Visitors to Scotland and indeed Scottish residents themselves are spoiled for choice in the variety of museums available.
From cities to towns and villages you can be sure to find small and not so small treasure houses telling the story of the area from ancient times to the present day. Large cities tend to have artefacts from around the world showing how Scots men and women have always had an appetite for travel to places far and near. In town museums you will find objects of particular importance to the town and stories of the men and women who were wise enough to preserve the local heritage. Villages have intimate collections, often donated by local people, proud of the lives their ancestors lived. You might find museums representing a particular craft such as weaving, printing, farming, industrial museums, transport museums, mining museums, maritime museums – or even museums devoted to one person of note. Castles, cottages, redundant farm buildings and factories and former schools have all been given a new lease of life by housing the evidence of Scotland’s past. There has been quite a revolution in the lay out of museums, making a visit much more interesting and attractive to children who often are kept amused through a quiz arranged by the curator or hands on exhibits.
Beautiful Georgian Mansion and Art Gallery forming part of the National Gallery of Scotland, Situated on the Banks of the River Deveron in Banff. The House was built by William Adam between 1735 and 1740 for the Earl of Fife. The stunning grounds are an attraction in their own right with walks around the Gorge of the River Deveron. Has a Café and Shop on the ground floor.
Historic House dating from 1545 , the house is furnished to show as it was In the 17th ,18th , 19th Centuries , it has a fine example of a 17th Century Vaulted Cellar, as well as an intriguing series of religious paintings in the painted gallery , changing fashions in the costume gallery and enjoy a light snack in provost skene’s tearoom .
The city’s award winning Museum, Contains exhibits of the modern oil industry as well as the City’s fishing and shipping history. overlooking the Harbour, it tells the story of the city’s maritime and shipbuilding heritage, it also incorporates Provost Ross’s House dating from 1593.
One of the city’s most popular visitor attractions housing an important fine art collection with good examples of 19th,20th and 21st century works of art , it also houses a substantial display of decorative art from the likes of Bill Gibb (Fashion Designer) , James Cromar Watt (enamels and Jewellery) , the Maritime History section depicting the lives of fishermen and boat Builders , Science , technology and Industry, Archaeology and Artefacts from the North East
McManus Museum and Art Gallery, built in 1863, was renovated and extended in 2006 and is now a bright, airy visitor friendly building at the heart of the city. Its 8 galleries contain interesting exhibits from the life of early man in the area, to Dundee’s place in the world. The lay-out makes it easy to explore time and time again. The Victorian gallery with its vaulted ceiling and curved walls is the setting for a great variety of paintings from such artists as the Pre-Raphaelites and the Glasgow Boys. Ceramics are displayed throughout the museum. Travellers may be lucky to visit during one of the many special exhibitions held throughout the year. The café here has an excellent choice of gluten free goodies.
Housed in a former mill built in 1833, the museum has a collection of working machinery, over 100 years old, which can be seen operated by former jute workers. Half the working population of Dundee were employed in the industry, spinning and weaving, at its peak in 1900. Through the galleries you are taken from the growing of jute in the Indian continent to the finished product. In our eco conscious times jute is making a come back and many innovative goods can be bought in the shop. Upstairs presents a flavour of the different social conditions in which workers and the “jute baron” owners lived.
The Dundee Museum of Transport, is currently housed in temporary accommodation on Market Street (in the Market Mews) where there is plenty of parking. A marvellous collection of vehicles and models portray the transport history of Dundee very well. Dundee’s tram network, railway and marine history, a constantly changing selection of cars, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, commercial vehicles, buses and a recreation of Dundee’s first flying machine, appeal to all visitors. All the exhibitions are undercover, which makes for a great day out for adults and children alike, no matter what the weather.
The exciting V and A Museum of Design Dundee is due to open in 2018. The building designed by Japanese architect Kenga Kuma is in itself an innovative and inspiring construction like a ship heading out to sea. It will host major exhibitions, celebrate Scotland's design heritage, inspire and promote contemporary talent and encourage design innovation for the future.
