Fascinating History at the Ullapool Museum
Located in a superbly preserved stone building in West Argyle Street, the Ullapool Museum and Visitor Centre offers visitors the opportunity to discover the history and culture of this picturesque town in Wester-Ross by means of a series of displays and collections of documents, photographs and other items. Built in 1829 as a church, the museum is a Thomas Telford design typical of many churches across the Highlands of Scotland and has been the home of the museum since 1990.
Although it stopped functioning as a church in 1935, many of the original fixtures remain, and the pulpit stands in an elevated position against the interior south wall. The museum has an impressive collection of models of boats and ships that have operated primarily in the fishing trade the town was originally established to support. Some of these can still be seen at the local pier. Examples of beautifully crafted quilts are on display, with many depicting local scenes in needlecraft works of art. Audio-visual presentations form part of the display visitors can enjoy.
Among the displays is a diorama of the Highland Clearances – a time in Scotland’s history when people were forcibly removed from their land, with many traveling to distant lands in search of refuge. The account of the Dutch sailing ship Hector is highlighted, as in June of 1773 it moored in Loch Broom and, although not really equipped to do so, it took on 189 passengers from the Ullapool area who were escaping what amounted to ethnic cleansing in the Highlands. They landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia, three months later, and settled there. Today, there is a large community in Nova Scotia that has preserved their Gaelic heritage. Visitors to the Ullapool Museum will find a wealth of information relating to this time, and the research facilities at the museum have helped many people to trace their ancestry. Certainly, this is an attraction worth visiting when exploring this picturesque part of Scotland.