Traquair Medieval Fayre Marks Flodden Anniversary with Spectacular Pageant Re-enactment

PRESS RELEASE 15 April 2013

Traquair Medieval Fayre Marks Flodden Anniversary with

Spectacular Pageant Re-enactment

A spectacular re-enactment of James IV’s visit to Traquair near Innerleithen will form the centrepiece of this year’s Medieval Fayre at the historic Scottish Borders attraction on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May.

The two-day, family-friendly event  pays tribute to James Stewart, the first Laird of Traquair who fought and died at the Battle of Flodden 500 years ago in 1513.  In addition to a Royal Pageant featuring horses and riders, the Traquair Medieval Fayre will also include a jousting tournament, displays of swordsmanship, a living history encampment, archery, falconry, early music, wandering minstrels and a jester.  The Perth Executioner will tell tales of history and horror and there will be workshops for children as well as a medieval market in the attraction’s Walled Garden selling medieval-style goods including clothing, candles, jewellery and hand-blown glass.

A special Fayre Ale will be brewed for the weekend and other culinary treats include a spit-roast, hot pies and home cooked lunches and teas from Traquair’s 1745 Cottage Restaurant.

Traquair Medieval Fayre organiser Catherine Maxwell Stuart said;

“This year’s Medieval Fayre is set to be a truly spectacular event with nights, horses, music, food and entertainment that recreate many of the sights, sounds and smells our medieval ancestors would have experienced.  It is set to be an extremely exciting Bank Holiday day out for all the family in a year that we remember  one of the most famous battles of the medieval period.”

The Traquair Medieval Fayre has benefitted from funding from EventScotland, the national events agency, through their National Funding Programme.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland said:

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are delighted to be supporting the Traquair Medieval Fayre, which will explore a fascinating period of time, across the Bank Holiday weekend.”

The Traquair Medieval Fayre takes place at Traquair, Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May from 11am until 5pm. Tickets can purchased online at or at the Box Office, Tel: 01896 830323

Day Ticket Prices: Adult £12, Concession £10, Family ticket (2 adults and 3 children, 5-14) £38.


For further media information, please contact Karen Finlay or Yvonne Bruce at Artisan PR on Tel: 01578 722690.

Notes to Editors: 

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.

For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews. EventScotland is part of VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland.

Traquair Prepares for a Summer of Activities 2013

Traquair House opens to the public on March 29th this year and on Sunday 31st March will hold its annual Easter Egg Extravaganza. With over 6,000 mini eggs hidden in the Traquair Maze for the under 10’s this is the biggest Easter egg hunt in the Borders as well as other activities including egg painting, easter bonnet making and scavenger hunts there is a fun to be had all afternoon.

Traquair will be open throughout the school holidays until April 14th when it will then close before re-opening on a daily basis from 1st May.

There is so much history to enjoy within the house from the association with Mary Queen of Scots to the Jacobite uprisings and the secret stairs built for priests to escape in times of persecution.

For those who like a little liquid refreshment you can also try the famous Traquair House Ales produced in the 300 year old brewery in one of the wings of the house which is also a fascinating visit.

Throughout the summer Traquair also hosts a number of other events including the Traquair Medieval Fayre on the 25th & 26th May which includes jousting, combat displays, living history, early music throughout the house and grounds.

In June, the grounds play host to the annual Shakespeare at Traquair production, this year King Lear involving over a cast of over 50 adults and children which have built up a very strong reputation over the years.

 Then on the 27th and 28th July the Traquair Fair returns with a Sixties theme with iconic bands’ The Troggs and The Animals as well a pop up cinema featuring the film “Tamlin” starring Ava Gardner filmed at Traquair in 1968.

Then, in August a literary theme takes over with the successful Books Borders & Bikes festival taking place on the 17th and 18th August with a superb line up of writers, thinkers and politicians as well as storytelling bike rides and literary walks.

Towards the end of the year there are Halloween Ghost tours and activities and finally a Christmas Opening at the end of November proving this is a great family attraction with plenty of reasons to return more than once in a year and a great day out.

Easter Egg Extravaganza 2013


Traquair House, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire

Easter Sunday March 31st

Grounds Open 11.00am

Activities from midday

A cracking good Easter Sunday for all the family.

The  Easter Egg Extravaganza at Traquair is the biggest event of its kind in the Borders. With over 6,000 mini eggs hidden in the Maze and some larger eggs to be won as well we guarantee that no child shall leave empty handed.

The day is not all about chocolate and there are lot of other activities for children to enjoy from scavenger and treasure hunts in the grounds and woodlands, musical instrument making, egg decorating, Easter bonnet making and Face Painting in the walled garden as well as Michael Angelo, the extraordinary stilt man who will be entertaining the crowds and leading the Easter procession at 3.00pm for everyone to show off their bonnets!

This year there are three egg hunts planned for the under 10’s.

At 1.30pm the first hunt will be for 5-6year olds in the Maze. Then at 3.30pm there will be an under 5’s egg scramble in the Old Walled Garden and at 4.00pm a hunt for 7-9 year olds will be held in the Maze.