This museum in Kirriemuir is maintained by The National Trust for Scotland. It is a small unassuming cottage, where the world renowned author, creator of Peter Pan, was born on 9 May 1860. His early years, spent growing up in the small weaving community, were a time when childhood meant using your imagination for play and today his house is a museum dedicated to telling his story. During your visit you will learn what inspired him to become such a success. Rooms are set up to show how they would have been when Barrie was a boy. Outside is the wash house where Barrie rehearsed and performed his childhood plays. His grave in the cemetery on Kirrie Hill is unpretentious, but his gift of the nearby cricket pavilion with the camera obscura, and a statue of Peter Pan in the village, are marks of his love of his birthplace.
Signal Tower Museum in Arbroath is exactly that. It is housed in the old Bell Rock Lighthouse shore station. The off shore lighthouse is Britain’s oldest surviving rock lighthouse warning shipping of the dangerous Bell Rock. On shore the Signal Tower uses models, audio-visual and computer displays and historic objects to tell the story of the lighthouse keepers and their families. Arbroath smokies, fishing and maritime history are all featured in the exhibitions. The story of Ralph the Rover tells a story of how villains can get their just deserts. The Inchcape rock was a hazard for shipping so the abbot of Aberbrothock attached a bell to it to warn vessels of the danger. Ralph, a pirate, thought to foil them by cutting off the bell. When he sailed many years later to Arbroath, and, forgetting what he had done, listened for the bell, but, of course, there was no warning and his ship foundered on the rock which thereafter was known as Bell Rock. Did Robert Louis Stevenson’s father, who oversaw the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, ever imagine that we today would still be learning about it?
St. Vigean's Museum is a small row of cottages near Arbroath housing a splendid collection of Pictish stones. Ask for the key at Arbroath Abbey.
Near Edzell, this is rather unique, having been set up in 1955 by a local farmer's daughter, Miss Michie, who was also a school teacher. The collection, too, is very personal.. The exhibits are tagged with the names of those who made the donations and you can imagine their ancestors wearing the bonnets and using the tools. Reconstructed rooms such as kitchen, dairy, parlour, bothy, and costume display give an insight into life in the glen in Victorian times. This farming community is well represented with agricultural and domestic artefacts on display. It is no surprise that the Retreat is at the centre of the Glen community, owned by them and run by local volunteers. Superb archives of the social history of the Glen and the first hand anecdotes from the local volunteers make a visit here very special - not to mention the all day breakfast, a smashing lunch, sandwiches and great home baking in the tea room. A great day out for the young and not so young during the summer months.
The Smith houses a permanent museum of Stirling, it's history and cultural heritage. Among the artefacts on display are the world's oldest football (c1540) and the world's oldest curling stone (c1511). Packed with interesting objects, the Smith has a fine collection of grandfather clocks and the Neish Collection of British Pewter. There is also a large area for temporary exhibitions and a cafe.
Stirling Castle was the home depot for the regiment after it was formed in 1881 combining the Argyllshire Highlanders (the 91st Foot) and the Sutherland Highlanders (the 93rd Foot). The museum is housed in the King's Old Building at Stirling Castle, orginally built in the 1490s as a residence for King James IV. On display within the museum are regimental silver, uniforms and weapons, pipes and drums and other memorabilia.
Offering services to the local community continuously from it's first recorded reference in 1791 right through to the 1950s, the Strachur Smiddy was run for many years by four generations of the same family – the Montgomerys. The Smiddy and it's contents has been left untouched since it's closure and now it has been refurbished it gives a fascinating insight into a bygone era.
The Oban War and Peace Museum tells the story of Oban and how it played a strategic role during both the first and second world wars. Oban was home to aircrew from Australia, Canada and the USA during WWII. Find out about the laying of the first transatlantic telephone cable and the construction of McCaig's Tower. The Oban War and Peace Museum is located on the Corran Esplanade.
Housed in a small building at the top of the Burnside, Dollar Museum tells the story of this quiet village through the ages. Read the story of John McNabb, who left Dollar as a boy, made a fortune at sea and left funds to the village which founded Dollar Academy. Learn about the Battle of Dollar in 877 and when Rabbie Burns came to Dollar.
The museum in Alloway is the world centre for Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet and is run by the National Trust for Scotland. Spread across a number of sites, it consists of the distinctive Burns Cottage, his birthplace and a modern museum which holds artefacts of his life and works. Visitors have the chance to experience Burns' life and that of the real people and places he wrote about. The world famous Brig O'Doon and Burns Monument are also part of the attraction.
