Mary Queen of Scots pippins

Mary Queen of Scots

In the days of bodices and doublets the upper classes could use dolls to get an idea of how a particular outfit would look at life size. They’re the only known evidence for the use of “pippins” (from the French poupée) in Renaissance Scotland, and were used by the European glitterati in the 16th and 17th century as a way of keeping up with the latest trends. Research undertaken by Dr Michael Pearce on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland shows that after the battle of Carberry (which led inexorably to her downfall) “pippens, fantasies, and feathers” belonging to Mary Queen of Scots were packed away and locked up in Edinburgh Castle. Dr Pearce comments: “The inventory also reveals how Mary dressed these pippins in the best silks to fashion her European court, as it records a payment in 1563 to Jacques, her tailor, to make grey and silver clothes for a set of dolls. “Much more useful than diplomatic accounts or portraits, these dolls’ outfits would have been exquisitely crafted to display the latest trends in materials, accessories and dress styles. Hello Dollies … Stuart era fashionistas used these 16th century Barbies as guides to the latest style “The miniature versions could then be exchanged and replicated by tailors elsewhere”. Rachel Pickering, Senior Cultural Resources Advisor at HES, said: “While fashion dolls such as these became common in the 17th century, evidence for their earlier use is poorly documented – making this new interpretation of Mary’s inventories so significant. “There is evidence of use of these dolls in 16th century France, with records showing Francois I requested a set from Isabella d’Este, one of the leading women of the Italian Renaissance, for the women of his court. “Mary Queen of Scots was raised at the court of Francois’ son Henry II, and his wife, Catherine de Medici also had a set of dolls among her personal belongings”.

Visit the key locations in the life of Mary Queen of Scots on our private tours. Phone 07305-294773 for more details

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Mary Queen of Scots film day tour

Mary Queen of Scots film day tours

Our tour features a visit to the key places in the life of Mary Queen of Scots including Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle plus a visit to Blackness Castle, one of the locations used in the film . The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the maniacal virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie.

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is where Mary was born in 1542.

Linlithgow Palace tours

Next to the Palace is the medieval St Michael’s Parish Church where Mary was baptised . A new bronze statue of Mary has been erected next to the church .

Linlithgow Palace featured as Wentworth Prison in Outlander.
This royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots

Stirling Castle is where Mary was brought to be crowned as an infant.

This was her home until she was 5 years old. The castle features the Royal Palace , rose gardens and Royal Apartments. In the castle Mary saw the baptism of her son, James VI . Sadly this is also the place where she sees him for the last time.

Loch Leven

Loch Leven recalls one of the more sombre periods in Mary’s life. Loch Leven Castle is where Mary was imprisoned for nearly a year, suffered a miscarriage and was forced to abdicate in favour of her son James. She eventually escaped with the help of George Douglas but went on to suffer defeat at The Battle of Langside, and on to imprisonment in England. The tour visits Loch Leven to see the location of Loch Leven Castle on an island . A trip to the castle is not included .

falkland palace

Falkland Palace, the favourite retreat of the Stewarts. Mary is thought to have enjoyed some of her happiest days here, enjoying hunting and hawking and playing tennis on the world’s oldest tennis court. On a more haunting note, it is here that her father James V was said to utter the prophecy of The Stewart Dynasty “It cam’ wi’ a lass and it’ll gang wi’ a lass” and you can also see a copy of her death mask.

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle was used as a location in number of scenes in the film. The castle tower features in a few scenes .

Nine key dates in the life of Mary Queen of Scots

  1. Born 8 December 1542 in Linlithgow Palace.
  2. Crowned Queen of Scots in the Chapel Royal, Stirling Castle, aged just nine months.
  3. Smuggled to France aged five, where she lived until she was 18.
  4. Gave birth to her only child in Edinburgh Castle. He would rise to become James VI of Scotland and I of England.
  5. Some believe she arranged to have her second husband, Lord Darnley, assassinated.
  6. Married for a third time to Lord Bothwell – some believe he abducted her against her will.
  7. Imprisoned for almost a year in Lochleven Castle in Kinross before managing to escape.
  8. Last hours in Scotland were spent in Dundrennan Abbey in Dumfries & Galloway before journeying to England to seek protection from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
  9. Confined in England for 18 years before Elizabeth sanctioned her death warrant and she was beheaded. She died 8 February 1587 in Fotheringhay Castle.

