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 June 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 June 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.
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.
Progress continues but we are still working hard to reach our target.
August 2018: The decant begins
The Collections Team of Rod MacKenzie and Alli Spark have been very busy since the second floor of the Museum was closed off to the public.
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.