The museum is located in the thatched cottage where Burns and his wife, Jean Armour, lived between 1784 and 1788 and Burns worked. It is suitable for all ages and features some rare exhibits and a room depicting how Robert and Jean lived. The period Burns lived here is believed to be when he produced most of his greatest works and local characters, such as Holy Willie, were written about. Mauchline is also world famous for the manufacture of Mauchline Ware, souvenir boxes and curling stones and examples of both of these can be seen here.
Stunning 18th century grand stately home and 2,000 acre estate near Cumnock, which was saved for the nation in 2007 by a group led by Prince Charles. The house, its contents and the grounds have been lovingly restored to their original condition. The house contains a very rare collection of Chippendale furniture and other beautiful antiques. Restoration continues in the grounds with the recently opened 5 acre walled garden, one of the largest in Scotland
The Dick Institute is the largest gallery space in Ayrshire and features a unique and diverse collection of contemporary art and natural history artefacts. The grand building is named after the benefactor who founded it, James Dick, a son of Kilmarnock who found his fortune in Australia. The institute has gained a reputation for having one of the finest contemporary collections in the West of Scotland and has hosted Scotland’s leading contemporary artists including Kenny Hunter, Simon Ward and Christine Borland.
Dean Castle is part of the Museums and Galleries of Scotland and combines a beautifully restored 14th century castle with several impressive collections. The castle houses a huge display of Howard de Walden armour and historic weapons as well as the Charles Van Raalte collection of musical instruments ... many of which are associated with Robert Burns. The castle is set within a Country Park and also offers an Urban Farm which includes Llamas, Deer and Clydesdale Horses.
The Museum of Ayrshire Country Life and Costume at Dalgarven Mill is a superb exhibition of life 100 years ago and more. Something for all the family from the working water wheel and machinery of the grain mill to the clothes that used to be worn and household and farm equipment used.
This museum is actually split between two sites, one in Dumbarton and this one that we are featuring here in Irvine. This part of the museum is based in Irvine Port and has a collection of ships and yachts. You can also take a glimpse into the life of a shipworker by visiting the Ship Workers' Tenement Flat
The museum is located just north of Brodick and is housed in a number of traditional Arran buildings including a croft, a smiddy and a coach house. The many 'hands on' exhibits keep youngsters occupied and older visitors will enjoy all that is on offer. Displays show life in a cottage and on a working farm of 100 years and more ago. There is an archaeology room, which tells of the Mesolithic people who settled on Arran 8,000 years ago. The museum is also the venue for annual events such as a Craft Day, Tractor Show, Childrens' Day and Motorcycle Show.
The thatched cottage dates from the 1700s and was the home of Souter Johnnie, real name John Davidson, one of the characters in Robert Burns' epic poem, Tam O'Shanter. The word "souter" means cobbler or shoemaker and there is a display of his original tools in his shoemaking workshop. You can also view how the Davidson family lived as the cottage contains some period pieces and Burns' relics. There is a thatched tavern in the garden behind the cottage featuring beautiful life-size sandstone statues of Souter Johnnie, Tam O'Shanter, the innkeeper and the innkeeper's wife - main characters in, Tam O'Shanter. The museum is suitable for all ages and often takes parties of school children and other groups. Opening times are limited so best to check the National Trust for Scotland website when planning a visit.
This 17th century house owned by the National Trust was where Robert Burns formed a debating club at the age of 24, took dancing lessons and became a Freemason. One of the rules of membership for the debating club was that members had to be a bachelor (unmarried) and residing in the parish of Tarbolton. Hence, the building gained the name of the Bachelors' Club. The property was restored in 1928 to depict how it would have looked at the time Burns visited it. It consists of 2 floors, the ground floor shows how the family would have lived in that part of it in the 1700s and the first floor has been retained as a meeting room to show how it was when Burns and his friends gathered there, to dance and debate. The meeting room is still used by Burns Clubs for their annual Burns Suppers commemorating the life of Scotland's most famous poet. The property is family friendly and welcomes individual and group visits. Check the opening days and times on the National Trust for Scotland website.
