Unique festival will celebrate a Scots queen and the area’s heritage

Jousting demonstrations will feature as part of the festival in September.
Jousting demonstrations will feature as part of the festival in September.

2017 marks the 450th anniversary of the end of the reign of Mary Queen of Scots in 1567, and the time of her captivity in Loch Leven Castle.

And to mark the occasion, a unique Mary Queen of Scots Festival will be held in Kinross on Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3.

The event will celebrate the rich cultural history of the area and it’s connection to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.

The festival, which will be free of charge, will commemorate Mary Stuart’s life and legacy, showcasing not only the historical importance of the area but celebrating contemporary Scottish culture, food and drink.

It is also signature event of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

Clanranald Trust for Scotland, Scotland’s premier living historians, will transform Market Park in Kinross into an immersive living, breathing historical encampment for two days. Known for their work on Hollywood blockbusters Gladiator, Justice League, Transformers 5 and Outlander series 1-3; Clanranald will recreate the hustle and bustle of 16th Century Scotland with Queen Mary herself in attendance.

In magnificent tailored armour, knights will arrive from all over the realm to show off their finery and prowess in the saddle in a live action, competitive Jousting demonstration.

There will be challengers from the Kingdom of Cornwall, the Shire of Nottingham, the Flatlands of Mercia together with home-grown Caledonian knights. Visitors will be invited to mingle with these flamboyant characters, hear details of their training, lives, loves and losses.

And in between the jousting demonstrations, the knights will be “tilting at the ring”. Quintain – an important part of their training – will provide a highly entertaining visitor spectacle for all the family.

The encampment will also include the Royal Stuart Kitchens, a hands on activity showcasing the food of the period; Blacksmith Armoury where visitors can experience the creation of the elaborate weapons and armour of the day, and have a go at topiary, a concept Mary herself introduced to Scotland and enjoy hands-on Tudor pottery demonstrations.

Malin Allan from the Clanranald Trust said: “Scotland is built on the history of remarkable individuals and one of these is the trials & tribulations of Mary Queen of Scots.

“Upon meeting Lord Jamie Montgomery in 2015 and hearing his passion for the Tragic Queen and her connection to his beloved Kinross the Clanranald Trust is honoured to be part of the Mary Queen of Scots Festival bringing Mary’s story to life.”

Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “The story of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots helps show how Scotland’s history is among the most compelling of any nation – and this is also reflected in many of our finest historic sites, from Linlithgow Palace where she was born to Loch Leven Castle where she was held prisoner before her escape and departure for England.

“The Mary Queen of Scots Festival offers us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the story as part of our rich heritage and cultural traditions, drawing visitors of all ages from the local area and beyond.”

For more details visit www.maryqueenofscotsfestival.co.uk and www.facebook.com/MaryQueenofScotsFestival