Banffshire treasures exhibition to be celebrated with spectacular light and sound show

Communities in Banff and the surrounding area will join together later this month to celebrate the return of some of the North-East’s most treasured archaeological finds to the area 200 years after they were discovered.

A special programme of events will take place at Duff House over the weekend of Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November to celebrate the Treasures of Historic Banffshire exhibition and Historic Environment Scotland is offering visitors free entry as part of its annual Ticket Giveaway weekend.

The exhibition features internationally-renowned objects such as the animal-head war horn known as the Deskford Carnyx and a collection of Pictish jewellery known as the Gaulcross Hoard as well as a full-scale replica of the stunning Gundestrup cauldron.

The programme of day events includes:

• Talks by David MacPhail, author of ‘Thorfinn the Nicest Viking’ children’s book series, on Saturday 26 between 11am and 4pm

• Object handling sessions with Aberdeenshire Museums Service on Saturday 26, 11am-4pm

• Intriguing Iron Age tales with costumed storytellers on Sunday 27 between 1-4pm

• A Crafty Creation Station for families, both days between 11am and 4pm

On Saturday evening the community celebrations will continue with the ‘Walk of the Carnyx’ from Plainstones to Banff Castle at 5pm.

Led by Banff Castle Pipe Band, local children carrying lanterns and puppets they have made as part of an outreach education project focusing on the Deskford Carnyx with Puppet Animation Scotland and the Youth Music Initiative will head to Banff Castle for a spectacular sound and light show.

A stunning finale on the day, the large-scale projection onto Banff Castle, ‘Burning of the Light’, has been commissioned by Coast Festival and created by artist John McGeoch.

A second showing of ‘Burning of the Light’ will take place at 7.30pm and hot drinks will be available thanks to Coast Festival at Banff Castle from 5-9pm.

The Treasures of Historic Banffshire exhibition opened at Duff House at the end of October and runs until the end of February 2017.

Admission to Duff House and the exhibition on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November will be free to visitors and opening hours are 11am-4pm.

Chairman of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, Cllr John Cox, said: “The return of the Deskford Carnyx to Historic Banffshire 200 years after it was discovered has been a triumph and the community weekend is a chance for everyone in Banff to come together and celebrate that triumph.

“The programme of events gives young and old the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating Iron Age roots of the North East and the torchlit ‘Walk of the Carnyx’ planned on the Saturday evening culminating in a spectacular light and sound show at Banff Castle is not to be missed.”

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “A huge amount of work has gone into making the Treasures of Historic Banffshire exhibition a success and I’d also like to recognise the efforts of partners and the local community involved in the planning of the community celebration weekend.

“That weekend, there is something for everyone at Duff House.

“Through our outreach programmes local school pupils have learnt about wind instruments like the Carnyx and made Iron Age puppets and I’m particularly looking forward to see they and the light and sound show inspire the minds of everyone in the Banff community.”

Graeme Curran, Manager of Duff House, which is operated by Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Since its opening last month, the Treasures of Historic Banffshire exhibition has been a great success and proven popular with our visitors.

“Now this community celebration event will offer people another opportunity to discover and engage with the heritage and history of Banff in a new way. To mark this weekend-long celebration, we’re pleased to be able to offer free admission to Duff House on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November, as part of our Ticket Giveaway weekend.”