The chance collapse of a section of one of the walls obviously provided a research opportinity and it was very good news indeed that Stirling Council's new archaeologist Murray Cook was as keen as SLHS to seize the occasion. He was able to get AOC Archaeology to carry out a survey using GPS; SLHS member and archaeologist Stephen Digney is peparing to survey the collapsed area in more detail as reinstatement proceeds. And it looks increasingly likely that we can use all this as a springboard for further research on the historic landscapes around Stirling Castle. The Haining, after all, lies between the Castle and the King's Knot, where we carried out research during the summer (see the Projects and Development pages).
And research provides knowledge - the knowledge which can help preserve the landscapes and interpret them for future generations.
Stirling Castle is now rightly presented as a royal residence. But that residence could not have worked without the surrounding landscapes, the gardens, the stables, the laundry facilties and so on.
It is worth remembering that history is key to tourism, one of Scotland's most important industries. Without research, we just keep telling the same old stories. And, after a while, those begin to look very tired indeed. Research is an investment not an indulgence.
Today we issued a press release and you can see reports eg at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-16195566
We hope that shortly we will be announcing new initiatives to take this research further.