This property is now owned and run by East Ayrshire Council and features a statue of Robert Burns erected in 1879. The monument and statue are at the heart of a new centre opened in 2009. The centre holds a state-of-the-art archive facility for the area and has a first class family history section giving the public access to Scotland's People records not normally available. It also offers a genealogy service where family history experts will construct family trees for individuals. It has important collections of books, newspapers, maps and photographs of Robert Burns and Ayrshire. For family history research it is best to contact the centre in advance.
Jim Clark was the leading motor racing driver of the 1960s, winning the World Championship at Formula One in both 1963 and 1965. He also won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965. The Jim Clark Room is in Duns, and it contains a display of trophies, photographs and other memorabilia. See the biographical film by Mark Stewart “The Quiet Champion.”
Follow the knitwear and Tweed story as the Border Textile Townhouse explains the history of the Borders woollen industries. On display are garments, fabrics, photographs and artwork revealing over 200 years of tradition and innovation in textiles.
St. Ronan's Well is a historic spa and hosts exhibitions telling the story of Innerleithen and St. Ronan's Wells and their links to Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg. The gardens are beautiful and have featured in the Scottish gardening programme – the Beechgrove Garden.
Located in the atmospheric Halliwell's Close, the narrow cobbled lane with it's outhouses have a compelling history dating back 400 years. Named after the local wigmaker, Robert Halliwell, who owned the building at the beginning of the 18th century the museum is housed in a row of buildings, probably the oldest row of dwellings in Selkirk.
This is the museum dedicated to the town of Coldstream and also to the famous Coldstream Guards. The Museum is located in the centre of the village on the site of General Monck's headquarters before he marched on London in 1660 to restore the Stuart Monarchy.
A taste of what life was like for prisoners in the 1820s in the Burgh of Jedburgh. Walk through the original cell blocks of this Georgian jail – it is the finest remaining Howard reform prison in Scotland. Exhibitions will explain the life stories of some of the prisoners and why they ended up in the Jail
Dumfries Museum is an historical treasure house. It tells the story of the people and the land of Dumfries and Galloway from fossil footprints left by prehistoric animals, tpo tools and weapons of our earliest people, stone carvings by Scotland's first Christians and the fabulous wildlife of the Solway Firth. The Camera Obscura was installed in the top floor of the old windmill tower in 1836 and is the oldest working instrument in the world! A visit here is a truly unique experience.
The Stewartry (the historic name for Kirkcudbrightshire) Museum was founded in 1879, and the purpose built late Victorian building where it is still housed was opened in 1893. There is a permanent exhibition including the “Siller Gun”, Britain's oldest surviving sporting trophy. Changing exhibitions are drawn from the wide ranging collections held within the museum.
Housed in Stranraer's old Town Hall which was built in 1776, Stranraer Museum has exhibitions displaying Wigtownshire's historic and fascinating past. From archeology to farming and dairying and Polar exploration, the displays within the Stranraer Museum are well worth seeing.
Just beside the Dumfries Museum, the Robert Burns Centre is housed in the town's 18th century watermill on the west band of the River Nith. Robert Burns spent his last years in the bustling town of Dumfries and here you can follow the story. With original manuscripts and artifacts belonging to the poet, an excellent audio visual presentation and a scale model of how Dumfries looked in the 1790s, this is a wonderful exhibition.
Housed within the 18th century tolbooth, the Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum explains the world famous knitting tradition of Sanquhar and also the history of the mines and miners of Sanquhar and Kirkconnel. See how prisoners in Sanquhar jail lived and how ordinary people in the area of upper Nithsdale lived and worked in times past. There is a free audio visual presentation and a museum trail.
The Castle of St.John was built around 1500, it is a medieval tower house built by the Adairs of Kilhilt, one of the most powerful families in Wigtownshire at the time. The Castle of St. John has been used over the centuries as a home, a local court, a military garrison and a prison. Follow the story of the castle through videos and reconstructions.
A small family friendly museum, telling the story of Annan and the surrounding area. With displays of costumes, WW1 memorabilia, town regalia and a remarkable collection of paintings depicting Annan and the Solway shore.
In the top 20 of the most visited museums and galleries in the world, Chambers Street Museum has an amazing collection of over 20,000 fascinating artifacts from all over the world. Recently redeveloped at a cost of £47 million, the National Museum hosts not only wonderful permanent collections but has a fabulous programme of visiting exhibitions.