Light meals, a hog roast and delicious home baking will be available from our award winning 1745 Cottage Restaurant and Traquair House is open to the public from 11.00am – 5.00pm.

Admission: Adults £5.00 Child/Concs. £4.00 Under 5’s free

Please note parking is limited due to the adverse weather. If you are able to park in Innerleithen or the Red Bull Car park you can walk to the pedestrian entry (about 10mins) and gain FREE entry for children!

House entry is additional

Traquair links up with the 2012 Preston Guild

What links Scotland’s oldest inhabited house with the UK’s oldest Guild celebration?

… this fascinating personal view of the Preston Guild of 1802 penned by the 21 year old Charles Stuart, Lord Linton, later 8th and last Earl of Traquair.

The Preston Guild dates from 1179, with surviving documentary evidence suggesting that there were organised Guild celebrations as early as 1378. Merchants were called on to renew their membership of their trade guild roughly once every generation and, from 1542, this became established as every twenty years. The phrase ‘Once in a Preston Guild’, meaning not very often, stems from this event.

“Having had long in contemplation the desire of seeing Preston jubilee which happens but every twenty years…” This is how Lord Linton’s journal begins, and it goes on to conjure up so much of the activity in such detail that we can almost see, feel and hear the action as we turn the pages. Here is a young man with his own quirky take on everything - nothing, and no-one, escapes his acute, and often catty, observation …

This full colour facsimile of all 37 pages of Lord Linton’s original manuscript, with background information supplied by Traquair’s archivist, Margaret Fox, has been published to coincide with this year’s Preston Guild.

The manuscript has lain in the Traquair archives for 210 years and we are delighted to take this opportunity to bring it to a much wider readership.

Whether or not you are interested in Preston and its Guild, you are sure to enjoy this insight into a young man let loose from boarding school for a couple of weeks in pre-Regency England!

Buy your copy for only £5 from the Traquair Gift Shop or from our online shop.

A Family Life Revealed

Catherine Maxwell Stuart & Margaret Fox

To be launched at Traquair House on Wednesday 4th July 6pm
with Nick Barratt from BBC'S “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Traquair reveals direct link with one of America's founding fathers

Letters and documents published in a new book from Traquair reveal a fascinating story of how the daughter of the 6th Earl of Traquair eloped with Cyrus Griffin, an American law student who came to study in Edinburgh and later became the last President of the Continental Congress, a month before George Washington was sworn in as President of the United States.

His wife, Christina, was said to have been America's first, First Lady introducing the tradition of offering hospitality to visiting dignitaries.

This is one of the many intriguing tales  that will be told in A FAMILY LIFE REVEALED that Catherine Maxwell Stuart together with archivist Margaret Fox have been working on in the Traquair Archives for the past eighteen months.

The richly illustrated book brings together the story of the Stuart Family at Traquair from 1491 to 1875 told principally through documents, letters and accounts from the family archives.

Catherine Maxwell Stuart commented:

“The Stuarts of Traquair witnessed great political and social change during this period, sometimes playing a central role but for the most part as Catholics and Jacobites, they looked on from the sidelines. This is history told at a very personal level which has become more fascinating the more we have delved into the archives.”

The book also contains many letters that were written during the Jacobite rebellions including a coded letter which is yet to be broken, the grand tour of Europe undertaken by the young heirs in the 1700's and later travels in Europe in search of wealth. There is also much local interest with the later Earls' promotion of new agricultural methods, the railway and St Ronan's Wells in Innerleithen.

A FAMILY LIFE REVEALED will be available in hardback and paperback direct from Traquair House. 

For further information please contact Catherine Maxwell Stuart, Traquair House on 01896 830323.

Traquair Prepares for Artful Reflection

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"636","attributes":{"alt":"The-Art-of-Concealment","class":"media-image","style":"width: 180px; height: 180px; float: right; margin-left: 6px; margin-right: 6px;","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]Scottish Borders historic home, Traquair House near Innerleithen is the inspiration for a groundbreaking contemporary art exhibition opening on July 1st.

Titled “Reflective Histories”, the exhibition features a series of new installations and accompanying print works by seven leading contemporary Scottish artists designed to reflect different aspects of the house’s rich and complex heritage.

The exhibition, which is free with entry to Traquair House, will run until the end of September and is accompanied by a three month long events programme featuring interactive workshops, lectures and demonstrations led by the participating artists.

Developed as part of ‘The Year of Creative Scotland 2012’ this is a partnership project between Traquair and Edinburgh Printmakers. “Reflective Histories” features specially commissioned and installed artworks including two large replica size bears cast from an archery target, an intriguing visual display of moth prints only visible under special ultra violet light, beautiful and thought provoking embroidery work on printed silk, a stunning 3d printed unicorn chess piece and an intricate handmade artist book conjuring up all kinds of insights and associations with the contents and history of the house.  

The seven artists participating in the project are: Calum Colvin, David Faithfull, Duncan Robertson, Helen Douglas, Lesley Logue, Nicola Murray and Rachel Maclean.

