September events at Historic Environment Scotland sites

For more information on any of these events visit Historic Environment Scotland here. Historic Environment Scotland Members’ discount available.

1918: Victory and Remembrance – Fort George – Saturday 31 August 2019 and Sunday 1 September 2019

1918 was the year we nearly lost the Great War but ultimately won it with a young conscript army; a year of continuous fighting in which we lost more casualties than in the years of Passchendaele or the Somme; a year in which at one stage the British Army stood with backs to the wall, a hair’s breadth away from disaster, yet finished the war with 100 days of continuous victories; a year in which both sides made liberal use of gas, as the process of killing reached its finest development. Meet a Highland soldier from 1918 and learn about his experience at the front and his reflections on the Armistice. Should we celebrate victory or the end of the War? Should we commemorate noble sacrifice or waste? What did it mean to him? And why should it matter to you? Included in admission price.

Seven Waves – St Clement’s Church – Through to Sunday 1 September 2019

Seven Waves is a visual art installation by Erlend Brown and Dave Jackson. Suspended from the ceiling, seven beautifully painted canvas waves respond to George Mackay Browns’s poetic cycle Tryst on Egilsay.

The Magnificent Victorian Improvement Project – Holyrood Park – Sunday 1 September 2019

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert loved the Scottish Highlands and they wanted to turn Holyrood Park into a reflection of this, right in the middle of Edinburgh. Their vision involved a great number of ambitious engineering projects and allowed local people to access the park. This guided walk will visit many of the Victorian landscape improvement sites from lochs to roads in Holyrood park.

Monuments in Monuments 2019 – Engine Shed – Monday 2 September 2019 to Wednesday 4 September 2019

Carved stones and objects inside buildings often present significant conservation challenges. Exposure to poor environmental conditions causes the decay and eventual loss of these monuments. Historic Environment Scotland is Scotland’s largest employer of conservation specialists, from traditional craft skills to specialist stone conservators. Our inaugural conference, Monuments in Monuments 2019, brings together conservation practitioners, students and professionals to investigate the challenges facing monument conservation. From Monday 2 – Wednesday 4 September 2019, hear from specialists and experts in the field, and explore how traditional skills, emerging technology and conservation science are helping to overcome these challenges. See monument conservation in action as you enjoy unrivalled access to some of the most iconic sites in Scotland.

Go Bats! (Holyrood Park) – Holyrood Park – Selected dates through to Friday 6 September 2019

Join us for an informative chat about bats before heading out on a night time walk around Holyrood to track down these fascinating nocturnal animals. Bring warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear with good grips and a torch if you have one. Members get a 10% discount.

Powder Sergeant – Fort George – Selected dates from Friday 6 September 2019 to Sunday 22 September 2019

Meet one of the men responsible for the defences of the newly built Fort George, Sgt Ross. Find out about the fort’s mighty arsenal and the amount of gunpowder needed to defend such an important site from attack. Hear how threat of those weapons worked to deter enemy attack and make Fort George one of the most powerful forts anywhere in the world. Stop by and meet Sgt Ross any time between 12pm-4pm. Included in admission price.

Go Bats! (Linlithgow Palace) – Linlithgow Palace – Selected dates through to Saturday 7 September 2019

Join us for a night time walk around the palace Peel as we search for Linlithgow’s nocturnal inhabitants. Bat detectors will be available to help us track down these elusive creatures, but don’t forget to bring a torch! Bring warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear with good grips and a torch if you have one. Meeting point – entrance to the palace. Members get a 10% discount.

Parkaeology – Holyrood Park – Saturday 7 September 2019 to Sunday 8 September 2019

There is so much to explore and investigate in our archaeology zone in Holyrood Park. Chat with archaeologists involved in archaeology across Scotland, learn about some of their exciting projects and have a go at hands-on activities. There’s even an opportunity to visit a dig taking place in the park!

The Loyal Gordons – Huntly Castle – Saturday 7 September 2019 to Sunday 8 September 2019

In the ruins of this much attacked castle meet the Gordons and the royalist defenders. Find out about the Gordon family and hear about the mid-seventeenth century attacks on the castle. Learn more about weapons and tactics, and even get hands on with history by handling weapons of the period.

Celtic Crag – Holyrood Park – Saturday 14 September 2019

Join a Ranger for a guided walk, where we’ll delve into the Park’s rich Celtic past to uncover the reality behind the myths. Discover the story of the Park’s history from the Stone Age right up to the present day.

Crannogs: Ancient Life on Linlithgow Loch- Linlithgow Palace – Saturday 21 September 2019

Join us and our friends from the Scottish Crannog Centre as we journey back in time 2,500 years. There’ll be a chance to try some iron age crafts as well as a guided walk to learn about the crannogs that were built on Linlithgow Loch. Some activities may not be suitable for children under 8.

British Sign Language Tour – Edinburgh Castle – Select from 2 dates through to Saturday 21 September 2019

Join Edinburgh-born Deaf historian John Hay for a BSL tour of the castle. Explore the Castle with Deaf tour guide John Hay, whose BSL tour will be translated into English by interpreter Linda Duncan. Carers and Historic Scotland Members go free (valid membership card required for each ticket).

Military March Guided Walk – Holyrood Park – Sunday 22 September 2019

Join a ranger to discover over 4000 years of military activity in Holyrood Park, from the Bronze Age up to the Falklands conflict. This guided walk will stop at significant sites in the Park and feature the archaeological finds and techniques that bring past conflicts to life.

