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Spinning a Yarn: The Dubious History of Scottish Tartan

The story of tartan. Taking in the Englishmen who forged a guide to clan tartans, Walter Scott's tartan pageant of 1822 and the 21st-century Scottish Register of Tartans.

Queen Victoria was mad for it and Harry Lauder was clad in it. It's inextricably woven into the history of Scotland, from Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Tartan Army, and has been used to advertise many political and cultural affinities. Tartan is a fabric that tells tales, but not all of them are true.

Moray Hunter narrates the story of tartan's murky past and colourful present, taking in the Englishmen who forged a guide to clan tartans, Walter Scott's tartan pageant of 1822 and the 21st-century Scottish Register of Tartans.

5 days left to watch

1 hour

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Highland Patrol

    Wee Macgregor Patrol

  • Nils Frahm

    Keep

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    The Isle of Mull

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    Bonnie Dundee

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    Orlington

  • Kenneth McKellar

    The Hundred Pipers

  • Glasgow Phoenix Choir

    Will Ye No Come Back Again

  • Glasgow Phoenix Choir

    Come then let us be merry

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    The Dashing White Sergeant

  • Glasgow Phoenix Choir

    Johnnie Cope

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    Cradle Song

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    An Eriskay Love Lilt

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    I live not where I love

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    Stracathro

  • Highland Patrol

    Gathering of the Clans

  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir

    Sea Sorrow

  • Sir Harry Lauder

    The Laddies who fought and won

  • Glasgow Phoenix Choir

    The Campbells are coming

  • Kenneth McKellar

    The Tartan

  • 00:02

    Nils Frahm

    Keep

Credits

Role Contributor
Narrator Moray Hunter
Executive Producer Andrew Lockyer
Producer Tim Niel
Director Tim Niel

Broadcasts