This is always a busy time of year at the castle, with ‘Friends of Dundonald Castle’ taking on summer staff, as visitor numbers increase. You’ve probably noticed there’s a real buzz about the Visitor Centre, with lots of activity and people constantly dropping in to help with the Community Heritage Project.
In March, we attended a conference, ‘Financing the Historic Environment’, which was run by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was extremely well attended and we listened to lots of other charities, who gave us invaluable tips to navigate our journey.
Right now, we’re applying for funding to strengthen and develop our hugely popular Education Service and allow us to run more wonderful events for our community. What we’re aiming for is evidence that proves why our community and our castle are so special and why we deserve larger grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other organisations.
Once we are successful in getting substantial funds, you’ll start to see some real progress towards an extended Museum and Visitor Centre, and the improvements to the hillside and woodland that you’ve told us you want.
Some very special events
On 28th May, we are looking forward to a re-enactment by Historic Environment Scotland, which will give an insight into the powerful Stewart Dynasty which began at our royal castle.
June is shaping up to be a busy month for visitor numbers, school trips and weddings. None-the-less, we’re working to organize a fantastic summer weekend to launch our Community Heritage Project.
It’ll kick off on Saturday 22nd July at 5pm, with our licensed ‘Minstrels and Mayhem’ concert up at the castle. This will be a celebration of our heritage as children take part in a costumed pageant through the ages, and introduce talented local musicians to create a great party atmosphere for you.
On Sunday 23rd July, we’ll gather as many amazing people from our community as possible for our ‘Once Upon a Time’ family fete, where we’ll have hot food, bouncy castles, stalls, crafts, dressing up, pony rides, creative activities and lots more surprises!
This fun-packed weekend, followed by travelling actors The Three Inch Fools’ performance on 28th July, will be a great way to get everybody in the right mood for the mighty Dundonald Games week at the beginning of August.
And don’t forget, in September we’re welcoming top archaeologists to the Castle for extensive excavations to follow up on our survey and uncover more secrets about Dundonald’s fascinating history!
Friends of Dundonald Castle
As you know, Friends of Dundonald Castle are the driving force behind our Project, and the foundation on which it rests.
As a small local charity, they are always in need of support and encouragement, so why not drop in and become a member, offer some time or give a small donation? It all helps so much. The work that they do and the interest that they are generating, for the good of us all, is truly phenomenal.
A great example of this appeared last week at the Visitor Centre, in the shape of none other than acclaimed director Ridley Scott’s production team. They made a special trip to Dundonald Castle, had a tour and scoured the surrounding area to decide if we can be used as a location for a new movie about Robert the Bruce!
An amazing year
It’s all happening in our very special village this year. Please help us grab this opportunity – be proud, get involved and most importantly enjoy it all!