Kilmartin Museum receives £3.2million National Lottery grant

A view across the hill at Dunadd
One of the most significant archaeological landscapes in the British Isles is to be celebrated in a major cultural and natural tourism centre thanks to funding from The National Lottery.

Kilmartin Glen, located between Oban and Lochgilphead, on the west of Scotland, contains over 800 ancient monuments and sites within a six mile radius - over 150 of which are prehistoric. The area spans 5,000 years of history with a multitude of cairns, standing stones, carved rock, stone circles, forts and castles.

National Lottery funding of £3.2million will see Kilmartin Museum increase in size to provide a much larger exhibition space. A major extension designed by award-winning architects Reiach and Hall will join together the two existing buildings creating a seamless museum facility. There will be exciting opportunities to display more artefacts telling the story of the Glen’s unique archaeological and natural heritage, and the improved flow will allow many more visitors to enjoy the museum.

The project as a whole will enable us to properly care for the artefacts in our collections, and tell their stories interwoven with the sites and monuments in which they were foundDr Sharon Webb

The education service aims to triple its current user numbers due to better facilities and increased service capacity.  Activities for students of all ages are planned enabling it to become Scotland’s national centre for excellence in archaeology. 

Discovering, caring and sharing stories at Kilmartin Museum

Since prehistoric times, Kilmartin Glen has been a special to many generations.  Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples built tombs to house their dead, some carved enigmatic designs on bedrock now known as cup and ring marks, others erected stone circles and standing stones, the purpose of which inspires speculation today.  Later peoples, named Scotti, chose to site the capital of this medieval sea kingdom at Dunadd, in the heart of the Glen.  The kingdom they created spanned whole regions of what is now Scotland and Ireland, and was the dominant power for more than five centuries.  These testify to the skill, ingenuity and firmly held beliefs of the thousands of generations who called Kilmartin Glen home.

For 21 years Kilmartin Museum has been discovering, caring for and sharing the stories of artefacts from this special place, which visitors can see in the context of the sites and monuments in which they were found.

Commenting on the award, Dr Sharon Webb, said “We’re absolutely delighted after years of dedicated work on the part of the museum staff and volunteer trustees, that thanks to National Lottery players, we’ve received this support. The project as a whole will enable us to properly care for the artefacts in our collections, and tell their stories interwoven with the sites and monuments in which they were found, as well as provide massive improvements to the visitor experience and the museum’s education service.”

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