Conveniently located in the middle of Princes Street Gardens the National Portrait Gallery has a truly impressive range of artwork. Here you will find portraits of Bonnie Prince Charlie and also one of Flora Macdonald, Robert Burns painted by Nasmyth and Sir Walter Scott by Raeburn. Look out for the collection of works by the Scottish Colourists.
Housed in a wonderful neoclassical building designed by William Playfair, the National Gallery holds the national collection of fine art, both Scottish and international, from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the beginning of the 20th century. Here you will find important works by Cezanne, Raeburn, Van Dyck, Constable, Degas, Gainsborough, Gauguin and many more.
The Queen's Gallery is located at the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom of the Royal Mile and houses changing exhibitions of parts of the Royal Collection. Carefully selected themed exhibitions highlight works of significance from the Royal Collection. Check online for the current exhibitions during your visit to Edinburgh.
Both of these museums are housed within Edinburgh Castle. The Royal Scot Regimental Museum tells the story of the Regiment chronologically from it's inception in 1633 by Sir John Hepburn to the present day. Medals, silver, drums and old colours are all displayed.
The National War Museum tells the story of Scottish soldiers over the last 400 years. Why did so many Scots choose to fight?
Not far from Waverley Station, the Museum of Childhood is on the Royal Mile. The collection has toys from the 18th century right up to modern day. From Meccano sets to tea sets, dolls to teddies, this is a trip down memory lane for every visitor. The story of child rearing from health care to education is also explored with school slates, books and clothing also on view.
The Museum on the mound takes a fresh look at money! See Scotland's oldest banknote, try to crack open a safe. Look at art and design, technology, crime and security – all from the viewpoint of money.
Based in Manse Road in Linlithgow, the Canal Museum is housed in the former canal stable and is the only canal museum in Scotland. With old photographs and documents describing the rise and decline of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal and showing tools and equipment from the working life of the canal this is a different sort of museum to visit. There are a variety of Boat Trips on the canal, cruise the Avon Aquaduct for 2.5 hours or a shorter trip through Linlithgow for about 25 minutes aboard the 40 seater canal boat St. Magdalane. Very occasionally trips to the Falkirk Wheel are also possible.
Built with funds raised by public subscription Kelvingrove in the West End of Glasgow is a magnificent example of Victorian architecture. The museum houses an enormous variety of artwork and artifacts, from galleries of French impressionists and Scottish Colourists to wonderful examples of Chinese pottery. The Rennie McIntosh Gallery is fascinating with examples of work by the MacDonald sisters. Dali's 'Christ on the Cross' is one of the most visited pictures at Kelvingrove, though children love the Natural History Galleries. Entrance is free and the Museum and Gallery are open all year round.
This fascinating museum gives an insight into the incredibly difficult life weavers and their families lived. David Livingstone was the eldest son of a large family originally from Mull. The story of his early life and the sacrifices his family made to ensure he was given opportunities his younger brothers and sisters did not have is absorbing. David Livingstone's life story is shown in detail and the Centre is well worth a visit
Now housed in an award winning purpose built building, the Glasgow Transport Museum houses an enormous collection of trains, trams, cars, bikes, motorbikes, horse drawn vehicles and even a Sinclair C5! Wander down the recreation of a 19th century Glasgow Street or enter the subway station of Glasgow's underground with an old “Clockwork Orange” train
Located in the centre of Glasgow, near Buchanan Street and the Merchant City, the Gallery of Modern Art, or GoMA, is a must see for anyone keen on modern art. Housed in a wonderful Victorian Building the galleries are large and bright and the changing exhibitions are always challenging and interesting.
Looking out over the Clyde, high on the Hill above the town of Helensburgh, Hill House is the best example of Charles Rennie McIntosh's work. Not only was he architect for the house but he also designed most of the furniture (except for the dining room), the light fittings, décor and the materials for the soft furnishings. Following the fire at the Glasgow School of Art, Hill House is a must visit for lovers of early 20th century style.
