free to under 5s. This event is free for Historic Scotland Members.

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