Museums in United Kingdom

National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is one of the Top 10 UK visitor attractions, and in the Top 20 of the most visited museums and galleries in the world. The museum houses a spectacular array of over 20,000 fascinating artefacts. The National Museum incorporates the collections of the former National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, and the Royal Museum. As well as the national collections of Scottish archaeological finds ...
Founded: 1861 | Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Gallery of Modern Art

Opened in 1996, the Gallery of Modern Art is housed in a neoclassical building in Royal Exchange Square in the heart of Glasgow city centre. Built in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy Glasgow Tobacco Lord who made his fortune through the triangular slave trade, the building has undergone a series of different uses. It was bought in 1817 by the Royal Bank of Scotland who later moved onto B ...
Founded: 1778 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

McManus Gallery

The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is a Gothic Revival-style building, located in the centre of Dundee, Scotland. The building was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott, who was an expert for the restoration of mediaeval churches and advocate of the Gothic architectural style. He intended to design a large tower like in his previous work at St. Nikolai, Hamburg. The foundations were situated in a small wetlan ...
Founded: 1867 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is located in Cathedral Square, on the lands of Glasgow Cathedral off High Street. It was constructed in 1989 on the site of a medieval castle-complex, the former residence of the bishops of Glasgow, parts of which can be seen inside the Cathedral and at the People"s Palace, Glasgow. The museum building emulates the Scottish Baronial architectural style used for the forme ...
Founded: 1989 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland"s most popular visitor attractions. The museum has 22 galleries, housing a range of exhibits, including Renaissance art, taxidermy, and artifacts from ancient Egypt. The gallery is located on Argyle Street, on the banks of the River Kelvin. The construction of Kelvingrove was partly financed by the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition held in Kelvingrove ...
Founded: 1901 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Riverside Museum

The Riverside Museum is the location of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, at Pointhouse Quay in the Glasgow Harbour. The building opened in June 2011. The museum won the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award. As well as housing many of the existing collections of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, the city has acquired SAR Class 15F 4-8-2 steam locomotive, No.3007. Built by the Glasgow-based North British Locomotive Compan ...
Founded: 2011 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Provand's Lordship

The Provand"s Lordship of Glasgow is a medieval historic house museum located at the top of Castle Street. It was built as part of St Nicholas"s Hospital by Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow in 1471. A western extension, designed by William Bryson, was completed in 1670. In the early 19th century the house was occupied by a canon supported by income from the Lord of the Prebend (or 'Provand') of Barl ...
Founded: 1471 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

National Museum Cardiff

The National Museum of Wales was founded in 1905, with its royal charter granted in 1907. Construction of a new building in the civic complex of Cathays Park began in 1912, but owing to the First World War it did not open to the public until 1922, with the official opening taking place in 1927. The museum has collections of botany, fine and applied art, geology, and zoology. The National Museum of Art opened in 2011. The ...
Founded: 1905 | Location: Cardiff, United Kingdom

Ulster Museum

The Ulster Museum, located in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, has around 8,000 square metres of public display space, featuring material from the collections of fine art and applied art, archaeology, ethnography, treasures from the Spanish Armada, local history, numismatics, industrial archaeology, botany, zoology and geology. It is the largest museum in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Museum was founded as ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: Belfast, United Kingdom

St Fagans National Museum of History

St Fagans National Museum of History is an open-air museum in Cardiff chronicling the historical lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people. The museum is part of the wider network of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. It consists of more than forty re-erected buildings from various locations in Wales, and is set in the grounds of St Fagans Castle, a Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house. A six-yea ...
Founded: 1946 | Location: Cardiff, United Kingdom

Jersey Museum

The Jersey Museum and Art Gallery is located in St Helier. It presents history from 250,000 years ago when the first people arrived in Jersey and continues through the centuries to explore the factors that have shaped this unique island and the people who live there. Find out why Jersey remained loyal to the English Crown despite being so close to France; listen to Jersey-French being spoken; learn about the Island"s ...
Founded: | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths

The Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths museum is a historical site located in the town of Caerleon. Roman Wales was the farthest point west that the Roman Empire in Roman Britain extended to, and as a defence point, the fortress at Caerleon built in AD 75 was one of only three permanent Roman Legionary fortresses in Roman Britain. It was occupied and operational for just over 200 years. The site of the baths was ...
Founded: 75 AD | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Margam Stones Museum

Margam Stones Museum is a small Victorian schoolhouse near Port Talbot, which now provides a home for one of the most important collections of Celtic stone crosses in Britain. All originally found within the locality of Margam, and mostly assembled as a collection in the 19th century, they provide enduring testimony to a Welsh Christian culture between the 6th and 16th centuries. The striking Cross of Conbelin is the mos ...
Founded: 1892 | Location: Port Talbot, United Kingdom

Shetland Museum

Set on the waterfront within a restored 19th century dock in Lerwick, Shetland Museum and Archives tells the story of Shetland’s heritage and culture. The museum chart the development of the archipelago from its earliest geological origins to the present day. Its galleries contain everything from delicate Shetland lace to Pictish art and even the first telephone introduced in the islands in 1883. Visit the renovated ...
Founded: | Location: Lerwick, United Kingdom

Auld Kirk Museum

The Auld Kirk is one of the oldest buildings in Kirkintilloch. Built in 1644 as Saint Mary"s Church, it is Category A listed. There is a full programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Most of the paintings held by the Auld Kirk Museum are of a topographical nature relating to East Dunbartonshire. Arthur Griffith was a commercial artist who painted fairy and fantasy paintings for his own pleasure. They a ...
Founded: 1644 | Location: Kirkintilloch, United Kingdom

Manx Museum

The Manx Museum is bursting with artefacts and treasures unique to the Isle of Man. The Island’s 10,000 year history is presented through film, galleries and interactive displays. The perfect starting point on your journey of discovery around our Island and its Viking and Celtic past. The museum opened in 1922, in a building that was formerly Noble"s Old Hospital. It was expanded and remodeled during 1986-89.
Founded: 1922 | Location: Douglas, United Kingdom

Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum

The Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum is a permanent exhibition of 27 carved Pictish stones in the centre of the village of Meigle in eastern Scotland. The museum occupies the former parish school, built 1844. The collection of stones implies that an important church was located nearby, or perhaps a monastery. There is an early historical record of the work of Thana, son of Dudabrach, who was at Meigle (recorded as Migdele) ...
Founded: 1936 | Location: Meigle, United Kingdom

Alderney Society Museum

Alderney Society Museum, the principal museum in Alderney, is located in the Old School House. Exhibits there fully reflect the history of the town and include a collection of rare maps, a list of British Regiments stationed in Alderney starting with 1732, old records, the 1940 Census of Alderney, finds of the Elizabethan shipwreck, and many rare artefacts. The museum is administered by the Alderney Society, which establi ...
Founded: 1966 | Location: Alderney, United Kingdom

South Wales Miners' Museum

The South Wales Miners" Museum is a museum of the coal mining industry and its workforce in the South Wales Coalfield. The museum, the first of its kind in Wales, opened in June 1976. The main features of the museum at that time included a traditional miner"s cottage scene and display cabinets containing historical photographs and documents designed to reflect the industrial heritage of mining in Wales. In 1976 ...
Founded: 1976 | Location: Neath, United Kingdom

Tangwick Haa Museum

Originally built in the late 17th century for the Cheyne family, owners of the Tangwick estate, Tangwick Haa was converted into a local history museum in the late 1980s. The Laird’s Room is furnished as it would have been in the 19th century and is filled a variety of Victorian artefacts while the Reception Room displays agricultural tools and household objects from the period. There are also historical photographs ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Shetland, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.