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Family Entertainment: Huntingtower Castle gets seal of approval

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The interactive and costumed tours of Huntingtower Castle have been awarded a national education prize.

The prestigious Sandford Award is jointly managed by Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln and the Heritage Education Trust. It recognises heritage sites which have achieved excellence in heritage education through work with schools.

Huntingtower Castle is the fourth Historic Scotland property to be awarded the honour, joining Edinburgh and Stirling castles and Stanley Mills in Perthshire.

Sue Mitchell, Head of Education at Historic Scotland, said: “This is a huge honour for us and is a testament to the creativity, enthusiasm, energy and dedication of site staff, Emily Copland and Keith Nicholson.

“We give children a taste of what life was like at the castle and schools can choose from three different interactive tours of the castle, which involve costumed role play, investigating evidence and artefact handling. 

“The programme was developed to support Curriculum for Excellence in Scottish schools and we are delighted by how popular it has been with schools in Perthshire and further afield.”

Sue, Emily and regional Education Officer Fiona Davidson received their award from broadcaster and Chairman of The Heritage Alliance Loyd Grossman OBE at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday Feb. 08.

Emily added: “Huntingtower is a fascinating site with a wealth of interesting features, like the early painted ceiling, the two originally free standing towers, the story of the Maiden’s Leap and the accessible wall walk around the battlements.

“With features like these, it’s easy for Keith and me to enthuse pupils on the tours, which in turn adds to our enjoyment.

“It doesn’t seem like work!”

Other sites that have won a Sandford Award this year range from museums such as The Collection in Lincoln and the World Rugby Museum in Twickenham, to historic houses such as Burghley House and Harvington Hall, and a wide range of other heritage sites, including the Stockport Air Raid Shelters, Kent Life and the Danelaw Centre for Living History.

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