11 October 2023
Visitors can now explore the history of Linlithgow Palace in Scots as Historic Environment Scotland launches its first audio guide in the Scots language.
The new audio guide is available to listen to in both Scots and English, with the English version also containing some Scots to help give all visitors a sense of the language of the court and to highlight this key aspect of Linlithgow’s history.
Visitors will be accompanied on their journey through the palace by a range of voices telling tales of royals such as the young Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James VI, as well as lesser-known stories of ordinary but important people who lived and worked there, from the plumber who maintained the now iconic fountain to Mary, Queen of Scots’ chamber woman.
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There will also be insights into how spaces visitors explore once looked and sounded, and what everyday life was like at the Palace, including what people ate, how they did the laundry, and even what music they listened to.
Language of the Scottish court
During the 1400s and 1500s, when Linlithgow Palace was used as a royal palace, Scots was the language of the Scottish court, spoken by the monarch and ordinary people alike. Through this new audio guide, visitors can access the intangible heritage of Linlithgow Palace in a new way, as they listen to the history of the site in a modern version of the language that would have been spoken at the time.
Fiona Fleming, Project Manager at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “It has been a fantastic journey creating our first Scots language audio guide, which we hope will increase the accessibility and inclusivity of Scots, which is a minoritised language today.
“Perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, Linlithgow Palace is a site that contains a rich tapestry of history. When making the new audio guide, we were keen to shine a light on a diverse range of people and stories from the Palace’s past, such as the story of Margaret More, one of the women known in historical records as the ‘Moorish Lassies’, and the story of a young chorister who is voiced by a real-life choir singer.”
The audio guide has been developed by HES with translation and input from Ashley Douglas, a researcher, writer and translator specialising in the Scots language.
The new downloadable audio guide is included in the admission price for Linlithgow Palace. Visitors receive a link in their ticket confirmation email when they pre-book online and can download the tour to their own device before visiting, ready to listen to in either Scots or English.
Linlithgow Palace is open daily from 10am to 4pm (last entry 3.30pm) from 1 October to 31 March, and from 9.30am to 5.40pm (last entry 4.45pm) from 1 April to 30 September.
For more information and to book tickets, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website.
(report and images copyright Historic Environment Scotland)