The Ullapool Museum and Visitor Centre
Ullapool Museum and Visitor Centre
The Ullapool Museum now has their own website see bottom of the page for details
The multi-award winning Ullapool Museum and Visitor Centre is housed within a grade A listed former Telford Parliamentary Church in West Argyle Street. The church was built in 1829 as part of a parliamentary initiative to provide places of worship throughout the Highlands, by commissioning Thomas Telford to build 32 Churches and 43 Manses, hence the term “Parliamentary Church”. The church closed for worship in 1935 when the congregation combined with The United Free Church within the present building in Mill Street. Other than occasional use as a food store during the last war and as a mortuary in later years, the building remained closed until 1988, when it housed an exhibition commemorating the Bicentenary of Ullapool’s founding by the British Fisheries Society in 1788.
The exhibition proved most successful, attracting considerable interest from locals and visitors and inspiring the concept of a permanent local museum, appropriately housed within the historic setting of the old church building. Several years of planning and fund raising followed, with the museum continuing to open seasonally, steadily improving its collection and welcoming many visitors each summer.
The project’s successful culmination was the skillful and sensitive renovation of the building retaining much of its original structure and atmosphere. Many church furnishings such as the pulpit with its sounding board, the Precentor’s box gallery and pews remain intact. Below the pulpit the Elders’ pews and communion table provide study areas with a comprehensive collection of archive and genealogical material and microfilm/fiche facilities.
The concept now presented is a seamless blend of museum and visitor centre, serving both the local community and visitors from all over the world. The display presents the story of Lochbroom through the theme “The people of the Loch” interweaving the natural and social history of the area. The award winning audiovisual presentation (in English Gaelic, French, German, Italian and Spanish) explores the links between local people and the environment, past, present and future.
Display areas relate to natural history (including two marine aquariums), social history, emigration, fishing, religion and education, including replicas of a 1960s schoolroom and fish smokehouse. Interactive touch screens and computers provide “hands-on” interest and monitors facilitate access to the upstairs displays and audiovisual for visitors who are unable to manage the stairs. A large display area is used to mount changing temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
The collection of artifacts, archives and genealogical material continues to grow, occasionally being supplemented by unusual items such as a pre-peristroica wardroom Russian flag and a POW tag from one of the Stalags. Much admired are the Bicentenary tapestries and quilts, hand stitched by residents to provide nearly 200 squares of scenes and trades around the Loch broom area. Equally of interest is a collection of hand crafted model ships, including the “Hector”, which in 1773 carried local emigrants to Pictou and other parts of Canada.
Open Times and Prices
10am 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
1 October – 31 March:
By prior arrangement with the Museum Curator.
Concessions and Groups: £2
School aged children: 50p.
The museum is situated in a central location. Close by are a free car park, shops, restaurants and the busy
harbour and Stornoway Ferry Terminal.
It’s a disability friendly museum. The audio visual display and permanent exhibitions are available in six languages.
A Museum Gift Shop for all ages.
MUSEUM MEMBERSHIP & FRIENDS SCHEME
You can become part of the museum and help in keeping our local heritage alive, by becoming a Museum Member or Friend. The museum has a membership of almost 300 people, from Ullapool to New Zealand!