Performers from around the world will converge this weekend to help launch ‘Scotland’s newest living history attraction’.
Duncarron Medieval Village will host a two-day spectacular set in a palisaded fort designed to look like a settlement built to weather the stormy politics of 12th century Scotland.
Run by heritage group the Clanranald Trust, the 20-acre site – which is located to the north of Kilsyth and west of Denny – features a lookout tower, longhouse, cabins and workshops, all built using traditional medieval construction materials such as wooden dowels and pegs.
Duncarron, which means ‘stronghold on the Carron’, will launch with a celebratory opening this weekend featuring a series of appearances and performances by an international community of indigenous peoples.
They will include Aztecs, Maoris, Aborigines and Cree communities from Canada as well as groups from Italy, Germany and Poland.
Attractions include the battering ram from the Ridley Scott blockbuster Robin Hood, donated by actor Russell Crowe from the set of the film, and a working trebuchet catapult donated by the crew of Netflix’s Outlaw King - as well as “an incredible collection of authentic replica weapons, costumes and equipment”.
Clanranald Trust founder Charlie Allan said: “I’ve had a dream of creating a historical experience for more than 20 years.
“In school, we were never properly taught our own culture, and the history of the Celts known as Picts was never touched upon. It wasn’t until I later travelled around the world that I realised almost every other country did teach their own native culture, and I was inspired to do something.
“Old friends thought I was just being a dreamer but it’s great that these same old friends will be attending the opening to support the project now”.
He added: “It has taken a little longer than I’d ever anticipated.
“We’ve had no funding from the Government or the Lottery, but we decided to do this ourselves and it’s been worth it because so many people have all come together as we worked on it.
“It’s amazing to see the village finally coming to life, and with an ongoing purpose now.
“I can’t wait to open the doors. I’m really excited at the response from schools.
“Some are coming from as far as Inverness for the experience - which is incredible.”
The launch event has been backed by Russell Crowe, a long-term supporter of the project who first met Charlie and the team when they were lending a helping hand to German tribesmen trying to repel the Roman army in movie epic “Gladiator”.
The actor said: “I’ve known Charlie a long time now - since 184 AD in the border forests of Germania.
“It has been incredible to watch the growth of Duncarron over time.
“To see this vision come to life, and the extraordinary effort of all involved, it’s a monumental achievement.”
He has requested the Maori contingent to attend, to represent New Zealand and “make those walls ring with a thundering Haka in respect of Scottish culture and heritage”.
For more information visit www.duncarron.com and www.clanranald.org.