This mile long, award winning site is divided into four areas, “Baile Gean” an early 1700s Highland township at its southern end, leading into the Pinewoods, the Highland Community of re-located buildings right up to the 1960s and its working farm “Aultlarie” at the north end. There are around 30 historical buildings - experience life in a 1930’s school, or milk a cow at the farm. Demonstrations, in costume, of Highland life take place throughout the museum. Dr. Isobel F. Grant began her collection of Highland life on the Island of Iona in 1935, moving to Laggan in 1939, ‘Am Fasgadh (The Shelter), Kingussie, in 1943 and finally to the Museum’s current site in Newtonmore. The collection interprets the living history of people, livestock, crops and activities all in an open air setting. Cafe, gift shop and children’s play area. Open from Easter to October.
The Museum is situated in the spectacular 18th century artillery fortification of Fort George in the former Lieutenant Governor's House. The collection will appeal to visitors of all ages and covers displays of medals, paintings, prints, uniforms, pipe banners, weapons and trophies from the 18th century to the present day – in all some 20,000 artefacts and 10,000 documents and photos. As the collection shares a barracks with a regular battalion you are able to compare the life of a soldier 200 years ago with that of a modern soldier. The Highlanders Battalion of today are descendants of four famous Scottish Regiments originally from the Clans and communities of the Highlands and Islands in the late 1700s. The museum also has items from the Lovat Scouts and Liverpool Scottish, as well as Allied Regiments from New Zealand, Canada, the Ghurkhas and Australia. Open all year.
Sited overlooking Clachan Church and Graveyard where St. Maelrubha’s monastery stood some 13 centuries ago. The Historical Society organised the renovation of a derelict building to provide a museum displaying records and artefacts of the area from the Early Settlers and Maelrubha to the current crofting and fishing communities. Computers allow the visitor to access additional historical and Genealogical information about Applecross and area. There is also a shop where Scottish crafts, postcards etc., are available.
Situated in the carefully restored Town Hall and Carnegie Library is an exhibition which guides the visitor through the social and industrial history, archaeology, decorative and fine art, geology and Natural history of Caithness. Every aspect of social and industrial history is covered from agriculture to military. The geology is varied from rocks and minerals, to crystals and fossils. Interactive displays bring Thurso and its people, past and present to life. Something to interest everyone. Cafe, Museum, Gift Shop.
This unusual museum situated in the restored Victorian Station in Strathpeffer, once a vibrant Victorian Spa village, explores the lives of children across the Highlands over the past 200 years. Dressing up, hands-on activities for all ages, toys, childhood treasures and the Angela Kellie doll collection are just a few of the things on offer at this exciting museum. Open April to October. Shops and café.
The Georgian villa, Miller House, holds the museum showing the life and work of Hugh Miller. Hugh was born in October 1802 in the fisherman’s cottage next door, however the cottage itself is c.1698 and built by his great grandfather. Although an eminent geologist he had many jobs throughout his life, including working as a stonemason, an accountant, a writer and Editor of The Witness until his suicide in 1856. He is buried in The Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh. Although he had no academic qualifications he is considered to be one of Scotland’s foremost palaeontologists. Visit the picturesque courtyard and Scottish garden of native plants within the grounds of the museum. The museum is a National Trust property.
A 17th century house in the heart of St Andrews' old fisher quarter is home to a small, independent museum. - St. Andrews Preservation Trust. Here you will find a wealth of information and objects relating to the history of St. Andrews and its people. The museum collections include fine art, costume, furniture and many other objects with local connections. You can view 10.000 photographs, postcards and slides. There are displays featuring old St. Andrews shops and Great Granny's Wash House is outside.
A must for any golfer, this museum is just a 5 minute walk from the centre of St. Andrews, opposite The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse, parking behind. Over 500 years of golfing history is represented, through material dating from the 17th century to the present day. One of the finest golf collections in the world, it celebrates golf from grass roots to international level. A Recognised Collection of National Significance, it contains over 16,000 items from equipment and artworks to Seve Ballesteros' shoes! Wheelchair access.
One of Fife's East Neuk fishing villages boasts a charming museum showing its seafaring tradition. An ancient burgh, Crail has been a prosperous and important trading and fishing port since the 12th century. Today there is still commercial fishing from the picturesque harbour for crab and lobster which have a reputation for quality. The Museum also has a well stocked shop.