The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the maniacal virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie. Former Dr Who David Tennant also features in the film as John Knox . Much of the filming for the £180 million project has taken place in Edinburgh, 20 miles from the queen’s birthplace in Linlithgow, with scenes also shot in Glencoe, Blackness Castle , Oxford and Derbyshire. The film also features a digital recreation of Linlithgow Palace ,  birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary Queen of Scots film day tours . Tour price £250 . Phone 07305-294773 or book online .

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The Outlaw King tour – one day private tour

Take a tour of The Outlaw King film locations in Scotland , featuring Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace . Phone 07305-294773 for more details. Starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce the lavish Netflix production was filmed at 45 different locations across Scotland .

  • Blackness Castle
  • Linlithgow Palace
  • Bannockburn
  • Doune Castle
  • Dunfermline Abbey

Robert the Bruce was born on the 11th of July 1274 in Turnberry Castle and died in 1329 in Cardross. Bruce’s body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey and his heart is buried in the ruins of Melrose Abbey.

The Outlaw King Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace on the Stone of Destiny.

Robert the Bruce , the Outlaw King
Robert the Bruce , the Outlaw King

Robert was King of Scotland from 1306 until his death in 1329.

blackness castle tours
Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Blackness Castle plays a major role in the 120 million dollar movie blockbuster The Outlaw King, premiered in Edinburgh on 19 October and released on Netflix on 9 November .

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace , Linlithgow tours

Dunfermline Abbey is where King Robert the Bruce was buried .

Bannockburn is the scene of the epic battle where Robert’s army defeated the English in  a major turning point in the Wars of Independence .

Doune Castle was a major film location .

The Outlaw King tells the story of how Robert the Bruce, who defied England’s King Edward I, became a hunted fugitive but turned the tables to inflict crushing defeat on the English army at Bannockburn and ultimately won Scottish independence.

 

blackness castle tours
Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

 

blackness castle outlander
Blackness Castle stars in The Outlaw King

Many or most of the extras involved are Scottish – the production company was besieged by Scots aiming to play the part of foot soldiers in King Robert’s army when it advertised for extras last year. Veteran actor James Cosmo,  who appears in the film reportedly says it could be Scotland’s greatest ever movie, likely to replicate for key Scottish historic sites the phenomenal surge of visitors to Stirling in the wake of the 1995 release of Braveheart (in which he also starred). That will mean new droves of tourists heading for Blackness, already benefiting from its appearance in Outlander, and to many other locations across the central belt associated with the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The Outlaw King tours – one day tour

  • tour price £200
  • five film locations
  • full day tour

Exclusions

  • lunch and refreshments
  • entrance tickets

Phone 07305-294773 or contact us online for bookings .

Souvenir t-shirts , phone cases and prints are available for purchase online .

Rounding off a golden year for major Scottish-based history epics a new movie about Mary Queen of Scots also launches in November. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland has the talent and the opportunity to grow its TV sector and the job of Screen Scotland is to make sure we seize the moment.”

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “Film tourism is booming in Scotland, with the Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots some of the exciting new films set to feature the country on screen. “

The movie is on general release from November 9, and its initial trailer clip, launched this week, registered 26 million views in the first 24 hours. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-G1BME8FKw Filmed entirely in 45 locations in Scotland , the movie was shot in key locations around the country, including Falkirk.

 

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Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Blackness Castle plays a grisly role in the 120 million dollar movie blockbuster The Outlaw King, soon to launch as opening movie of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Take a tour of Blackness Castle in our film locations tour . Phone 07305-294773 for more details or contact us online . Starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce the lavish Netflix production was filmed at locations across Scotland last year, also including Linlithgow Palace. Blackness Castle. But the Blackness scene won’t be forgotten in a hurry – it features an actress playing historical character Isabella MacDuff being suspended from the battlements in an iron cage.

blackness castle tours
Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Filming for the epic took place over two weeks late last year, and (off camera), a mobile crane was used to support the notorious cage – where the actress reportedly endured several takes in freezing cold.

