This ambitious project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and we have secured substantial funding from other supporters.
The pressure is on to raise the remaining funds to ensure the new Museum opens in 2019 as a premier visitor attraction and a lasting tribute to those who served in the Regiment.
Will you support the Thin Red Line Appeal ?
Under threat of closure following funding cuts, the Museum is embarking on a £4M renewal project. The project will ensure the Museum is sustainable for the future and meets the expectation of today’s visitors.
Uniquely among military museums, we are setting our story against the social history of Scotland, covering such aspects as the Highland Clearances, shipbuilding and the industrialisation of the Central Belt of Scotland. The Museum will continue to provide a focal point for activities of veterans and serving soldiers.
Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and other donors has enabled us to start work on this major redevelopment project, but we still need your help to raise the remaining funds and ensure we can welcome you to our new Museum in 2019.
We want you to be part of this exciting journey so will keep you up to date here with news as the work progresses. We will also regularly be updating our Facebook and Twitter with images of how the work is progressing, so check there for the latest pictures.
May 2019: Out and About
Selfies in Stirling
Despite the Museum being closed for building works, there is still plenty going on. The team took ‘Hamish’ and some items out into The Thistles shopping centre. Visitors had the opportunity to try on head gear from the Museum, including a feather bonnet made from ostrich feathers. At our Easter Crafts in Stirling Castle there were plenty of volunteers who had a go at making their own glengarries.
When you can’t come to the Museum, the Museum can come to you!
The first of our new handling boxes are nearly ready for use by schools and community groups. There are 4 new themed boxes:
- WWI Home Front
- WWI On the Front
- Victorian Soldier
These should be available from June and can be booked by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. It may be possible for one of our staff or volunteers to come and present a workshop.
April 2019: Progress
Nothing about a building project is straightforward, and when you’re dealing with a 15th century scheduled monument, the challenges increase ten-fold! Every aspect of the building works understandably requires close scrutiny by Historic Environment Scotland to ensure that it complies with the scheduled monuments consents. It is a painstakingly slow progress, but one which is necessary to preserve this amazing building. We all sighed a breath of relief when a main load-bearing wall was successfully removed.
And the Collection
We’ve been making the most of the museum closure to get conservation work done on some collection pieces. The Balaklava and New Orleans Colours have undegone extensive work to stabilise the fabrics, along with Campbelll of Lochnell’s kilt.
The pipes are calling!
We are now trying to raise £3000 to allow us to ensure bagpipes played at the Battle of Balaklava and the Relief of Lucknow can be conserved. Pipers have always played an honoured role in regimental history, inspiring soldiers on in the face of battle. If you can help, please donate at our JustGiving page
March 2019: Building Update
The King’s Old Building which houses the Museum dates from 1496 and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and an A-listed building. In 1987 it was converted internally to house the Regimental Headquarters and Museum. Considerable work has been done to remove the 1987 interventions, including removing blockwork walls, plaster finishes, mechanical and electrical services and staircases.
The impressive vaulted ground floor is being opened up for the first time and will house the new Highlights Gallery and Associations Room. The Highlights Gallery will showcase key items and allow those visitors with access issues or limited time, the opportunity to get a taste of Regimental history and the new Associations Room will tie in with affiliated organisations, whilst also providing a focus for our Veterans’ Association.
Feb 2019: Out with the Old!
Out with the Old
Taylor and Fraser have been busy stripping the old museum bare in preparation of the demolition of walls next week. The logistics of clearing the rubble has proved a challenge as access to the 15th century building at the top of the Castle is hampered by narrow gateways. Protective cladding of the stone gateways and some very skilled driving means that the rubble is able to be removed.
Meanwhile the Museum team are getting their breath back after decanting to our temporary location. It has been a massive effort but the 12,000 objects in the collection are now safely installed in their new home. We’re taking this opportunity to get conservation and preservation work done on some of the items, including some which have not been exhibited before.
Last chance to see WW1 Remembrance Exhibition in Helensburgh
The Museum has recently supported a number of exhibits commemorating the end of WW1. The final exhibition, in partnership with Helensburgh Heritage Trust, is running until 28 February in Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre. Further details available HERE.
Sounds from Stirling Castle – “Summon The Heroes” Concert on Saturday 16th March, 19.30 pm
Tickets are selling fast for what promises to be a great evening supporting two military charities. To book your tickets click the link HERE or contact Jennifer Campbell on 0141 814 4729 / Jennifer.email@example.com.
“Summon The Heroes” Concert
Saturday 16th March, 19.30 pm
Join us and up to 300 others in the magnificent surroundings of the Great Hall of Stirling Castle, to enjoy a unique evening of soul-stirring music to raise funds for two proud Scottish military charities – The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Trust and Erskine.
Hosted by Alasdair Hutton, well-known as the Voice of the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo and featuring performances from The Capital Concert Band, The Herald Trumpets of Scotland and the Pipes, Drums and Dancers of Queen Victoria School. Sounds from Stirling Castle returns on 16th March 2019 to give you a great evening of musical entertainment.
There is no better back drop for a magical evening than Stirling Castle!
Concert starts at 19:30 pm-23:30 pm and tickets can be purchased clicking the link HERE or by contacting Jennifer on the details below.
This event first took place in 2015 and sold out very quickly! Buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment!
