Just another Sunday at battle-battered Blackness

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There’s no extra charge for the special skills workshops being staged at Blackness Castle on Sunday coming (August 27) - armour optional.

Visitors will be invited to “feel the weight of the arms and armour” and to brush up on their sword and buckler fighting technique, as they see re-enacted before them a classic Stuart era squabble between warring nobles (who will inevitably be armed to the teeth).

The colourful history lesson traces the activities of the dashing young Lord Claud Hamilton, a Stuart loyalist who - resenting the Queen’s forced abdication - seized the castle in her name and embarked on a prolonged spell of piracy on the Forth.

It all ended in tears of course, despite reinforcements arriving from France, and the castle fell next year after a siege by Regent Moray lasting just a week.

The show runs from 1pm to 4pm, and should help to illustrate that despite innumerable films about Elizabeth I of England’s feud with Mary the luckless monarch the luckless monarch never had to leave Scotland to find enemies.