3 February 2021
Are you ready for some historic glamour? Get party planning in the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland!
While this past year has seen events change in a way that was never anticipated, we can’t wait to bring back the delegates, wedding guests and visitors to our event spaces again.
One of the most impressive and historic venues in Scotland has to be Stirling Castle’s Great Hall. Able to accommodate 400 for a reception or 300 for a dinner (in normal circumstances), the Great Hall is one of the grandest locations for a gala dinner or event you can imagine.
As the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, it was created in 1508 for James IV to seat up to 500 guests for feasts, banquets and dances. We think it fitting that the space is still used for glamorous events today!
Although Stirling Castle is no longer used as a royal residence, festivities in the Great Hall would originally have been presided over from the dais by the King and Queen, with a minstrel gallery for entertainment, and fanfares from the trumpeter’s loft. Royalty and their guests were warmed by the heat of an impressive five fireplaces.
While these days the Great Hall is used for stunning gala dinners and looks superb as a dance venue, in 1594 events were also grand and lavish. One of the most extravagant events included the banquet for the baptism of James IV’s son Henry when a 40-foot-high ship, with actual firing brass guns, was wheeled into the hall to serve the fish course!
In 1790 the Great Hall was stripped and converted into barracks. It remained in its less glamorous format until the army left the Castle in 1964 when a restoration began. This included re-covering the walls in the original “kings’ gold” honey coloured lime plaster, as it would have been in 1500s. The walls were repaired with over 780 tonnes of stone and the hammer-beam roof was reconstructed using the timber of 350 Strathyre oak trees.
The Great Hall was officially re-opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1999.
These days the Great Hall welcomes many guests, either tourists to the castle or those seeking out the historic glamour brought by walking in the footsteps of royalty. In recent years we have seen the Great Hall welcome a Scottish style banquet and then transform into a pulsating night club, with a stunning sound and light show from the Minstrels’ Gallery.
Events can include pre-dinner drinks in the King’s Hall and private tours with insights behind the scenes of royal life. The Great Hall is also a superb location for a wedding – the dais is ideal for the top table where the bride and groom can dine like royalty, before dancing the night away with their guests.
Whatever your event, there is no doubt that Stirling Castle’s Great Hall is one of Scotland’s most historic, unique and impressive venues. If you’d like to know more about how you can work with us to create an event fit for a king or queen, contact our events team at email@example.com