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Museums

Scotland’s National Museum of Costume

Please note: The National Museum of Costume was closed down at the end of 2012.

Scotland's National Museum of Costume falls under the care of the National Museums of Scotland. It has been set up in Shambellie House, located in Dumfriesshire. This fascinating house museum guides visitors through a century of fashion some of which can still be seen in the clothing of today. Go on a remarkable adventure back in time at the National Museum of Costume.

Shambellie House was constructed in 1856 for the Stewart Family. This stunning Victorian house was carefully designed by architect extraodanaire, David Bryce. Charles Stewart decided to donate the house along with its many costumes to the National Museums of Scotland in 1977. As such this is a truly unique costume museum that also gives you a look into the lives of people who lived many years ago. Over and above the unique costumes displayed in the various rooms of Shambellie House, visitors will also be delighted by the furnishings, paintings, ceramics and many other household items. Some of these items belong to the Stewart family whilst others are from the National Museums of Scotland’s own collection. As you explore the house, each room comes to life as you discover fashion dating between the 1850s and the 1950s. You will also become familiar with the social etiquette of the day.

Each room in the National Museum of Costume offers interesting insight into each period of fashion and is focused around various social functions. It truly feels as if you have stepped right into the past. Be sure to note the minor details, from decorations right through to garment color and design. Imagine what it would have been like wearing the elegant dresses or an austere suit if you are a man. Picture yourself what life was like for people in the past, how they interacted. You are certain to find the National Museum of Costume a magical experience.

Visitors to the museum are also welcome to relax on the lawn of the Shambellie House’s wooded grounds. Various fun-filled activities are organized regularly, such as drama workshops, children’s workshops, Victorian school lessons and craft workshops. Shambellie House is always filled with excitement.

Please note: The National Museum of Costume was closed down at the end of 2012.