St Vigeans Open Days – St Vigeans Stones and Museum – Select from 6 available dates through to Sunday 22 September 2019

It’s hard to believe that sleepy St Vigeans was once the centre of a royal estate and of huge religious importance. Yet the Angus village bustled with pilgrims and monks more than 1,000 years ago. Tickets can be purchased on arrival.

Standing Stones of Stenness Walk –  Stones of Stenness Circle and Henge – Selected dates through to Wednesday 25 September 2019

Join the Orkney Ranger Service for a free guided tour of our oldest stone circle, and explore the fascinating links with the nearby Neolithic village of Barnhouse.

Ring of Brodgar Walk – Ring of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge – Selected dates through to Thursday 26 September 2019

Explore the area around the Ring of Brodgar during a guided walk around Scotland’s largest stone circle which forms part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. Meet in the car park by 1pm.

Master Builders: Working with Lime – Engine Shed – Saturday 28 September 2019

Join us for lime day, part of our Master Builders programme, where families can get hands-on with the materials used to conserve Scotland’s traditional buildings. Lime has been used in traditional buildings for thousands of years. It acts like a cushion between the stones or bricks of a building, and help buildings to ‘breathe’ and keep dry.  Learn the traditional skills of working with lime. Get scientific and take part in an experiment with limestone, see chemistry in action in quicklime ‘slaking’, or try your hand at lime plastering. Do you have what it takes to be a lime worker? Don’t forget to pick up your Master Builder Log Book and to collect a stamp each time you visit to become a Master Builder! Master Builders take place on the fourth Saturday of the month (term time only). This activity may get messy. Please wear appropriate clothing. We provide the appropriate personal protective equipment for all of our activities (for example masks, safety glasses and gloves). Suitable for ages 7+. Parental/guardian supervision is required for the duration of the activity.

Romantic Scotland – Duff House – Through to Sunday 29 September 2019

Bringing together treasures from the National Gallery of Scotland’s and Historic Environment Scotland’s collections, Romantic Scotland contrasts the romantic depictions of Scotland’s changing landscapes created by artists and writers in the 19th century, with the reality of ordinary life. The exhibition includes works by renowned painters Sir John Lavery, Patrick Nasmyth, and Sir James Guthrie, whose dramatic landscapes continue to shape perceptions of Scotland, and stunning early photography and historic objects that reframe these works in their historical contexts.

Explore your Local and Family History – HES Archives and Library – Select from 2 dates through to Monday 30 September 2019

Discover more about how to use our online services to find out more about Scotland’s past. After a basic overview of Canmore, Scran, NCAP and Britain from Above, you will have the opportunity to experiment yourself with expert staff on hand to help and answer your queries.

British Sign Language Tour (Stirling) – Stirling Castle – Select from 2 available dates through to Saturday 5 October 2019

Join us to explore the Castle with Deaf tour guide John Hay, whose BSL tour will be translated into English by interpreter Linda Duncan. The tour at Stirling Castle is included in the admission price. Carers and Historic Scotland Members go free (valid membership card required for each ticket). You can buy your tickets on the day, or book your place in advance. On the same day at 3pm, we’re running a free BSL tour of the Engine Shed – Scotland’s national conservation centre.

Biggar Gasworks Steam Days – Select from 8 dates through to Sunday 20 October 2019

Enter the last remaining town gasworks in Scotland – the only surviving example of a once familiar sight. For more than 130 years, this industrial plant made coal gas for Biggar and beyond before the advent of natural gas in the 1960s. See the coal fired boiler put to work and the steam driven machinery in action. Learn the secret of how gas was produced from coal from our guides on site.

Guided Building Tours – Engine Shed – 12 dates through to Saturday 7 December 

Join us for a free guided tour of our building – Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre. Our building in Stirling was once a military goods and transfers shed, built sometime between 1896 and 1913. The exact details of its construction were subject to an information blackout and are still unknown today. In 2017, after an extensive restoration, we opened our doors to the public. During the guided tour, you’ll learn more about our building including how it was made using traditional materials in a contemporary way  and how we’ve recycled or restored many other traditional materials during the restoration.

Wee Builders – Engine Shed – Select from 5 dates through to Thursday 12 December 2019

Join us for our exciting under 5’s sessions. Wee Builders will explore a monthly theme through creative play in a fun, child-led and sometimes messy environment! For wee-er builders, a sensory area will be available. Wee Builders take place on the second Thursday of the month (term time only, excluding September). Please note: Parental/guardian supervision is required for the duration of the activity.

Relaxed visiting hours – Engine Shed – Select from 7 available dates through to Saturday 14 December 2019

Our Relaxed Visiting Hours are a time for young people with autism to explore and enjoy our conservation centre. During these times adjustments will be made to lighting and sound, and a quiet space with sensory toys will be available. Relaxed Visiting Hours take place on the second Saturday of the month (excluding September). Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Scotland from the Sky – Multiple Venues – Select from 275 dates through to Sunday 19 January 2020

Scotland from the Sky brings a selection of the breathtaking aerial photography, featured in the book of the same name, on a tour of some of our most atmospheric properties. See Scotland from the Sky at: Fort George from 12 April to 7 July; Arbroath Abbey from 11 July to 6 October; Blackness Castle from 10 October 2019 to 19 January 2020.

Open Exhibition: Edinburgh and the Lothians – HES Archives and Library – Selected dates from Monday 5 August 2019 to Friday 27 March 2020

Come and enjoy this display of imagery and original material highlighting the buildings and places of Edinburgh and the Lothians.

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