2nd October 2019
Strathnaver Museum has received initial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its redevelopment as a heritage hub for north-west Sutherland, it was announced today.
The project aims to safeguard the condition of the historic building at Bettyhill, improve the visitor experience and secure the future of the museum collection.
Essential conservation work is to be carried out to the regionally important B listed structure. An annexe is to be built to house the agricultural exhibits, while new interpretation will be installed to tell the history of the area.
An educational programme is also planned which will explore themes associated with the Highland Clearances.
The building that houses Strathnaver Museum and its collection is an integral piece in the globally significant story of the clearances. In 1819 from the pulpit, which still dominates the main room, the Rev David Mackenzie read out eviction notices to his parishioners. Then in 1883 it was where crofters gathered to give evidence to the Napier Commission which eventually led to crofters gaining security of tenure.
Project manager Fiona Mackenzie said: “We are delighted that we have received this support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“Strathnaver Museum has been delivering museum services for 43 years in a building which has long association with the Highland Clearances. However, dating from around 1750, it is in urgent need of refurbishment and renovation.
“It’s great to know that we are a step closer to securing the future of our important building, the collection it houses and the stories we tell for the benefit of the local community for years to come.”
Source – John O’Groat Journal