The movie is on general release from November 9, and its initial trailer clip, launched this week, registered 26 million views in the first 24 hours. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-G1BME8FKw Filmed entirely on location in Scotland, the movie was shot in key locations around the country, including Berwick.

blackness castle outlander
Blackness Castle stars in The Outlaw King

Many or most of the extras involved are Scottish – the production company was besieged by Scots aiming to play the part of foot soldiers in King Robert’s army when it advertised for extras last year. Iconic actor James Cosmo, (70), who appears in the film reportedly says it could be Scotland’s greatest ever movie, likely to replicate for key Scottish historic sites the phenomenal surge of visitors to Stirling in the wake of the 1995 release of Braveheart (in which he also starred). That will mean new droves of tourists heading for Blackness, already benefiting from its appearance in Outlander, and to many other locations across the central belt associated with the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The Outlaw King tells the story of how Robert the Bruce, who defied England’s King Edward I, became a hunted fugitive but turned the tables to inflict crushing defeat on the English army at Bannockburn and ultimately won Scottish independence. Rounding off a golden year for major Scottish-based history epics a new movie about Mary Queen of Scots also launches in November. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland has the talent and the opportunity to grow its TV sector and the job of Screen Scotland is to make sure we seize the moment.”

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “Film tourism is booming in Scotland, with Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots some of the exciting new films set to feature the country on screen. “Film and TV productions not only showcase the unique mix of stunning landscapes, rich heritage and fascinating stories Scotland offers, but can inspire set-jetting fans to visit, with research showing that one in five visitors come here after seeing Scotland on the big and small screen.”

 

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Top Scottish film locations tour

Top Scottish film locations tour featuring

  • Doune Castle ( Monty Python , Game of Thrones )
  • Linlithgow Palace ( Outlander, Mary Queen of Scots )
  • Rosslyn Chapel ( the Davinci code )
  • Blackness Castle ( the Outlaw King , Mary Queen of Scots )
  • the historic Hippodrome cinema in Bo’ness

1 The Hippodrome cinema in Bo’ness

hippodrome cinema tours
Hippodrome cinema tours . Image courtesy Falkirk Community Trust

The historic Hippodrome cinema was built in 1912  .

A personal guide from Falkirk Community Trust will take your group on a tour round the inside of the Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness: Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema . You will learn about local entrepreneur Louis Dickson – the man with the vision to open Scotland’s first picture palace – his architect Matthew Steele, and the unique building they created together. Hear the fascinating history of this remarkable building, discover some of its quirky mysteries and get behind-the-scenes with an exclusive opportunity to visit the projection box. The tour includes a 15 minute film about the magnificent restoration work undertaken to restore the cinema to its pre-Art Deco glory and time for questions too.

Hippodrome cinema Bo'ness tours
Hippodrome cinema , Bo’ness tours . Image courtesy Falkirk Community Trust

Access: Please note the balcony and projection box are only accessible by stairs, the latter very steep and narrow. The tour can be modified for people with mobility difficulties on request.

Doune Castle

Doune Castle is unique in that it actually has three claims to movie fame .

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Game of Thrones
  • Outlander

Doune Castle was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as the castle of Guy de Lombard  .
Take the audio tour of the castle  narrated by Monty Python’s Terry Jones.

It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

doune castle, outlander tours

 

doune castle , outlander

3

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 print

This royal palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots  was featured in the Outlaw King . It also became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the TV show Outlander .

Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.

Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

 

Blackness Castle

The castle has been used in a number of films including  Hamlet, Outlander , the Outlaw king and Mary Queen of Scots.

Doomsday , an action thriller starring screen legends Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowell , was filmed at Blackness castle. The  Castle near Linlithgow is used for key scenes in the futuristic movie. The film’s plot centres on a deadly plague called the Reaper Virus, which kills hundreds of thousands of British citizens in 2007. In desperation, the Government evacuates as many survivors as it can from the infected area, then builds a wall to quarantine the remaining population. But 30 years later, with the wall still up and the victims all but forgotten, the virus breaks out again. The authorities send in a crack team of operatives, led by Major Eden Sinclair, to retrieve a cure by any means necessary.

She is played by Rhona Mitra, from TV shows Nip/Tuck and Boston Legal, who is currently on location at the castle – along with Clockwork Orange star McDowell and British actor Adrian Lester, who featured in Hollywood blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow. However, Bob Hoskins – who plays a character called Bill Nelson in Doomsday – is not filming in West Lothian.

