A NEW Scottish national gallery opening in 2021, has revealed its aim to make the nation’s history, heritage and culture more accessible to all through “wonderfully visual” storytelling.

It also hopes to help address the findings of new research which suggest that many people in Scotland – including those who said they know “a lot” about Scotland’s history – have limited knowledge of some key moments in Scotland’s past.

The research conducted by YouGov on behalf of The Great Tapestry of Scotland gallery and exhibition space in Galashiels, also illustrates that 71% of all those surveyed agree they are more likely to remember an event from history if they have seen an image depicting it.

Sandy Maxwell-Forbes, centre director for The Great Tapestry of Scotland added: “Our YouGov research suggests many people in Scotland are unaware of some significant moments in Scottish history that feature in The Great Tapestry of Scotland.

“It also provides evidence that the Tapestry’s engaging and memorable images could play a key role in helping to address this. Indeed, many of those who have seen The Great Tapestry of Scotland tell us they were incredibly moved by its wonderfully visual account of the people’s story of Scotland. Some have said they learned more about our heritage and culture from the Tapestry than anywhere else.”

Maxwell-Forbes added: “Through a range of visual, tactile and digital displays, tours and workshops, our new accessible national gallery and exhibition space will build on this and take visitors from around the globe on a real journey of discovery as they learn about some of the key moments that have shaped our world and guide our future.”

Professor Murray Pittock, Bradley Professor and pro vice-principal at the University of Glasgow, who is currently writing The Global History of Scotland for Yale, continued: “Our history defines us as individuals and as a nation – it gives us a sense of who we are and where we came from.

“Understanding our past gives us confidence in our ability to shape the future, to acknowledge mistakes and makes the best of opportunities, moving us forward as a progressive society. Scotland’s history shaped and was

shaped by the world, and visitors globally love the Scottish past.

“Unfortunately, there is also a low awareness of Scottish history in Scotland generally.

“Evidence shows that visual imagery can really help people of all abilities to learn more. Museums, galleries and projects like The Great Tapestry of Scotland, that really take the time to bring history to life through images and engaging displays, can play a central role in addressing this.”

The survey asked people how much they thought they knew about Scottish history and then tested them on some significant historical moments.

It showed that 43% of all those surveyed, and 40% of those who said they knew “a lot” about Scottish history, thought that King Macbeth was a fictional character from a Shakespeare play. Macbeth was King of Scots from 1040 until his death.

More than half of adults in Scotland (52%) did not know that members of the same family fought against each other at Culloden.

Some 30% of all those surveyed, and 37% of those who said they knew “a lot” about Scots history, believed Scotland got its own Parliament after the 1979 devolution referendum rather than the 1997 referendum.