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3 Dec 2018

The Trust’s starring role in blood-soaked saga Rise of the Clans

Mary, Queen of Scots from Rise of the Clans
BBC Scotland’s new series Rise of the Clans airs for the first time on Monday 3 December, and it has more than one connection to the National Trust for Scotland.

Presented by the Trust’s President Neil Oliver, it’s described as revealing a ‘real life Game of Thrones’ and unfolding ‘a blood-soaked saga of battles and feuds, loyalty and betrayal, love and death’.

Thankfully, there was no blood in evidence at the locations used for the production, especially Falkland Palace and Culross, two of the Trust’s most popular and atmospheric properties.

One of the expert talking heads featured in the series is our very own Dr Katy Jack from Falkland Palace. 

Katy is proud of her contribution: ‘It was a privilege to be able to contribute to a series that’s shedding a light on such a key period on Scotland’s history.

‘Working with such a brilliant cast and crew on location and during the interview process was such a fantastic experience, and it’s so exciting to see prominent Trust locations used to create stunning visuals for the audience. I know the teams at Falkland will be watching closely for shots of the property!’

Another knowledgeable interviewee was Dr Callum Watson, the Battlemaster at Bannockburn responsible for using 3D technology for guiding visitors through the events of 1314. He was brought into the production to throw some light on the complicated story of Robert the Bruce.

Callum said: ‘I was delighted to be given this opportunity to explore the life and career of Robert Bruce as part of this documentary. Bruce’s reign is without a doubt one of the most significant eras in Scotland's history, and it is very exciting to see the Trust working with the BBC to help tell his story. I'm sure the programme will augment the work we do here at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre educating people about one of the pivotal moments of that period.’

Neil Oliver himself is no stranger to Trust properties, having made programmes such as Two Men in a Trench and Quest for Bannockburn amongst others in the past, but this is the first time he has been involved in a production using Trust locations since becoming our President, in effect our most senior volunteer.

He said: ‘Filming Rise of the Clans was a pleasure from start to finish – due in no small part to the wonderful locations: Falkland Palace, Culross and others.

‘In each case, it was the National Trust for Scotland staff and volunteers – their professionalism and enthusiasm – that made it all so much fun.  Here’s hoping for a sequel!’

Episode One of Rise of the Clans will be shown on BBC One Scotland at 9pm on 3 December 2018. Episode Two follows on 10 December and Episode Three on 17 December.