Historylinks is an independent museum featuring the history and heritage of the local area and community. Our vision is ‘keeping the Dornoch story alive’.
Our museum is linked to Dornoch Heritage Society and as a whole, the organisation runs at least one community project a year and hosts talks through the winter.
We are partners with Dornoch Academy and are involved with their Interdisciplinary Learning Days, either taking the students on historical walks or going into the class room to run workshops. Dornoch Academy is a 3-18 campus which means that we work with children of all ages.
We also involve the local care homes with our activities and projects.
The museum is laid out in a unique way with amazing artwork and objects taking visitors from modern day to prehistory. Along the way they can see the reconstruction of the workshop where Donald Ross honed his skills before he went on to design more than 500 American golf courses. On display is an original Colour Sergeant’s uniform of the First Sutherland Volunteers and many items used by crofters and fisher folk. Our railway exhibition features a fantastic film which includes the memories of the people who rode and worked the line.
When visitors reach the archaeology section of the museum, among other things, they can see the beautiful silver Viking ‘Ospisdale brooch’ and hear the story of Sigurd the Viking.
The museum does not shy away from Dornoch’s fiery past but includes stories of Viking violence, Clan feuds and the burning of Janet Horne, condemned for alleged witchcraft.
On a Tuesday afternoon during the summer months’ visitors to the museum can enjoy a walking tour of the town included in the price of their ticket. The tour takes in the local architecture and people who have made the town such a fascinating place. Also on offer is Historylinks Trail leaflet that allows people to take a self-guided walk around the area.
Describe the impact of your location on your business
Historylinks is situated just behind the Dornoch Castle Hotel in the heart of the town. Dornoch is a popular destination for holidaymakers, golfers and people doing the NC500.
Our location is within walking distance for the local school, local community and local caravan and camp site. People visiting Dornoch have clear directions to the museum by way of signage around the town.
Our popular Image Archive and Facebook online presence means that we have contact with the local community as well as with people from further afield and abroad.
The museum benefits from being a member of the Dornoch and Community Interest Company. The company promotes businesses in the town via their website VisitDornoch. As such, the museum is very much part of the business community in the town.
What would you list as your biggest achievement(s)?
Historylinks is one of the few VisitScotland 5* attractions in the Highlands.
We are proud that the museum is run mainly by Volunteers and employs a Curator and Museum Assistant.
In the last two years we have set up and run a Young Curator’s Club for children aged 8-12. The club has proved to be extremely popular and we currently have 12 young people regularly taking part in the club’s activities.
Earlier this year we embarked on our most ambitious community project to date. An investigation into life in pre-clearance Sutherland. The project, named The Sutherland Longhouse Project, received a grant of £15,400 from The Heritage Lottery Fund. 28 events took place with 302 places on our series of workshops being taken up. Sadly, due to COVID 19 our end of project conference was postponed but we are in the process of producing 4 films that will be available at the end of September in conclusion to the project.
Over the last few years and with our increased community activity it has become clear that the museum needs more room! We are delighted that plans are underway to build an extension to the current building giving us more exhibition space and a facility to host workshops. Currently we are getting the project ‘shovel ready’ and although we have a long way to go, we are very proud of our achievements so far in this respect.
Company Website: www.historylinks.org.uk
Company Twitter: @historylinks1
Company Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Histo...
Company Instagram: @historylinks1
Other relevant links / videos etc Videos available on our website www.historylinks.org.uk