Lectures and Broadcasts
The Queen's Outer Hall at Stirling where courtiers awaited formal audiences and where the queen probably ate.
Amongst some of the major events where John has spoken in recent years are:
Stirling Castle Palace, 1540–1603, lecture at the Palatium Conference, Princes, Princesses and their Lodgings; A Comparison of Men and Women Lodgings among the Elite off
European Aristocracy, 1450–1650, Paris (Sorbonne) June 2011.
Stirling Castle Palace Project, talk for Stirling Local History Society, October 2011; download a PDF of this talk here.
At the queen’s board; palace, protocol and politics, lecture at Historic Scotland Conference in Stirling.
In Search of the Rural Vernacular, Lecture at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Centenary Workshops, http://centenary.rcahms.gov.uk/workshop1/papers.html
Not Quite a Trackless Waste; Scotland’s Pre-Union Roads, lecture at Scottish Local History Forum Conference, Glasgow, 4 Nov 2011
Stirling's Haining and Butt Park, talk for King's Park Community Council, 12 June 2013; this talk drew a large audience and a lot of interest. It is republished here as a contribution to discussion on the future of these important areas, in the context of the wider park.
Contact John by clicking here
Radio and TV
In January 1746 the Jacobite army of Charles Edward Stuart failed to capture Stirling Castle thanks to a combination of their own ineptitude and the castle's modern defences, seen here. Click for larger image.
John has also been in involved with many radio and TV programmes both as participant and as researcher.
Here, for example, he takes a walk round Stirling with noted historians Bruce Lenman and Karin Bowie, discussing the Jacobites, in a programme hosted by Neil Oliver http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/heritage/walk-around-stirling-castle
In early 2012 John contributed to John Sergeant's series Britain's First Photo Album, talking about Stirling Bridge and its important historic role http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dxzz6
On Monday 9th June 2014 John appeared in The Quest for Bannockburn on BBC2 Scotland. In this two part series, Neil Oliver and Tony Pollard look for evidence about the famous battle. John's documentary evidence for the landscapes has played a major role in the creation of the 'battle plan' at the new Bannockburn Heritage Centre. The slot for the TV programme was filmed in Stirling Council Archives, where many of the documents are housed. John wanted to show that this is an evidence-based exercise and that Archives are of vital importance in preserving that evidence.
Norie's House (left) and Commissary Finlayson's house (to the right) are on Stirling's Broad Street and are part of a uniquely well-documented row of early Stirling houses.
In addition to this short selection, John regularly lectures on many aspects of Scottish history ranging from kings and queens to gravestones, rural life and early modern Stirling. Whether his audience is academic or has more general interests, his aim is to be engaging, fresh and accessible. For many years he has presented lectures on the broad sweep of Scottish history from the Picts to the present day for American audiences visiting Stirling.
Contact John by clicking here. He is happy to consider other topics. Rates vary and fees may be waived for local groups.