The Clanranald Trust is constructing a full scale fortified medieval village in Carron Valley forest on the border of North Lanarkshire, Falkirk and Stirling councils. The village project has been named Duncarron and will be an interactive educational visitor attraction. The idea behind Duncarron is to provide an arena in which groups, individuals and school parties can experience the atmosphere of an authentic, medieval, working community with hands-on history, learning from seeing and experiencing the past. The project will be fully accessible to wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility.
Work on the project started in 1996 and construction on the Forestry Commission site commenced in 2004. November 2010 saw the larch palisade and all infrastructures completed.
The site infrastructure has been a time consuming and expensive commitment as the location had none existing. The site now has a Visitor Welcome & Volunteer Welfare facility and extensive foot-path network connecting the whole site.
As an educational tool to provide schools with hands-on experiences which cannot be provided within schools themselves, Duncarron Village will be unique. There are no other projects or facilities of this nature and scale in any other forest in Scotland.
The internal village exhibition structures will be; 4 longhouses, 4 roundhouses, 2 gatehouses, a blacksmith’s forge, a potter’s kiln and a medieval hospital and herb garden.
When the main structures are completed, our volunteers will be building and sourcing all components for the incorporated exhibition relating to the experience. From wool to garment – wool treatment, carving and spinning equipment; also looms for weaving, dyeing vats and sewing implements. From clay to kiln – clay workshop comprising tables and benches, potters wheels and tools; drying storage, glazing facilities and design ideas. History of writing from cave graffiti to paper books – equipment required includes Clay tablets, slates, stone carvings, vellum and other skins. The introduction of paper came to the UK in the 12 hundreds but had been used by the Chinese since 200AD and our working exhibition will include the process of creating paper.
The medieval garden will be designed using raised hurdle framed planting beds and will contain herbs and plants that were used throughout history for the purposes of cooking and health remedies. The herbs will be used in interactive exhibitions which will allow participants to experience first hand how to grow, prepare and use the products as they were used historically. The plants and herbs cultivated will be used as part of a living exhibition showing the medicinal and culinary uses of herbs/plants in medieval culture. The
garden will be fully accessible to wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility and will incorporate a sensory garden.
The village will have a traditional gatehouse with a guards’ platform and viewing tower. This entrance will be part of the exhibition and will be where most people enter the village. In addition Duncarron village needs a second, much larger, gate with access for disabled patrons and emergency vehicles. It is for this gate we are appealing for funding.
It is important that this Gate is more than a utility gate. We wish to make it as much of an experience for those who must enter the village through the disabled gates as for those who can climb the hill and knock on the Gatehouse.
To enable this we propose to build the Gate as a large wooden structure with a smaller, extra wide, door inset. There will be roped bells and speakeasy panels at three different heights in the gate, allowing the visitor to alert the guard of their arrival. The guard can then open the right panel and greet the visitor at eye level.
Duncarron is still currently under construction, and as such is a building site. We recommend visiting on our designated event days which you should find more info about under our events page.
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