The next stage in the recreation of the great Renaissance rooms at Stirling Castle will be achieved this year with the delivery of the next in the series of extraordinary tapestries copied from the originals in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The tapestries, which form a series called ‘The Hunt of the Unicorn’, were worked in the tapestries studios at West Dean in Sussex. They will add immeasurably to the lavish interiors of the castle which bring vividly to life the character of the rooms which Mary, Queen of Scots would have known as a small child. The tapestries would have been the major decorative feature of the rooms and highly prized both for their beauty and for the Christian allegory they told. Here the hunting party pursuing the unicorn echo the cruelty of the persecutors of Christ. Go to Stirling this summer and see how the vibrant colours of the tapestries recreate the atmosphere of these rooms in their heyday and how modern craftsmanship can help revive an ancient palace.
Yorkshire at War
Watch out for lots of exhibitions and events at properties in Yorkshire in the next two years. The Heritage Lottery Fund is backing a new approach to telling the stories of country houses at war, looking at the impact of World Wars I and II on 8 houses in the county including Castle Howard, Newby Hall and Kiplin Hall. Beningbrough Hall’s new exhibition in 2013 is inspired by graffiti. The members of one RAF crew, billeted in the house in the Second World War, carved their names in the woodwork, wanting to be remembered if they failed to return safely. This glimpse into the 18th century house’s more recent past has inspired fresh interpretation, activities, talks and events that help give the importance of this elegant house a new twist.