News‎ > ‎myEdinburgh News‎ > ‎

See the past come to life at Newbattle Abbey College

posted 14 Aug 2009, 02:53 by myEdinburgh Admin
Experience first hand the dramatic past of Newbattle Abbey College coming to life at the College’s first ever Storytelling Festival on Saturday August 29 from 11am to 5pm.

Come along and celebrate Scottish culture through the art of storytelling and enjoy an exciting programme of day events including a Storywalk through the Newbattle Estate, an Audience with Mary Queen of Scots, and guided tours of Newbattle Abbey College.

Steeped in Centuries of history beginning life as a Monastery in the 12th Century then becoming occupied by the Lothian’s Family in 1547, guests from the local community, as well as visitors new to the area, will be amazed to learn the many hidden secrets Newbattle Abbey has linked to Scotland’s past. Discover how the font which is believed to have been used to baptise Mary Queen of Scots came to reside at Newbattle, hear the story of the Abbey’s link to the ill-fated Spanish Armada, and find out how one of the most important documents in Scotland’s history, the Declaration of Arbroath, was drafted at the Abbey.

In 1935 the 11th Marquis of Lothian bequeathed Newbattle Abbey to the people of Scotland to be used as a College and throughout the 20th Century, some of Scotland’s best known literary figures such as Edwin Muir and George Mackay Brown worked and studied at Newbattle Abbey College. Today the College is Scotland’s only adult residential facility providing adults with life changing experiences and run both full-time and part-time programmes.

Newbattle Abbey College Principal, Ann Southwood, said: “We are thrilled to be holding the first Storytelling Festival at Newbattle Abbey College and are keen to welcome guests from the local community and further afield. We are also pleased that storytellers from the Scottish Storytelling Centre will be featuring at the event. The event will be a fun adventure for all of the family, and for adults thinking about returning to study, so come along to find out more about our full-time and part-time courses on offer.”

The Storytelling Festival will also be a great opportunity for those who are interested in learning about the art of Storytelling and to sample the College’s Storytelling course. In September last year, the College joined forces with the Scottish Storytelling Centre to run the first ever SQA validated storytelling qualification. People working in areas such as education, social care, tourism and business were among the first to sign up for the course to develop oral storytelling skills applicable in their day to day work and in June this year, the College celebrated their first ever graduates.

For further information on courses available at Newbattle Abbey College, or for further information on the Storytelling Festival, please contact Newbattle Abbey College on 0131 663 1921, e-mail or visit