Kilmartin Museum Update….From ‘Unbound’….
by Bernie Bell - 16:15 on 27 September 2023
Kilmartin Museum Update….From ‘Unbound’….
Kilmartin Museum Update….
“The new Kilmartin Museum has reopened its doors to the public!
Photo: Paul Campbell
Special Preview Event - 1st September 2023
We were delighted that so many of our supporters and donors, both individual and representing the many trusts, foundations and grant-making organisations, could join us for a very special preview event on Friday 1st September! The sun shone and everyone enjoyed their first glimpse inside the newly renovated Museum.
Nearly 200 people gathered to hear speeches from Neal Ascherson FSA (Patron of Kilmartin Museum), Grace MacLeod (Chair of Kilmartin Museum Board of Trustees), Dr Sharon Webb MBE (Director & Curator, Kilmartin Museum), Andrew McConnell (National Lottery Heritage Fund) and Maurice Currie (Provost of Argyll & Bute Council)
Guests were then able to visit the new exhibition gallery and enjoy the various interactive AV experiences as well as see the star objects in their new home for the first time, including:
The stunning Poltalloch jet necklace, on loan from National Museums Scotland.
The Glebe Cairn food vessel, with the cairn where it was found visible through the window behind.
The star exhibit is the skeleton of the Upper Largie Woman (found in a Bronze Age grave in 1997) and the reconstruction of her face by Swedish forensic artist Oscar Nilsson.
The evening of 1st September saw the opening of a Special Exhibition by local artist Lizzie Rose, entitled Carbon Legacy. The exhibition was inspired by the burning of almost 400 oak trees 5,500 years ago in an ancient fire ceremony and explores how humans have impacted their surroundings since prehistoric times, and how this affects us today.
Opening Day - 3rd September 2023
Our first paying visitors to the Museum were welcomed on Sunday 3rd September. Since then we have welcomed around 200 people every day, all of whom are full of enthusiasm for the new exhibitions and the new building. Our wonderful Visitor Experience Team have made everyone feel very welcome and have endeavoured to answer the many and varied queries which come their way every day.
Education Service update
Children from Kilmartin and Glassary primary schools, along with their families, attended a very special event to bury a Time Capsule at the museum in June. The children had written letters to their future selves, and placed them, along with a newspaper and a few small items into the capsule which was buried in the museum grounds and marked with a brass plaque. The Time Capsule is to be reopened in 2073 (check this date!) and many of the children plan to come back in 50 years to visit the Museum and see what has changed! Afterwards the families enjoyed refreshments in the new Learning Centre.
Highland Archaeology Festival
The Museum is hosting a Living Prehistory Ancient Skills event as part of the Highland Archaeology Festival in October. There will be demonstrations of Flint Knapping with John Lord on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October, and of Bronze Casting and Jewellery Making with James Dilley and Emma Jones on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October. Please visit our website for further details or to book a place on one of the workshops.
Carnasserie Rock Art Excavation
We have joined forces with Archaeology Scotland during September to undertake archaeological excavations at three prehistoric rock art sites in Kilmartin Glen. The Kilmartin area has long been recognised as an internationally significant focus for enigmatic carvings dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Age. So far the weather has not been very kind to us, with a lot of wet and stormy days! Archaeologists are very used to working in these conditions, and the dig has gone very well so far with lots of interesting finds. Once everything is processed and catalogued we'll be sharing all the exciting things that were found in our Friends newsletter and on our website.
The last few guided Glen walks are taking place on Wednesdays at 1:20pm until 25th October 2023.
On our volunteer-led Guided Glen Walks you will visit many of the amazing ancient sites in Kilmartin Glen, including the Linear Cairn Cemetery, Nether Largie South Chambered Cairn and Temple Wood Stone Circle. They are a fun and friendly way to discover what makes this landscape so special! Book your place here.
We are recruiting!
Want to work in one of Scotland’s most stunning glens? Take pride and enjoy creating fantastic, nourishing food for people of all ages? We are looking for a new Café Operator to create an exciting, tasty offer for residents from Oban to Lochgilphead to tempt them back again and again. And to be a highlight for tourists working up an appetite while exploring one of Scotland’s most significant prehistoric landscapes. For further information or to apply, please visit our website.
We are also seeking to appoint an Operations Manager to manage and market all aspects of the operations of the Museum site, including visitor reception, café and shop. If this could be you, we would love to hear from you! More information on how to apply here.
Keeping in touch with the Museum
If you can't get hold of us by phone, you can email us.
The ‘fire ceremony’ reminds me of the big feast which resulted in a huge deposit of bones being found at the Ness of Brodgar….
I may be mistaken, but I presume that the artist Lizzie Rose mentioned above will be the same Lizzie Rose who is due to take part in an exhibition at the Kilmorack Gallery?.....
Plus – there’s a mention of National Museums Scotland....
We have strong and happy memories of our holiday in Kilmartin Glen – visiting and appreciating the old Museum - and are pleased to see that the renovation has been done with such care.
Life is full of wonders - past, present and to come - and we wish the ’new’ Museum and the ‘old’ Glen, all good things for the years ahead.
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If you pledge today, all author profits from the sales of Mindful Soldier will be donated to Royal British Legion Industries and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
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Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2022/05/25/particular-love/
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