history museums in Dumfries & Galloway
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Dumfries & Galloway Museums & Galleries

including civic and independent art galleries and museums in Dumfries & Galloway...

Museums long ago ceased to be stuffy rooms full of glass cases containing bits of old pottery and fossilised bones. Today even most conventional museums include changing displays but over recent years there has been a growth in industrial and "living" museums. Here you can learn about local heritage, get a feel for how people lived and worked, the hardships they endured...

Galleries listed include not just civic galleries displaying publicly owned artworks, but also privately owned galleries with items for sale.

Dumfries & Galloway Museums and Galleries

tabCLIENCE STUDIOMuseums & Galleries
Under the Clock Tower at 212 King Street, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, DG7 1DS
The gallery and working studio of award winning artist Angela Lawrence. Angela paints mainly sea and landscapes in oil and watercolour; contemporary but affordable paintings inspired by the ever-changing light across the hills and horizons of glorious Galloway, and the Western Highlands & Islands and Perthshire. Sea paintings a speciality. In the gallery visitors are welcome to just browse or buy original paintings, or discuss their very own commission. A wide selection of archival quality signed prints, cards and original art gifts are also available.
Tel: 01556 504318 or 07902 301883
E-mail: angela@cliencestudio.co.uk
See our website

tabJANE B GIBSONMuseums & Galleries
Cornerways Studio, 7 Selkirk Road, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway, DG6 4BL
Jane's award winning miniature paintings are exhibited nationally and internationally. She is currently the ONLY SCOT living in Scotland who has gained FULL membership to the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers [London] and the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists based in Wells, Somerset. Working in oil on ivorine, polymin and vellum her attention to detail is evident in all the works you see in her home/studio. Larger works adorn the walls in oil, pastel and watercolour of local views, wildlife and flower studies. Specialize in dog portraits. Prints, cards and notebooks are available with Jane's designs. The Studio is Open every Friday throughout the year.
Tel: 01557 331640
E-mail: jane@cornerwaysart.co.uk
See our website

tabCREETOWN GEM ROCK MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Chain Road, Creetown, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, DG8 7HJ
The Gem Rock Museum is the leading independent museum of its kind in the UK and is renowned worldwide. Owned and run by the Stephenson family it is regarded as one of the finest private collections of gemstones, crystals, minerals, rocks and fossils in Great Britain. Crystals and minerals are some of nature’s most outstanding creations and the collection demonstrates this with thousands of fine specimens of world class standard.

Audio visual display

Crystal Cave display

Gift shop

Prospector’s tearoom
Tel: 01671 820357    Fax: 01671 820554
E-mail: enquiries@gemrock.net
See our website

tabTHE SAVINGS BANKS MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Ruthwell, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG1 4NN
The museum, in an 18th century building, charts the history of the savings bank movement and the role played by the Rev Henry Duncan DD - Minister, Author, Antiquarian, Geologist, Publisher, Philanthropist, Artist and Businessman.

The museum is located in the very room originally built for the villagers' use and where the Reverend Duncan set up his table for business that auspicious day of 10 May 1810.

The displays contain banking memorabilia, including ledgers, 'home safes', coins and bank notes from many parts of the world.

In addition, we record the many other interests and achievements of Rev. Duncan; and hold much information on local history, including the world famous runic stone, The Ruthwell Cross.
Tel: 01387 870640
E-mail: enquiries@savingsbanksmuseum.co.uk
See our website

tabARMSTRONG CLAN MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Castle Holme, Langholm, Dumfries & Galloway, DG13 0ND

The world's largest Armstrong Museum. Discover your Reiver past. See the Armstrong's of the future. Arms, armour, heraldry. Archives and library. Trace the history of this formidable Borders family. Video/DVD presentation available. The start of the Reiver Trail throughout Eskdale and Liddesdale.
Tel: 013873 81610
E-mail: armstrong@dsl.pipex.com
See our website

Tolbooth Art Centre

High Street, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway, DG6 4JL
Tel: 01557 331556    Fax: 01557 331643
E-mail: davidddevereux@dumgal.gov.uk

The Tolbooth Art Centre is based in Kirkcudbright's 17th century Tolbooth which previously served as the Town Council Offices, Burgh and Sheriff Courts and the criminal prison. Find out about Kirkcudbright's famous artists, such as E A Hornel, Jessie M King, in the Tolbooth's audio visual shows. See their works on permanent displays including paintings of the Tolbooth itself by the famous Scottish colourist, S J Peploe and David Gauld, one of the 'Glasgow Boys'. The top floor of the Tolbooth, formerly the debtor's prison, is now used as a gallery for ever changing contemporary art and craft exhibitions. We have a cafe serving fresh coffee, teas, cakes and biscuits. Gift shop, retailing artists' prints, paintings, crafts, art books and reproductions.

