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Our Redevelopment Project

Play your part in Scotland’s ancient stories. Help us secure their future. 

Plans are well underway for the £6.7 million creation of an ambitious new Museum.


Why does Kilmartin need a new Museum?  

Objects and Stories…

Our collection has grown since the Museum opened and now includes artefacts from all corners of Argyll.  People can explore Kilmartin Glen’s monuments and discover some of their treasures in the Museum today, but we care for many more that cannot be displayed.

Our project will create more museum exhibition space so we can bring these hidden treasures to light; including the three earliest ‘Beaker’ pots ever found in Britain.  The pots were placed in a grave a mere stone’s throw from the Museum and speak of contact some 4,000 years ago between people living in Kilmartin Glen and the Continent.  These are internationally important artefacts, but we don’t currently have the space to display them.  Our new exhibition will showcase these and other artefacts, focusing on the unique aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage.  It will tell the story of Mid Argyll’s Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art, the linear cemetery and the ritual landscape.  The exhibition will explain why and how Dunadd became the first kingdom of the ‘Scotti’ and how this influenced the development of Scotland as a nation.  It will explain how incredibly important natural habitats like the Mòine Mhór and the locally abundant Atlantic Oakwoods have survived and why they are important today on a global scale.

Caring for things…

Some of our artefacts are in need of conservation.  As part of our project, we will conserve some of the collections in our care.  This includes the skeleton of a young woman who was buried with great care in the Bronze Age, and rescued from a nearby quarry. We’ll also be able to do research to find out what she looked like, so visitors to the new museum can literally come face to face with the Bronze Age.

Every year artefacts are found by chance, excavated by us, or by other agencies.  Our collection continues to grow, but we are rapidly running out of space to house it.  If we cannot build new facilities we will have to stop collecting, which would be a great shame!  We want to keep Argyll’s treasures in Argyll to benefit the people living here, as well as visitors to the area.  There is so much to learn from the finds discovered in this fascinating landscape.

Creativity brought to life…

A wealth of talented artists and craft workers live in Argyll and their creativity is inspired by the beautiful land and seascapes here. The new Museum will include a space which can be used by the local community and other organisations as well as ourselves to deliver cultural activities and an array of temporary exhibitions.

A Lifetime of Discovery…and a pause for cake!

Key to the Museum’s long term success is the development of new visitor facilities.  The new Museum will act as a gateway, providing all the information people need to begin their exploration of the area’s natural heritage and archaeological monuments. A better designed shop will sell a range of heritage inspired gifts and crafts.

We’ve been told people love our café, so it will remain mostly as it is at present, but we will be re-jigging the kitchen to make it larger and easier to work in for our staff.  Rest assured, you’ll still be able to enjoy a coffee and homemade cake in the green-oak conservatory!

People living in Kilmartin Village and in the wider landscape have asked us to solve the lack of visitor car parking.  Our project aims to do that and we are working on a solution at the moment. Find out more here.

Learning and doing…

Currently, educational visits present something of a logistical challenge for our team.  We simply don’t have a space large enough to accommodate a class of children, and we often have to hold evening events and talks off site for this reason too.  Our project will create a fit for purpose learning space which can be used for all sorts of ventures, and it will also be available for other groups to hire.  We want to expand our education service by delivering adult learning and training in archaeology as well as undertaking new research and excavation projects.  The new Museum will give us facilities to do this.

The Redevelopment Project will transform Kilmartin Museum and ensure that Kilmartin Glen gains the wide spread recognition it deserves.

With your help we can build a new Museum to create a suitable home for Argyll’s unique and special artefacts – whether currently in our care or yet to be found.  You can help us keep alive the magic of this special place for generations to come.  We invite you to be part of this adventure.

You can find out more about the Museum here.  You can find out more about our Collections here.  You can find out more about the archaeology of the area and our research projects here.

What will the new Museum building look like?

We have chosen award winning Scottish Architects Reiach and Hall to create the new Museum building. The work is in the design stages, working towards a fully realised design towards the end of 2017.