Renaissance Palaces and the Stewarts

Stirling Head 38

The Stirling Heads

During the 16th century James V's Palace at Stirling Castle was alive with artists and craftsmen of every variety. The ceiling of the King's Presence Chamber was richly decorated with 56 oak-carved heads known today as the Stirling Heads. 36 of the original 56 are still on view today.

The heads are depictions of heroes and gods from classical antiquity along with important courtiers of the time. They show a court obsessed by Renaissance iconography - a court which desperately wanted to imitate the imperial glories of classical Rome or the dark mysteries of archaic Greece.

video Take a video tour of palace decorations.

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Picture Gallery - Stirling Heads (1-6)

Stirling Head 1 Stirling Head 2
Stirling Head 3 Stirling Head 4
Stirling Head 5 Stirling Head 6