A day as an intern at Culloden Battlefield…

Hello! My name is Caroline and I am an intern at the battlefield. I’m currently studying Museology and Heritage Sites in France and I was very lucky to get an internship here in Scotland.

Since I know most of you are probably raring to know what an intern does all day in a place such as this, I’m going to tell you how my typical day goes.

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Culloden Battlefield

 

I arrive for 9:00 at the Battlefield. Then, depending on if volunteers are already here or not, I change into costume. You might have seen me with two different costumes on, that’s because each costume is for a different presentation.

A 9:30, if no other volunteer is in, I do a presentation for the visitors at the Battle Zone. It implies me talking about a topic (that can vary from Frenchmen in the Jacobite Army to the Highland Soldiers) in front of an audience, handling weapons and making people participate in military drills. It’s always a nice moment every time because I either get very enthusiastic people volunteering or I have to choose at random. The people who are chosen are also very cooperative once they get into the atmosphere. The goal is not to take yourself seriously.

After this presentation, I start handing out stickers and doing tours. Most of my day is spent at the back desk of the Visitor Centre, answering questions and taking bookings, and then on the Battlefield, doing tours. Even though the tour is only supposed to last 30 minutes, mine always last at least 40 minutes! It seems I just can’t stop talking sometimes… The tours are very enjoyable because they’re always different. In spite of the fact that I say a very similar text every time, the audience reacts in a variety of manners and asks a lot of different questions!

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Guided tours take in all the main parts of the battlefield

 

Sometimes, I can also stay in costume and work at the handling tables, where I present many replicas of objects from the time of the battle to the visitors, allowing them to touch them and interact with them. I’ve had quite a few visitors from France and Germany coming to the tables and since I speak these two languages, I’m able to explain things to them. It makes them happy and it’s always an experience: try to translate “Basket-hilted broadsword” in French (or in German for that matter)!

At the end of the day, I try to work on the project I decided to complete while I’m here. I was able to find a newspaper article telling about the battle from a French newspaper dating from 1746. I’m currently in the process of retranscripting and translating it. I would like to enable British pupils studying French to study it and translate it as part of a school program. It’s an interesting article, as much because of its contents, than because of the evolution of the French language you can witness in the article.

As you can see now, my days are quite busy at the Battlefield and they go by much too fast! I’m really enjoying every day I spend here and I hope I will be lucky enough to always work in such a nice environment.

As always please like, share, tweet and if you ever want to be an intern feel free to contact us.

All the best

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National Volunteers Week

#ntsvolsweek2017

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the National Trust for Scotland conserving for the battlefield and this December the 10th anniversary of the current visitor centre opening its doors.

For many of the people who visit the site one of the resounding memories of visiting the exhibition is being able to handle the contents of a 18th century soldiers kit bag, explore the equipment of a doctors field surgery or have the opportunity to feel what it is like to hold a basket hilted broad sword.

The person running the handling box or speaking to the visitor is most likely a member of our volunteering team.

Between the 1- 7 June we are celebrating the National Volunteers’ Week and in this blog post we wanted to say thank you to the team and showcase some of the great work they do here. Our volunteers speak to thousands of people a week – Culloden visitor experience would not be the same without them!

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Volunteer John with our history workshops

 

Myths and Mysteries – how much do you really know about the 1745 Rising?

Did the bounty, placed on Prince Charles Edward Stuart after the battle of Culloden ever claimed after the battle of Culloden?

Were Jacobite broadswords guaranteed to loose against Government muskets? Did all the Highland clans side with the Jacobites?

During our shut down period over Christmas, a couple of our volunteers created the Myths and Mysteries quiz. Our volunteers ask the visitors 10 true or false questions about the Jacobite Rising, it is a great way for the visitors to interact with the history and test their knowledge!

This quiz was used to great success for when the Outlandish Gathering 2017 visited us at the end of May – on that occasion our volunteers researched a couple of additional questions specially for them.

  

Jacobite Pamphlet Project with Highlife Highland

A group of Culloden’s volunteers have recently been working on a joint project to catalogue the vast collection of Jacobite pamphlets at the Archive centre. The volunteers have begun cataloguing the collection – discovering a play about the battle, an alternative name for the battlefield and finding out more about the Earl of Kilmarnock.

 

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Musicians from NTS Folk

 

NTS Folk

 At Culloden, we have a group of volunteer musicians who rehearse here every month and play at events such as our annual community thank you day in November – you might even here them gig at other properties! Look out for them at Brodie Castle in August.

A massive thank you to all our volunteers and we hope you enjoyed reading about just some of the work and support they do for Culloden. As always please, share, comment, like, tweet and stop by to see our amazing team in action.

All the best, K & D

Ready for a new adventure?

The National Trust for Scotland is lucky enough to have thousands of people volunteering with us to help conserve properties, artefacts and landscapes in our care and help provide fantastic experiences to all our visitors.

However, you may not be aware just how many ways you can volunteer with the Trust. So, if you’re looking for something new to try this year why not take a look at how you can support the National Trust for Scotland.

Firstly, check out the Thistle Camps. These are essentially working holidays. The National Trust for Scotland recently launched its new list of Thistle Camps for 2017 and they are a great opportunity to volunteer, gain skills and have a bit of a fun whilst discovering somewhere new at the same time. There are lots to choose from and you can help with archaeology projects, discover drystane dyking techniques, spend some time kayaking or help create and maintain footpaths on some of Scotland’s most beautiful mountains. (The evenings off aren’t too bad either!) The camps are fantastic fun and very popular so be sure to get in quick to grab your top choice as they fill up fast. Thistle Camps

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Drystane Dyking in Threave

 

If you love the outdoors then definitely consider becoming a Conservation Volunteer. Here you can help the Trust by joining various projects across the country. This could be helping in the garden of a castle, building footpaths on a gorgeous mountain, or contributing to woodland management. You get to experience the wonderful countryside we help protect across the country, meet new people and fit in some exercise. Not only that but there are also training opportunities and lectures which you can attend to learn more skills and build on your knowledge of our wild and beautiful landscapes. The only thing we can’t guarantee is the weather, it is Scotland after all. Conservation Volunteers

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Footpaths Repaired by Conservation Volunteers

 

Probably our best known volunteers are our property volunteers. If you want to help a property then we are always happy to hear from you. Here at Culloden you can join our learning team sharing the knowledge of the battle to people from across the globe and running object handling sessions. If castles tempt you you can become a room or tour guide at many of our properties and our gardens are always looking for those with green fingers to come along. Many of us starting life as a volunteer, including myself as a tour guide at Brodie Castle. It’s easy to fall in love with a property as you discover all its secrets and it is incredible to be able to then share these stories with visitors and make their visit to Scotland even more special. Volunteering

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Volunteer Demonstrations at Culloden

 

With over 3,000 amazing and supportive volunteers we have a brilliant volunteering community throughout Scotland. If you want to join us and help support the National Trust for Scotland, what are you waiting for? Check out the links above, stop by your nearest property and get started on a new adventure. Volunteer with us

All the best, K & D