If you would like to support Sounds from Stirling Castle there are various ways you can get involved, from sponsorship at the show, gifts-in-kind or the donation of a prize for the raffle. To discuss further, please contact Jennifer Campbell on 0141 814 4729 / Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
Exciting New Museum Gallery wins Museum Galleries Scotland £40K Award
The Museum is one of 15 projects set to benefit from a share of £466K from the MGS Museum Development Fund
We are delighted to have received an award from MGS for £40K towards an exciting new gallery in the Museum. The new gallery, Daily Life at Home and Away, will provide an opportunity to explore the life of an Argyll away from the battlefield. Through music, sport, religion and family we will tell the stories of the ordinary men behind the uniform. Garrison life at home and overseas will not only pick up on the under-represented story of Stirling Castle as the military garrison, but also tell the story of soldiers’ wives, families and the impact army life had on them and their communities. This is a new approach and one which aims to widen the appeal of the collection to a greater audience. This generous award from MGS will be used to provide display cases and AV equipment for the new gallery.
December 2018: Action Stations!
The builders move in, and we move out!
Paisley-based Taylor and Fraser Ltd, have been awarded the construction contract and Andy and his team are already in the Museum preparing for the internal demolition works whilst on the Castle Esplanade the work site is being built.
Despite the mess in the Museum – Alli has made an effort with the Christmas decorations!
As well as work inside the Museum, additional external life-cycle work is being undertaken by Historic Environment Scotland. The scaffolding is up as work on the roof commences.
In order to ensure the workmen have a free run, it has been decided to move staff and the collection out of the Museum. The challenges of access to the Museum mean that it will be all hands to the deck so please bear with us whilst we move and set up in our temporary location.
Fundraising efforts are continuing for the final push and as, despite rigorous planning, a project of this size and complexity inevitably throws up unexpected costs. Our thanks go to all those individuals, veterans and Trusts and Foundations that have recently donated, including Schroder Foundation, Hugh Fraser Foundation and Graham Trust.
Get in Touch
Please note that the Museum is closed to all visitors and our research facility is suspended. During the move there will be some disruption to telephone and internet. If you are unable to get through on 01786 475165 or 01786 448041, please try:
Association / SSAFA: 07709 067406
Other: 07397 377284
Thank you for your patience.
November 2018: Out and About
On the move
The Museum may be closed, but The Argylls’ story continues to be told.
Some items requiring conservation measures or cleaning have been sent to the conservators; others have been carefully wrapped by the Curatorial Team for storage; whilst others are being loaned to organisations around Scotland as part of our outreach programme.
Thanks to Historic Environment Scotland, our volunteers have been able to move into the Great Hall so visitors can still handle objects from WW1 and WW2.
Volunteers have been out and about with our handling boxes, visiting local schools to talk to pupils about WW1 and let them try on uniforms and gas masks. Our team have also been in Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre with Helensburgh Heritage Trust where they have set up a temporary exhibit.
Alva Academy remember those who gave their lives in in WW1
Pupils and staff from Alva Academy remembered those who gave their lives in WW1 as they held their Remembrance Service in the Chapel Royal. The service, which was attended by Argyll veterans, included songs, music and dancing performed by the pupils.
September 2018: Peeling back the years
The King’s Old Building
The King’s Old Building has seen many changes over the last 500 years and has now started its latest transformation as work progresses with the dismantling of galleries, making way for additional storage, and in preparation for buildings works. Clearing the Shop and 91/93 Gallery has allowed us to open up windows previously covered over to protect our objects, and expose parts of the King’s Old Building long since forgotten.
The building, which dates from c1496, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and an A-listed building, and has been altered on a regular basis over the centuries. Much has been changed but a surprising amount has survived from the earliest period. In our new displays we aim to piece together the building’s story in a meaningful way for visitors.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders connection with Stirling Castle dates back to 1794 when the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders were raised there. Stirling Castle was the Regimental Depot between 1873-1964, and remains the Regimental spiritual home. Since the 1980s the Museum has been housed in the King’s Old Building.
The new galleries provide the opportunity to incorporate the story of the Castle from a Stuart palace, to a Regimental depot to its current state. It is still possible to interpret many of the original features and understand how the building evolved from being a Royal residence. The King’s Old Building’s roof is considered original and project-related investigations have exposed the original floor levels, doors and windows. One of the main drivers for the project is the opening of the ground floor space to the public. This is where the majority of the historic fabric remains and will enable the visitor to follow the development of the Castle through its many phases of occupation.
Further trust funding success.
We are delighted to announce continuing success on the funding front this month. Particular thanks go to the Swire Charitable Trust for a further donation of £10,000 and the 51st Highland Division and Ross Bequest Trust. We would also like to thank Museums Galleries Scotland for their ongoing support.
Through their Skills for Success programme we are delighted to welcome Craig to the team, who joins us on a year’s learning placement.
Progress continues but we are still working hard to reach our target.
August 2018: The decant begins
The WW2, Modern and Colours Room displays have now been removed, and the objects are heading off into storage while building work takes place. Some of our objects and pieces of artwork are also off to the conservators for some vital conservation work.
Due to their fragile nature, removing the Regimental Colours was one of the biggest challenges facing the Collections Team on this floor.
On the road
Although the Museum is closing for the redevelopment, our outreach programme will continue and items from the collection will be on display in other locations.
Rod has been involved in ‘My Boy Jack’, the latest installation at the Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie which opens on Saturday 18th August at 2pm and runs to 20th September. This powerful and moving exhibition marks the conclusion of the centenary commemorations of The First World War and features various items from our collection.
Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “This award marks a key change for The Argyll & Sutherland Museum. It will be transformed from a traditional military museum to one which engages visitors in a modern and exciting way as they learn about life as a soldier over the past 200 years.
“Thanks to players of the National Lottery, current cramped conditions will be replaced with bright, contemporary displays. Better access will allow many more people to visit ensuring a brighter future for The Argyll and Sutherland Museum and its important collections.”
There is a huge amount of work to be done before the building work can commence – letting contracts, decanting the Collection and raising the remaining funds. The Museum will be closing to the public on 31 August 2018 to enable the decant to start. We expect to reopen at the end of June 2019.