Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Welcomes Visitors

While the results of the consultation looking at potential new locations for Inverness Museum and Art Gallery are still to be presented to the City Committee, people are reminded that the existing museum on Castle Wynd is open, offering free admission and plenty for all ages to enjoy. 

Learning about the history of the Highlands has never been such fun as the museum encourages visitors to have a hands-on experience and to interact with the exhibits on display.

Throughout both floors of the museum there are Discovery treasure boxes to open and explore.  Draws can be pulled out to reveal unusual items such as a World War II gas mask, which can be tried on, and a 1930s telephone complete with dial rather than push buttons. There is also a box dedicated to medieval life and also lots of interesting bits of information to learn such as, what year did Robert the Bruce burn down Inverness Castle?

As well as some eye catching costumes in the display cases, visitors can try on a belted plaid as worn by the Jacobities, wear a replica of a dress worn by Jacobite heroine from Moy, Ann Mackintosh or feel the weight of a Medieval cloak around their shoulders. There is also an iron-age armlet to slip which can be attached around visitors wrists and for anyone feeling strong enough, a replica chain-mail gauntlet to put on, as worn by Andrew de Moray from Avoch.

The museum also has an impressive collection of fossils and original Pictish stones.  For anyone who wants to see how the Pictish artists created their decorative stones, a replica of the Pictish wolf stone discovered in Ardross can be handled and used to make rubbings.

The natural history section includes a selection of animals available for visitors to feel.  You can get nose to nose with a badger, peer into a Pine Martins eyes or feel a Fox’s tail.

An activity area provides paper and pencils for drawings and rubbings to be made and a computer gives more detailed information about the history of the Highlands. There are also games to try such as the medieval game of strategy and skill, Merrells.

Assistant Curator, Katey Boal said:  “We encourage everyone to touch and feel as many of the exhibits as possible so they can get a better sense of how life was at other times.  There is plenty of fun activities and games for families to play and lots of mystery objects hidden away in our discovery boxes just waiting to be found.”

The upstairs Art Gallery, Small Gallery and Community Gallery offer a changing programme of exhibits throughout the year.  Currently running in the main Gallery is an exhibition on Louis Wain, a highly successful illustrator whose reputation was made on his humorous pictures of cats.  In the small gallery there is a photo exhibition of photos taken by Robin Gillanders during a journey around Orkney and the Highlands.  In the Community Gallery, Merkinch Arts Group have an exhibition exploring attitudes towards the area and in August a group of young Travellers from across the Highlands host and exhibition of art work and writings.

The museum also has a café serving Fair trade coffee and a wide selection of refreshments and a small shop area offering quality gifts.

The museum is open 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and admission is free.  All details can be found on

29 Jul 2008