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Annan Museum

Bank Street, Annan, Dumfries & Galloway, DG12 6AA
Tel: 01461 201384     E-mail: anne.ramsbottom@dumgal.gov.uk

This is the museum, archive and exhibition centre for East Dumfriesshire, in Bank Street, Annan. The permanent exhibition tells the story of 3000 years of Annan history through the towns collection of artefacts. We hold a fascinating collection of items related to Annan and its history. A range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

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Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum

High Street, Sanquhar, Dumfries & Galloway, DG4 6BN
Tel: 01387 253374    Fax: 01387 265081
E-mail: dumfriesmuseum@dumgal.gov.uk

Discover Sanquhar's world famous knitting tradition and the story of the mines and miners of Sanquhar and Kirkconnel. What was it like to be a prisoner in Sanquhar jail? How did the ordinary people of Upper Nithsdale live and work in times past? All this and more can be found in the town's fine 18th century Tolbooth. A free audio-visual presentation and museum trail takes you on a tour, revealing the fascinating story of Upper Nithsdale.

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John Paul Jones Cottage Museum & Visitor Centre

Arbigland, Kirkbean, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG2 8BQ
Tel: 01387 880613

Traditional cottage where John Paul Jones 'The Father of the American Navy' was born in 1747. Museum, shop and audio visual, many interesting exhibits, attractive grounds with picnic facilities. Ample car park.

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The Old Bridge House Museum

Mill Road, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG2 7BE
Tel: 01387 256904     E-mail: dumfriesmuseum@dumgal.gov.uk

Cross the 15th century Devorgilla Bridge to the Old Bridge House. Built in 1660 into the sandstone of the bridge itself, Dumfries' oldest house is now a museum of everyday life in the town. You can see the family kitchen, nursery and bedroom of a Victorian home and pay a visit to an early dentist's surgery! A museum trail brings the story alive.

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Cross Originals

The Studio, 5 Garden Hill Avenue, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, DG7 1LJ
Tel: 01556 504822    Fax: 01556 504822
E-mail: janet@crossoriginals.co.uk

Visitors making an appointment will see work in progress and artwork displayed throughout the house, as well as various pieces of craftwork. Pictures are available both framed and mounted and there is a large selection of hand painted - original - cards. The subjects are various - flowers, people, pets, buildings, landscapes - anything which captures my interest. The Studio is 3 minutes away from the Tourist Information Centre in Castle Douglas, which is Scotland's Food Town'. A trip to visit the Studio can be planned around one of the many places to eat well in Castle Douglas.

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The Museum Newton Stewart

York Road, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, DG8 6HH
Tel: 01671 402472      E-mail: jmclaymus@btinternet.com

The exhibits are displayed in several sections such as The Nursery, The Tradesman's Tools, The Dairy, The Kitchen, The Smithy and there are displays of local photography, costumes and fabrics. The Museum is open 1400 to 1700 hrs Monday to Saturday, Easter to October, and Sunday July, August, September and 1000 to 1230 hrs Monday to Friday July and August and staffed by volunteer custodians. Wheelchair friendly and parking available.

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Creetown Heritage Museum

91 St John Street, Creetown, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, DG8 7JE
Tel: 01671 820471

Exhibition of Creetown past and present, shown through a large collection of historical photographs, artefacts, audio and video presentations and hands-on activities. The displays include origins of a coastal-trading village; war-time memorabilia; village institutions e.g. school, churches, silver band, sport, dramatic society; the granite quarries; Wigtown Bay Nature Reserve; work of local artists and craftsmen. The village's connection with the making of the film "The Wicker Man" includes an impressive 12-foot high model of the Wicker Man itself. There is also a "guess what" table to test your memory and activities to suit children of different ages. Visitors describe it as a "really interesting place to visit"!

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The Stewartry Museum

St. Mary Street, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway, DG6 4AQ
Tel: 01557 331643    Fax: 01557 331643
E-mail: davidd@dumgal.gov.uk

The Stewartry Museum was founded in 1879. As the collections grew the present purpose built museum was opened in 1893. During recent years the interior has been considerably upgraded whilst retaining its charm as a traditional late Victorian museum. Collections chiefly relate to the human and natural history of the Stewartry also known as Kirkcudbrightshire. Temporary exhibitions highlight different aspects of the collection and Museums Service activities. Sorry the first floor of the museum is not accessible to wheelchair users.

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Stranraer Museum

55 George Street, Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway, DG9 7JP
Tel: 01776 705088

Housed in the historic Old Town Hall built in 1776. The displays tell the story of Wigtownshire from the earliest times and include archaeology, farming and local history. There is also a section on Stranraer-born John Ross, one of the pioneers of Polar exploration. A temporary exhibitions programme runs throughout the year.

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Moffat Museum

The Neuk, Churchgate, Moffat, Dumfries & Galloway, DG10 9EQ
Tel: 01683 220868

Ground floor: geology, temporary exhibitions, history of Moffat portrayed by artefacts and video. Top floor: railway, hydro, spa, religion, farming, local trades, famous people, education, genealogy of the 'Moffats' and 'Johnstone' families.

