Ayrshire’s past laid bare as the History Fair returns to Troon
Uncovering South Ayrshire's medieval past through archaeology at a major new construction site is just one of the highlights unveiled for this year's History Fair. The programme also includes a look at Robert the Bruce's' local ties, the rise of the Stewart dynasty, and online tools that allow people to bring the past to life from their own homes.
Organised by South Ayrshire Council, the annual South Ayrshire History and Family History Fair is a full day event of talks, while also giving visitors the chance to discover a wide-range of stalls, free of charge, offering advice and guidance on family history, tracing your roots, exploring local and national history, as well as a specialist Scottish bookshop. The event takes place at the Walker Halls in Troon on Saturday 3 June. This year's speakers have now been confirmed: Thomas Rees of Rathmell Archaeology: demolition work for the Riverside Development in Ayr will include an archaeological investigation of a significant area of the historic town centre. Thomas will explain the project's potential to uncover new evidence about the Royal Burgh's medieval origins.
Tom Barclay, Local Studies Librarian, South Ayrshire Council: King Robert the Bruce is arguably the most important figure in the shaping of Scotland's later medieval history. Tom will look at Bruce's many connections with Ayrshire, and the traditions and sites associated with him in the county.
Professor Steve Boardman, University of Edinburgh: Ayrshire's Kyle district was an important power-base for the Stewarts in their rise to occupy the Scottish throne. Professor Boardman will speak about the career of one of the most notorious of the family, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, better known as 'the Wolf of Badenoch'.
Neil Fraser of The Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network (SCRAN): SCRAN is an online treasure-house of images covering all aspects of Scottish history and culture, which is constantly being added to. Neil will give a presentation on the site's resources which will highlight its extensive and fascinating Ayrshire content.
Jill Cronin, South Ayrshire Council's Head of Enterprise, Development and Leisure said, "The History fair has been a popular fixture in the local calendar since 1994 and this year's programme offers an interesting mix of the old and the new. "From understanding Ayrshire's connections to ancient Royal dynasties, through to current work getting underway to uncovering Ayr's medieval past in an archaeological dig on High Street, the broad programme offers something to suit most tastes. "I'd urge anyone with an interest in finding out more to get in touch and book their place, with a mixture of paid for and free events giving people access to a treasure trove of information about South Ayrshire's past." The History Fair will be held in the Walker Halls, Troon, from 10am until 4:30pm on Saturday 3 June. The cost of the full day conference is £10, £5 for half a day. Tickets for individual talks are priced at £3 each (or £2.50 for two or more), and will be available from Troon and Carnegie Libraries. Tickets will also be available to buy on the day.