Historic castles and monuments are among heritage sites that will be bathed in blue light to celebrate the opening of this year’s Scottish Borders Heritage Festival.
More than 25 historic sites across the region will be lit up for three nights as part of the ‘Lighting the Borders’ festival, which runs from September 1 to 3.
The signature event has been created specially to celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology – with sites such as Floors Castle, Ayton Castle and Peniel Heugh taking part.
In addition, 11 of the sites will also host special free and ticketed events over those three days, including music, theatre and living history, celebrating and reflecting on the region’s history, heritage and cultural diversity.
The Scottish Borders Heritage Festival, which runs throughout September and includes over 200 events, is being delivered by Live Borders in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and the Borders Heritage Forum.
A full programme of events, including details of all the sites and events as part of Lighting the Borders can be found online at www.scottishbordersheritage.com
Funding for the festival has been provided by Creative Scotland, Museums and Galleries Scotland, EventScotland – as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology – and the Fallago Environment Fund.
To light Floors Castle, Scotland’s largest inhabited castle, every shutter will be closed and special film placed over the floodlights. It will be the first time the castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, has been lit in this way.
Roddy Jackson, Roxburghe Estate Factor said: “Floors Castle is thrilled to be part of Scottish Borders Heritage Festival’s opening event ‘Lighting the Borders’.
“Promoting the unique history and heritage of the Scottish Borders is an integral part of our business and we welcome the opportunity to further this aim through inclusion in the regional Scottish Borders Heritage Festival programme.
“We view the festival as a key element in developing economic and cultural benefit for the region and are delighted to once again host a range of events in the programme.”
Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Director said: “2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories and unique experiences as part of Scotland’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology celebrations.
“The historic environment forges connections between people and the places where they live and visit, as well as being an integral and iconic part of our national brand.
“The plans to shine a spotlight on the region’s historic landscape through light, story, performance and song as part of the opening celebrations for the Borders Heritage Festival gives wonderful recognition of the unique and spectacular heritage we have right here on our doorstep.”
Councillor Euan Jardine, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Sport, added: “Lighting the Borders is an incredible opening to this year’s Scottish Borders Heritage Festival and will truly capture the attention of local people and visitors.
“A chain of light will be formed across the landscape at dusk each evening linking these historic sites, re-enacting the lighting of signal fires from the time of the Border Reivers.”
As part of Lighting the Borders the Scottish Vocal Ensemble will perform at Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, a lantern parade and Covenanter’s Conventicle will take place at Duns Law in Berwickshire, and a Norman feast and music will be held at Riddell Tower, near Lilliesleaf.
Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive of Live Borders, said: “In addition to the lighting element, this opening event sees a remarkable variety of events taking place in historic sites across the Borders, including mass choirs, re-enactments and torchlight parades.
“This will highlight in so many ways the rich history, heritage and archaeology of the Scottish Borders and we hope to welcome visitors from across Scotland and beyond for the start of the Borders Heritage Festival, and right throughout September at the numerous events taking place.”
Those attending the events and capturing the unique lighting of sites are encouraged to share their images using the hashtags #BheritageF17 and #HHA2017.