Minstrel's Gallery

One aspect of castle life in the middle ages was entertainment. During feasts and celebrations the household would be entertained by minstrels. Playing music (which in this part of Scotland would normally be performed using a harp or small pipe like instruments similar to flutes), telling stories and reciting poetry made them popular guests, but the news they would bring with them from other areas made them valuable visitors also. Some of these travelling musicians became so popular in fact that their work is remembered today. One such man was Henry the Minstrel or ‘Blind Harry’ as he is more commonly known, probably born into a noble family in Lothian. Much of what we know today about the Scottish hero, William Wallace was written about 175 years after the events of his life by Blind Harry. His epic poem ‘The Wallace’ is a mixture of fact, fiction and folklore, and is coloured by the political mood of his day. This minstrel's gallery was dates from around 1350 and overlooks the Great Hall of Dean Castle.
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Boyd Family
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East Ayrshire Council
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