Stirling Castle, once the home of Kings and Queens of Scotland, and one of the country’s favorite tourist spots, has recently completed a project to recreate colorful oak carvings in the Royal Palace, of King James V, within the castle.
The project cost £12 million Pounds Sterling ($19,108,882.86 USD).
The original ceiling, which once held carvings of the kings and queens of Scotland, lords, ladies, Roman emperors, and ancient heros, was taken down in 1777. The replicas are now installed on the ceiling of the King’s Inner Hall.
Also included in the project, is the creation of a special gallery on the upper floor of the palace where the original “Stirling Heads” will be on display. The originals are so artistically important that they have been referred to as Scotland’s other crown jewels.
Of the thirty-four metre-wide (approximately 3 feet) oak medallions taken down in 1777, two were destroyed in a fire in the 1940s. The missing medallions were recreated from pictures and another was carved from a likeness of the artist’s daughter.
Fragments of paint were discovered on the originals, which proved that they used to be painted and, after plenty of research, suitable colors were used for the replicas. The new versions of the heads took five years to carve and since then a great deal of work has been done to replicate the ceiling and get the painting just right.
The painters used materials and techniques as close as possible to those of the 1500s and it took about three months to complete this part of the project.
The beautiful area around Stirling is steeped in history and Stirling castle itself has a majestic ambiance. If you’d like to further explore the “ Stirling Heads” project, I’ve attached a couple of links below.