• Stirling Heads Carving
  • Stirling Heads Paint Test
    Painting the Stirling Heads
  • The King's Presence Chamber
  • Stirling Heads Gallery Staircase
    The Stirling Heads Gallery stairway
  • Stirling Heads Gallery Corridor
    The Gallery approach
  • Stirling Heads Gallery
    The Gallery entrance
  • Stirling Heads Gallery
    The Stirling Heads Gallery
  • Stirling Heads Gallery
    The Stirling Heads Gallery

The Stirling Heads

A Renaissance Gallery

The ceiling of James V's presence chamber in the palace at Stirling Castle has been recreated with hand-carved and painted replicas of the surviving Stirling Heads. A number of the original 16th century portrait roundels have been put on display in a purpose-built gallery above the renovated royal apartments. The carvings were taken down with the palace ceilings in 1777 and dispersed. Thirty four heads are known to exist but many have been lost.

3D computer models were constructed of all the apartments to be recreated as well as the new Renaissance Gallery that would house the heads, before designing and digitally painting a colour scheme on each roundel which was then positioned in a virtual ceiling. The location of each carving was discussed and altered once all of the painted heads had been seen together.

After illustrating how the finished ceiling would appear in the apartment we then built the cases and carvings into our Renaissance Gallery exhibition model before testing out the lighting design alternatives and fine tuning the grouping and placement of the exhibits.