Sarah Price, Director, Edinburgh Printmakers said: “Reflective Histories has been a great opportunity for Edinburgh Printmakers to commission exciting new contemporary artwork in print, the site specific installation pieces particularly demonstrate innovation in the medium.  Working in the context of Traquair House has promoted some of the most exceptional work to be created that I have ever seen in print and I am really proud of what these artists have achieved, these pieces are insightful, well-conceived and draw you into the history of the house in a way that is completely unique and original”.

Catherine Maxwell Stuart, owner of Traqauir commented: “Traquair has a long association with the arts through events such as our Traquair Fair but this is the first time the house will be home to a three-month long exhibition of entirely new artworks inspired by the property itself.  The artists have just visited Traquair to explain to our guides the inspiration behind each work and we are now eager to welcome visitors and showcase the new installations.”

Sarah Price continued: “This exhibition aims not only to increase accessibility to contemporary art but also to show how it can be relevant and engaging for audiences from children right through to seniors. The accompanying workshop program will feature events for people of all ages and the artworks themselves are aimed at having cross-generational appeal. We hope people from far and wide will come to enjoy this unique venture.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a guide for adults and a guide specially created for children which encourages them to explore some of the hidden symbols within the artists works.

A full colour illustrated catalogue accompanies this project with an introduction by Sarah Price, a foreword by Catherine Maxwell Stuart and an essay by Ruth Pelzer-Montada. This is published by Edinburgh Printmakers and is available to buy from the online shop at or Traquair’s gift shop.
Also we have a guide for adults and a guide specially created for children which encourages them to explore some of the hidden symbols within the artists works.


Traquair Shakespeare Festival 2012


Traquair Shakespeare Festival 2012

This year, Traquair House plays host to a weekend of Elizabethan treats and activities including falconry, jousting, jesters and, of course, Shakespeare!

The Traquair Shakespeare Festival is part of the RSC Open Stages Programme which aims to celebrate amateur theatre and strengthen the bond with the world of professional theatre. 

The festival aims to attract families, theatre fans, medieval enthusiasts and culture vultures.

The festival is funded in partnership with Event Scotland, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Borders Council and is part of the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 project.


  • Performances: Shakespeare performed by both professional and amateur theatre makers including Guy Masterson with his Edinburgh Fringe 2011, 5 star performance of 'Shylock' and the Shakespeare @ Traquair theatre company with 'Twelfth Night'. Story-telling by wandering Shakespearean characters. Early music & choirs in the house and chapel.
  • Elizabethan Fayre: A real Elizabethan atmosphere with living history displays, jousting, archery, falconry, children's workshops and combat demonstrations.
  • Workshops: Professional theatre practitioners impart their expertise on physical theatre, voice, text and singing. Aimed at amateur and professional dramatists looking to improve, refresh or learn new skills.
  • Accommodation: Camp site, B&B at Traquair House and local B&B and Hotels available


Traquair House is Scotland's Oldest Inhabited house spanning over 900 years of Scottish history.

It regularly plays host to a number of summer events and the house and grounds are open daily from Easter until the end of October. It is situated in the Scottish Borders, 1.5 miles from Innerleithen.


Main activities take place on the weekend of Saturday 26th May - Sunday 27th May 2012.

Performance of 'Twelfth Night' by the Shakespeare @ Traquair theatre company runs on the dates of the festival as well as additional performances running from Wednesday 23rd May - Saturday 27th May and Thursday 31st May - Saturday 2nd June 2012. 

Easter Eggstravaganza 2012 at Traquair

Its time once again for families from all over Scotland to come flocking for the Border's biggest egg hunt, the  Easter Egg Extravaganza taking place at Traquair on Easter Sunday April 8th

There are over 5,000 mini eggs hidden in the Traquair Maze for under 10's which covers nearly half an acre at the back of the house. Then, there are a further 1,000 eggs for little egg hunters (under 5's) in the Old Walled Garden and many more larger eggs to be won on treasure and scavenger hunts throughout the house and grounds.

The event is not all about chocolate!  The legendary Mr Boom is coming all the way from the Moon to entertain the little ones with his wonderful one man band. You can also have a go at egg painting or have your face painted.  There are workshops to make your own musical instrument and  your own imaginative Easter Bonnet. At 3pm there is a grand Easter procession down to the house to show off your bonnets.

The event starts at 12pm with hunts  at 1.30pm in the  maze for 5 - 7yr olds, at 3pm for under 5's in the Walled Garden and at 3.30pm for 7- 9yr olds in the Maze. All activities finish at 5pm.

For further information and photographs if required contact Tel: 01896 830323

Traquair Fair News 2012

We have taken the decision to run the Traquair Fair on a biennial basis. There will therefore be no Fair in 2012. The resources now required to put on an event of this nature are increasing every year in terms of time and finance and have made it impossible at present to continue running the event annually.

In the past few years we have also had to contend with some extreme weather conditions which not only impacted on visitor numbers but also on our grounds for some time after the event. As a visitor attraction that is open daily throughout the summer we have to ensure we maintain our grounds to as high a standard as possible for all our visitors.

We know there will be many of you out there that will be disappointed but please bear with us. We are already planning another great Fair with some exciting new initiatives and creative twists and the Fair will be back on Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th August 2013 - we hope to see you all there.

Catherine Maxwell Stuart