Cluaran Historical Interpretation Project

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School Visits

The Cluaran School visiting is undergoing review before we start a COVID recovery programme.  We have been working hard online throughout lockdown though!  

We will visit schools, usually for a full day, and recreate stories from the lives of the people who have made the Scotland we live in.

Visits come in Small (Faering), Medium (Knarr) and Large (Drakkar)

The visit names are based of the size of Viking ships - but please don't be put off. School visits can also be provided for the Iron Age/Celt, Roman, Viking, and Medieval eras.

Cluaran is working towards ways to subsidise these visits to make them more affordable for smaller and rural schools. We want to be able to find a balance between making what we offer available to small and rural schools, as well as larger central belt schools – maintaining the standards of visits, involving volunteers and paying a living wage to professional historical interpreters. We are also developing a network across Scotland covering a broad range of time periods

Even if you are unable to afford the full amount, please get in touch. If we are unable to source funding to make it possible this time, we can use the information to hopefully make it possible in the future.

Museum Interpretation

We can tailor make a historical presentation to help the public involve themselves in your exhibition. With a mixture of acting and craft workshops we can accurately portray characters based on your artifacts, or help people get hands on and experience the processes involved in the making or use of the items in your collection.

Community Projects

We can work with your community, teaching craft skills, helping them research, feasting ... We ran a boat building art installation beside a loch in the summer of 2019. We started with a pile of sticks and by the end of the week we were rowing over the water. Lots of people from the local community dropped in to have a go at different crafts, and to tie some knots.

Contemporary Arts

Although we often portray the past, we don't live in it! We can draw on our heritage skills and knowledge to use modern technology to help people cross boundaries and explore their connections. For example, working with the "Our Norwegian Story" project we set up in the high street to use willow and tissue paper to give the public the opportunity to make mini curraghs. In the evening we used laptops and digital projectors to transform the wall of a cafe into a two way window looking in to the Karmoy Viking club. The distance vanished and once again Norwegians and Doonhamers were able to enjoy each others company for an evening of entertainment.

A sample of some of our educational activities
Era Activity Description Ratio  
    Interactive Stories  
Viking "Rig the Walker Thrall, Carl, Jarl" (social structure) story: A walk through Early Mediaeval society, with pupils dressing as different social classes School assembly size
All Time line The Audience wear replica helmets and form a line showing key moments from Iron age to present day School assembly size
    Experiential encounters  
All Era specific display Using replicas we set up a display to provide a backdrop for an encounter with a character from the past class size
All Specialist object handling session Each Interpreter you hire has their own area of specialist knowledge – Clothing, Hearth and Home, Specific Crafts, Music, Trading etc.

They can provide a short dramatisation of life, explain the heritage of a particular location, and lead interpretation activities as well
1 to 15
    Practical skills  
Viking Shield wall training The class will learn to work like a team, stand in a shield wall and maneuver like a (well trained) early medieval army 1 to 15
Medieval Shiltrons As above - but with spear formations to resist charging cavalry 1 to 15
All Spinning An opportunity to have a go a turning fibre into yarn - one of the most essential of human technologies!  
Roman Chariot racing No horses required! We set the classroom up like a circus, and the pupils roll dice to move their "chariot" like in Ludo the game Class
Viking Settler to seaking In teams the pupils will collect resource cards to build a settlement on a Scottish Island. Who will become Jarlshoff ? (first!) max 7 teams with an optimum of 5 in a team
    Ask about our other activities - or we can help you develop some new options  


Iron Age/ Roman

Before Scotland was Scotland. We explore the roots of the people who have contributed to the country Scotland is today.


Nestled Between Hills and the Solway, Dumfries and Galloway shares a lot in Common with Norway and other Scandinavian countries. We find out how the sea links those that travel by boat.


From St Nininian to the present day, there has been a monastic presence in these Islands. We use this as a mirror within which people can sense spirituality and find time to reflect.


Whether it is the building of castles and the wars of independence, or the transformation of the kingdom of the isles into Gallowglass warriors you are interested in - we can bring the stories to life!