Scotland's National Museum of Rural Life

When looking around at the appliances that we simply cannot live without, or standing next to great stretches of agricultural land, it is often wondered how people in previous eras survived without our modern day equipment. How did they manage to cope without electricity and how was the land farmed without the assistance of tractors or a sprinkler system? A wonderful attraction in Scotland to visit, that can answer all these questions, is the National Museum of Rural Life (previously known an the Scottish Agricultural Museum). This living museum is located on 24 acres of farmland outside Ingliston, between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Gregorian buildings and the working farm are interesting, educational and picturesque.

The working farm has a herd of cows and other farm animals that visitors can interact with, and learn more about past and present day farming methods and equipment. The farmhouse was constructed during the years of 1782 to 1784, with remodeling and extensions being added in the year 1906. The oil lamps and candles were replaced with electricity in the 1920’s and the farmhouse has been left exactly the way it was in 1950. This makes the architecture and furniture unique to this period, and assists visitors in visualizing the days of a farmer living in this time. The decorations also tell the tale of when people where superstitious and implemented witch deterrents, such as lightening rods or finials.

The National Museum of Rural life offers tractor rides to visitors and allows them to be educated in milking cows, collecting chicken eggs, ploughing the land with horses and showing them how crops were harvested and hay was made to feed and be used as bedding for the animals. A visit to the Museum of Rural Life will be different at various times of the year, because of the crops, and this encourages visitors to return and that makes the museum a unique attraction in Scotland.

Visitors will also be able to see traditional farm equipment, such as the first combine harvester that was built by the Europeans, namely the Clayton Combine. The industrial revolution is also highlighted by the Museum of Rural Life, and shows the changes and improvements that were made by modernization. The museum is equipped for scholars, tour groups and has facilities for disabled visitors. Housing the most impressive and important collection of rural lifestyle equipment and appliances, make the National Museum of Rural Life an interactive museum that is worth the visit.


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