As the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots and King James V, Linlithgow is the setting of internationally recognised moments in world history.
But the town is also renowned for its strong local cultures and traditions. Its annual marches, which attract thousands of people, date to the 16th century.
That rich and diverse heritage can now be explored at the new Linlithgow Museum when it opens its doors this Easter.
Funded by The National Lottery, the museum’s collections tell the stories of the town’s links to Scottish kings and queens, but also show how ordinary people have helped to create this extraordinary place. Three large galleries explore the history of Linlithgow, its trades within the town and ‘Life by the Loch’.
A new home for Mary, Queen of Scots
The museum’s collections were formerly located at Annet House. Favourite items, such as the Newlands plough and the statue of Mary, Queen of Scots, are on display in the new museum, as well as many objects that have never been exhibited before. New interactive displays using clips from the museum’s recent oral history project bring the town’s stories to life through local people’s voices.
Community at its heart
Community participation is at the heart of this volunteer-led museum. The new building includes a bespoke community space for school sessions, reminiscence sessions, film showings, talks and much more.
There are community displays too and the first of these, co-curated with pupils from Bridgend Primary School, shows what life was like for the children’s grandparents. Pupils from St Joseph’s and Low Port Primary Schools have created an animation of the history of Linlithgow that is on display as well.
William Morrison, Chair of the Linlithgow Heritage Trust, said: “The aim is for the town to view the museum as their museum. We want it to be not only an exciting visitor attraction but for it to become part of the community, so that local people enjoy the galleries, participate in the events and take part in running the museum.”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund funded the new museum with a grant of £240,000. It opens to the public on Good Friday, 19 April 2019.