I know Threave Estate well from my time with NTS so welcomed the opportunity to work on the other side of the river, on new interpretation for the Castle.
The main bulk of the work was to write and source content for a series of seven new interpretation panels for the castle experience, taking visitors from the riverside where they catch a boat, through to the inside of the ruin.
In general, through my writing and choices of image, etc I was keen to introduce a bit of drama and emotional connection to the site and I’m pleased with the outcome. In particular I think we managed to bring the story of the siege to life quite effectively.
I chose to take a character centred approach, with short introductions to each panel that focus on a historical figure at one specific, real or imagined, moment in time. These draw the reader in to each panel. The approach also helped us to bring out the strong female character of Lady Margaret Douglas who ruled from Threave for many years.
In the panel for the harbour we were able to use high resolution images of objects unearthed at that exact spot, which include gaming pieces – these convey the former luxury of the castle as a residence more immediately than words could. Formerly you could only see these at NMS in Edinburgh.
Part of the project was also to introduce new content and graphics for the ticket office. I project managed delivery of this and it definitely gives visitors a more coherent welcome experience and a real sense of place at the start of their journey.
Threave is well worth a visit if you’ve not been. https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/threave-castle/