Duart Castle Staff Visit Mallaig and Ardnamurchan High School

Duart Castle, the ancient, ancestral home of the MacLean clan, located on the Isle of Mull, offers young people the opportunity to work in conservation, hospitality and tourism. Part funded by Historic Environment Scotland, the castle was restored to its former glory in 1910 and has relied on architects, stone masons, material scientists, archaeologists and many more to maintain the modern building. As there are a wide variety of careers available, including stone masonry apprenticeships, DYW West Highland organised a Duart Castle staff visit so students could learn more about this industry.

A Step Back in Time

During six individual, hour long sessions (one for each year group), S1 to 6 students listened to a brief, but informative presentation regarding the conservation history of the castle before having the opportunity to speak to either the castle manager, architect, material scientist or stone mason employees to find out more about their individual roles and work. Interactive and exciting activities included finding out how a thermographic camera works to detect moisture in the castle walls, observing modern and ancient scale drawings used by architects to construct the castle rooms and holding some of the tools used in stone masonry. As the students found out, the small team rely heavily on each other to ensure the smooth running of the castle as the stonemasons, architects and scientists focus on the conservation of the building whilst the hospitality and tour guides work hard to provide a fantastic experience for the many tourists that visit each year.

Other schools, such as Mallaig high School have also benefited from such visits as Stonemason, Andy from the team  came to speak to an S2 History class about the castle’s history and building project.

Future Opportunities

We are hopeful that these successful and interesting events will lead to pupils expressing an interest in visiting Mull to become more closely involved with the daily running of the castle, learning more about the industry. Thanks and gratitude goes to all the Duart Castle staff who very kindly joined us for the day to interact with the pupils!

For more information regarding how to get involved with DYW West Highland, contact the team on: info@dywwesthighland.org / 01397 705 765 / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram or call in and see us in the office at 15 High Street, Fort William, PH33 6DH