A NEW tapestry has been unveiled at Stirling Castle to mark the newly opened James V Palace.
The hand-woven piece depicts the Unicorn at Bay and in one of a series of seven based on original 16th century tapestries.
The 3.3m by 3.8m hanging shows the huntsmen and their hounds surrounding the mythical unicorn and is intricately detailed.
A further two tapestries are to be made and the project is due to be completed by 2013.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “The first thing that strikes you when you look at these beautiful tapestries is the incredible detail that the weavers have put into each of them. Each design is a story in itself filled with symbolism on many different levels to be deciphered by anyone looking on them.
“The Royal Apartments reflect a time when Scotland put itself at the heart of Europe with King James taking influences from across the continent and incorporating them into the building, sculpture, and furnishings of his new Palace.
“These tapestries are a highlight of any visit and it is wonderful that we are able to add yet another work of art to the collection at Stirling and allow a completely new audience to see them.”
The tapestries are being woven by West Dean Tapestry Studio in a specially created studio at Stirling Castle and at the West Dean studio in West Sussex.
Louise Martin, Senior Weaver at Stirling Castle, said: “This is a very special moment for the project We started weaving the first tapestry in 2001, so the completion of the Unicorn at Bay represents the climax of a decade of weaving.
“What’s so wonderful about the Palace is that it allows visitors to step back in time and see what a Scottish royal palace was like in its heyday, when the tapestries, furnishings, furniture and decorations were colourful and new.”