Both the interior and exterior of Blackness Castle will feature in the film, and fight scenes were played out at the ten-day shoot . The building, which will appear on screen as an unnamed Scottish castle, has been closed to the public for a fortnight to allow the shoot to go ahead. Nick Finnigan, Historic Scotland’s filming and events manager, said: “In view of the size and scale of the production, the decision was made to grant the film crew exclusive access to the castle for a short period. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Blackness Castle when it re-opens on May 14.” Doomsday is written and directed by Neil Marshall, whose previous work includes The Descent and Dog Soldiers. Other cast members include Sudanese actor Alexander Siddig,  whose first main role was in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Dr. Julian Bashir  and recently on screen as a reformed villain alongside Kiefer Sutherland in 24, while Sean Pertwee is also thought to be joining the cast.

The stunning chapel from the Davinci Code
Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, near Edinburgh

With more than 100 carvings and scenes depicted in stone, the exquisite masonry of Rosslyn Chapel has to be seen to be believed. Look out for angels playing bagpipes, people dancing with death and the famous apprentice pillar – the story goes that the apprentice mason who carved this exquisite pillar was killed shortly afterwards by his jealous boss.

This tour runs on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week .

Tour price – £295

Exclusions

Lunch and refreshments

Entrance fees to Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace ,  Rosslyn Chapel and Blackness Castle

  • Scottish film locations tour
  • Doune Castle
  • Linlithgow Palace 
  • Rosslyn Chapel
  • Blackness Castle
  • historic Hippodrome cinema

Phone 07305-294773 or contact us online .

Our film locations tour is featured in Visitscotland

 

 

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Mary Queen of Scots tours

Mary Queen of Scots tours – four locations

Our tour features a visit to the key places in the life of Mary Queen of Scots including Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle . The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie.

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is where Mary was born in 1542.

Linlithgow Palace tours

Next to the Palace is the medieval St Michael’s Parish Church where Mary was baptised . A new bronze statue of Mary has been erected next to the church .

Linlithgow Palace featured as Wentworth Prison in Outlander.
This royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots

Stirling Castle is where Mary was brought to be crowned as an infant.

This was her home until she was 5 years old. The castle features the royal palace , rose gardens and Royal Apartments. In the castle Mary saw the baptism of her son, James VI . Sadly this is also the place where she sees him for the last time.

Loch Leven

Loch Leven recalls one of the more sombre periods in Mary’s life. Loch Leven Castle is where Mary was imprisoned for nearly a year, suffered a miscarriage and was forced to abdicate in favour of her son James. She eventually escaped with the help of George Douglas but went on to suffer defeat at The Battle of Langside, and on to imprisonment in England.

falkland palace

Falkland Palace, the favourite retreat of the Stewarts. Mary is thought to have enjoyed some of her happiest days here, enjoying hunting and hawking and playing tennis on the world’s oldest tennis court. On a more haunting note, it is here that her father James V was said to utter the prophecy of The Stewart Dynasty “It cam’ wi’ a lass and it’ll gang wi’ a lass” and you can also see a copy of her death mask.

Nine key dates in the life of Mary Queen of Scots

  1. Born 8 December 1542 in Linlithgow Palace.
  2. Crowned Queen of Scots in the Chapel Royal, Stirling Castle, aged just nine months.
  3. Smuggled to France aged five, where she lived until she was 18.
  4. Gave birth to her only child in Edinburgh Castle. He would rise to become James VI of Scotland and I of England.
  5. Some believe she arranged to have her second husband, Lord Darnley, assassinated.
  6. Married for a third time to Lord Bothwell – some believe he abducted her against her will.
  7. Imprisoned for almost a year in Lochleven Castle in Kinross before managing to escape.
  8. Last hours in Scotland were spent in Dundrennan Abbey in Dumfries & Galloway before journeying to England to seek protection from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
  9. Confined in England for 18 years before Elizabeth sanctioned her death warrant and she was beheaded. She died 8 February 1587 in Fotheringhay Castle.

Glen Coe, the Highlands , Scotland
Glen Coe, the Highlands , Scotland

The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie. Former Dr Who David Tennant also features in the film as John Knox  . Much of the filming for the £180 million project has taken place in Edinburgh, 20 miles from the queen’s  birthplace in Linlithgow, with scenes also shot in Glencoe, Blackness Castle , Oxford and Derbyshire. The film also features a digital recreation of Linlithgow Palace ,  birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary Queen of Scots tours cost £210 – phone 07305-294773 or book online .

Lonely Planet

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