Object Detail

Oak roundel, part of a series of carvings that decorated the ceiling of the King's Presence Chamber at Stirling Castle. This Stirling Head of a female Worthy has a remarkable border carved with Os, Is and IIs around its circumference. This may be musical notation and could be the oldest surviving piece of written, Scottish, instrumental music. The markings were not intended as an exact musical score but as a guide for the musicians. The Stirling Heads are constructed of 3 panels, originally only secured by glue. The great majority of the Heads, however, are in part constructed in 2 ply, an additional board or block having been placed over the middle board to enable the carver to model the central portion of the medallion in high relief. Nail holes are apparent in the borders which indicate the way in which the Heads were fixed to the ceiling.
Collection Type
Date Made
Circa 1540
dia 736.6mm (dia 2' 5")
h 28mm (h 1 1/8")
Property Information
Accession No

Object Type