It has a poignant past inescapably linked to the Highland Clearances.
And now, a Sutherland church museum has received a funding boost to help tell its story to the world.
Strathnaver Museum has been successful in the latest round of grant awards announced by the Architectural Heritage Fund.
The Museum has secured £7,000 from the AHF’s Project Development Grant Scheme which will help to fund a Project Coordinator to develop the Strathnaver Museum Refurbishment Project.
Built in 1774, the former parish church which houses the Strathnaver Museum is a category B listed building which signifies its regional importance.
The main story told by the Strathnaver Museum is the story of the Clearances and the Museum building is itself an important piece in this story. It was from the pulpit which still dominates the main room that Rev David Mackenzie was obliged to read out eviction notices to his congregation during the Strathnaver Clearances between 1814-19.
Then later in 1883 tenants and crofters from across north Sutherland met within the church to give evidence to the Napier Commission: Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Condition of Crofters and Cottars in the Highlands and Islands. The Napier Commission eventually led to providing security of tenure to crofters across the crofting counties.
Tommy Mackay Strathnaver Museum Trust Chairman said “We are delighted to have been awarded funding by the Architectural Heritage Fund towards developing our vital refurbishment project. It will allow us to turn our vision for the future of the Strathnaver Museum into reality and help us to secure further funding from a range of partners.”
The Museum Trust aims to create an inviting, comfortable space for people to visit which would include improved interpretation, a larger reception area and easier access to their collection and research materials in the form of a dedicated research room.
Gordon Barr, AHF Support Officer for Scotland, said “We’re delighted to be able to support Strathnaver Museum in its project to provide a better experience for its visitors and volunteers, making the collections more accessible and the whole museum sustainable for the long term”.
You can help support the Strathnaver Museum Refurbishment Appeal on their Total Giving page or via their website.