A visit to this museum in Dunfermline tells you how it was to experience life in the 19th century. Dunfermline's famous son Andrew Carnegie emigrated to America as a poor man and became the richest man in the world. As a philanthropist he supported the founding of the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Peace Palace in The Hague and Mount Wilson Observatory in California. He did not forget his native land of Scotland as can be seen by the numerous libraries he founded throughout the country. In addition in 1903 he bought the grounds of Pittencrieff House. It now houses an exhibition called "Magic of the Glen" - a story of how the Pittencrief Park evolved - gifted to the town by Carnegie himself.
Anstruther (pronounced Enster by the locals) is a small and beautiful fishing port. Examples of historic fishing boats and gear help the visitor to understand how over the centuries the men and women of the fishing community survived the challenges facing them in order to land the fish that was their livelihood. The special way they dressed, their customs and skills honed in the harsh climate off the Scottish coast make for a close knit community which survives to this day in the descendants of these resilient people.
Within an outstanding collection of Scottish art from the 18th century to the present day, in bright airy rooms the highlights are a nationally important collection of work by William McTaggart, Scottish Colourist, S.J. Peploe and Kirkcaldy resident Jack Vettriano. The galleries often host exhibitions. There is a permanent museum display of the history, heritage, people and culture of the area housed in ‘Moments in Time’ exhibition.
One of the oldest museums in the world, this Palladian style building was based on the Pantheon in Rome, with Ionic columns to express the building's function for learning. Founded in 1784 the Antiquarian Society of Perth became the Literary and Antiquarian Society of Perth and after extending the building in the 1930’s, it was merged with the Perthshire Natural History Museum to become Perth Museum and Art Gallery.
With an outstanding collection of over 500,000+ objects, it is recognised as a collection of National Significance to Scotland. Items of particular interest are the displays of Perth Glass and Perth Silver, while the art galleries display Dutch, Flemish and Old Masters paintings and work by Scottish artists from the 16th century to the present day.
Built in a former water tower the Fergusson Gallery tells the story of the one of the great Scottish pioneers of modern art, J.D. Fergusson and his wife, dancer Margaret Morris. While J.D. Fergusson is known as one of the celebrated Scottish Colourist painters who was influenced by the French Impressionists and Expressionists, his wife was/is known as one of the pioneers of modern dance. The gallery celebrates the life and talents of this extraordinary couple who were together for nearly fifty years, using artwork, sketchbooks, costume, correspondence and, photographs.
The former Meigle schoolhouse is home to one of the most important collections of early medieval sculpture in western Europe. Built next to the graveyard where most of the stones were found, it contains a collection of 26 Pictish carved stones dating from the late 8th - 10th centuries. The collection includes recumbent gravestones, cross slabs and a hogback stone that validate the craftsmanship and artistic talents of Pictish society.
Pitlochry and Moulin Heritage Centre is located in the old Moulin Kirk, situated in the conservation village of Moulin, near Pitlochry. After the church closed for worship in 1989, it was purchased from the Church of Scotland and has since been transformed into a Heritage Centre telling the fascinating story of this wonderful part of Highland Perthshire. Staffed by volunteers, it is open May to October and displays local archives of the Moulin & Pitlochry History Circle, together with a selection of photographs and memorabilia of Pitlochry Past and Present. In the Kirkyard, adjacent to the Centre is a Crusaders Grave that dates back to the 12th century. The flat grave stone has a claymore carved on it and is believed to be the final resting place of some long forgotten lord from the Black Castle at Moulin.
The museum, established in 1969 by the Duke of Atholl, was the first purpose-built clan museum in Scotland and is dedicated to the clan which bears its name. The name Donnachaidh means “children of Duncan” and the museum displays a variety of artefacts relating to the history of the clan including the mystical Stone of the Standard or Clan na Bratach.
Re-opened in spring 2016 after major repairs and refurbishments, this interesting museum can be found in the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry. Following the story of the Hydropathic movement and the history of the Atholl Palace since being built in 1878, it tells of life upstairs and downstairs within the hotel. There are tales of questionable entrepreneurs’, bankruptcy and eccentric spa treatments, together with the life of Victorian hotel servants, many of whom lived in the servants’ quarters where the museum is based.