The Chain Mail

Welcome to The Chain Mail - a visitor’s guide to the sights and sounds of Historic Scotland

From History to Design and Fashion


It is the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and to celebrate the Visit Scotland winning year we are running a competition in partnership with Ortak. The competition went out to all colleges and universities across the country to look for a student to design a brand new range of jewellery inspired by Maeshowe Chambered Cairn.

Maeshowe is one of the finest Neolithic buildings in north-west Europe. This chambered tomb is a monument to the skill and beliefs of Orkney’s people some 5,000 years ago.

The project brief was to design a contemporary but commercial range of jewellery that reflects the history and mystery of Maeshowe.

The entrants spanned from Glasgow right up to Orkney and their designs and inspiration varied along the way.

Here are some of the designs:

Joanne from Rothes took her inspiration from the circular feature of the cairn using enamel to portray the contrast between the dark and the light of the Winter Solstice.


Lauren from Fife used the tombs as her vision for the range.


Norna from Orkney used the 5,000 year old plan and gave it a contemporary twist.


Paula from Glasgow used the Dragon from Maeshowe as her muse for her jewellery range.


Brodie from Aberdeen used her finger print to act like wall markings to cover up the outlines of the cairn.


Ruth from Aberdeen used the standing stones as her inspiration to create a contemporary range.


Jayne from the Highlands used tribal patterns to stimulate her creativeness.


Kathryn from the Highlands used the summer solstice as her motivation behind her designs.


Next week our judges will get together to look over the designs to select the winner. Follow us at @welovehistory to keep up-to-date with the competition.

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About Author

Aimee Bertram

Aimee works in the marketing department focusing on events and all the fabulous properties in the south of Scotland. She mostly blogs about upcoming events, our magnificent online shop and everything about the year of innovation, architecture and design - look out for her blogs that'll take you behind the scenes with Scottish designers.

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