West Highland Museum

OPENING TIMES: MARCH to DECEMBER, Monday to Saturday. March, November and December 10am to 4pm. April to October 10am to 5pmFREE ENTRYThe West Highland Museum is an independent, self-financing Trust with Charitable Status. It receives a small grace and favour grant from the Highland Council but is otherwise self sufficient. The West Highland Museum is situated in the central square off the High Street in Fort William. It is world famous for its Jacobite collections but also has fine collections of social and local history, archaeology, natural history and geology.

Collections of special interest include the Alexander Carmichael Collection, the Goldman Coin Collection and the Charles Hepburn Jacobite Bequest. It has a small, interesting archive and a library for the use of members only. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and will have a go at answering anything. History of the Museum It was founded on 23rd May 1922 by a group of Lochaber people who dreamed of creating, for the public good, 'a museum of and for the West Highlands that would be second to none in the whole country.' They had no collection and no building.

A series of summer loan exhibitions were held culminating in the 1925 Prince Charles Edward exhibition, a magnificent tour-de-force worthy of any great institution. The lenders to all the exhibitions were encouraged to gift their exhibits to form the nucleus of a museum collection. Many of them did and the roots of the Museum's fine collections lies in their faith and generosity.

In 1926 premises were acquired with the purchase of part of the old British Linen Bank in Cameron Square: the central square in Fort William. These buildings are some of the oldest in Fort William and are now B listed. Foreign Visitors Foreign language guide books are provided in French, Italian, German and Dutch with other translations planned for the future. Disabled Visitors There is access only to the ground floor for wheelchair users. There is full disabled toilet facilities. Groups Groups are advised to book in advance. If a guided tour is desired it must be booked in advance.

For community groups and societies specialist talks on various subjects are available. Education For local schools worksheets and object-discovering sessions are offered. Subjects covered include the Jacobites, the Massacre of Glencoe, Food, Conservation and the Second World War. Local schools have free access to the Museum. Schools from out with Lochaber will be charged. Shop A range of unusual and interesting books, both new and second hand; also, presently, delicate, naturally dyed, hand knitted shawls and scarves, made locally. There are also prints, postcards, old fashioned toys and small gifts. The shop is constantly changing so is worth a visit.? Reg. No: RD68 Charity No: SCO14287?

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