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Shambellie House Museum Of Costume

New Abbey, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG2 8HQ

Victorian country house. This museum has a remarkable collection of period costumes displayed in appropriate room settings. Gift shop, tearoom, picnic area, changing exhibitions, children's workshops.

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Robert Burns Centre

Mill Road, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG2 7BE
Tel: 01387 264808    Fax: 01387 265081
E-mail: dumfries.museum@dumgal.gov.uk

Situated in the town's 18th century watermill on the west bank of the River Nith, the Robert Burns Centre tells the story of Robert Burns' last years spent in the bustling streets and lively atmosphere of Dumfries in the 18th century. Many original manuscripts and belongings of the poet illuminate the exhibition. There is a fascinating scale model of Dumfries in the 1790s and a haunting audio-visual presentation. There are museum trails and fun activities and visitor information to help you explore Dumfries and Galloway's Burns connections. In the evenings the centre is the regional film theatre for Dumfries and Galloway showing the best in contemporary cinema.

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Moonstone Miniatures

4 Victoria Street , Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway, DG7 3HQ
Tel: 01556 650313

Twelfth scale houses and shops aiming to entrance, amuse and amaze. Try the spotters quiz to find the barmaid's false teeth; the rats in the bookshop and much, much more.

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The Cat's Moustache - Creetown

54 St John's Street, Creetown, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, DG8 7JF
Tel: 01671 820577     E-mail: rtrevanion@hotmail.com

The Cat's Moustache arts and crafts gallery is located at 54 St John's Street in the conservation village of Creetown, just off the A75. The Gallery is quickly gaining a reputation for the inspiring range of works on display and for its overall style and presentation. The philosophy behind the gallery is to create an outlet which sells quality arts and crafts in a very accessible way, created through attention to detail and exemplary customer service. The Cat's Moustache also displays ranges of exciting and unique handcrafted works by national and international artisans, some of whose work is not readily available in Scotland.

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Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum

Heathhall Industrial Estate, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG1 3PH
Tel: 01387 251623     E-mail: info@dumfriesaviationmuseum.com

The Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum is a fascinating collection of aircraft and memorabilia reaching back to the golden era of flight. Weather need not be a problem, as the 3 story control tower is literally crammed with a collection of artefacts, a fine array of aircraft engines and the flying control room circa 1943. There is also a shop, garden and picnic area. School visits and children's birthday parties.

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Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura

The Observatory, Rotchell Road, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG2 7SW
Tel: 01387 253374    Fax: 01387 265081
E-mail: dumfriesmuseum@dumgal.gov.uk

A treasure house of history in Dumfries and Galloway telling the story of the land and people of the region. Look out for fossil footprints left by pre-historic animals, the wildlife of the Solway, tools and weapons of our earliest people, stone carvings by Scotland's first Christians and the every day things of the Victorian farm, workshop and home. The Camera Obscura, installed in 1836, is on the top floor of the old windmill tower. From it you can see a panoramic view of Dumfries and the surrounding countryside. A unique experience. Museums trails and fun activities, visitor information and shop with unusual and nostalgic toys, gifts and pocket money buys. Please Note: The Camera Obscura is dependent on weather conditions.

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The Clan Armstrong Centre

Gilnockie Tower, Hollows, Canonbie, Dumfries & Galloway, DG14 0UY
Tel: 013873 71876     E-mail: ted.armclan@btinternet.com

Largest and highest (60ft) Armstrong Clan Library and 2 star Museum in the world! See Reiver 'Redcloak' Bell rescuer of Kinmont Willie Armstrong from Carlisle Castle in 1596. Why - the whole place is a Museum!

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Gracefield Arts Centre

28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG1 IJQ
Tel: 01387 262084    Fax: 01387 255173
E-mail: arts@dumgal.gov.uk

Gracefield Arts Centre presents a changing programme of contemporary visual/art and craft exhibitions and activities. Also selected exhibitions from the permanent collection of Scottish paintings from the 1880's to the present day.

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Castle Douglas Art Gallery

Market Street, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, DG7 1BE
Tel: 01557 331643    Fax: 01557 331643
E-mail: davidd@dumgal.gov.uk

A varied programme of temporary exhibitions, predominantly featuring the work of local art and craft groups but also including touring exhibitions.

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Ottersburn Gallery

2a Nith Avenue, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG1 1EF
Tel: 01387 247128     E-mail: ottersburngall@aol.com

Art Gallery dealing in modern art - watercolours and oils - by local, national and international artists. Limited edition prints and Artefacts are stocked. A Bespoke Picture Framing Service is offered. Browsers are welcome. Six exhibitions of new works are staged each year.

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Whithorn Priory And Museum

At Whithorn on the A746, DG8 8PY
Tel: 01988 500700

Whithorn is the site of Scotland's first Christian church.

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