Thurso Town Hall – new identity to Caithness Horizons

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Thu, 2009-12-31

Caithness Horizons reopened the magnificently restored Thurso Town Hall and Carnegie Library to the public under the new identity of Caithness Horizons. The new museum and community facility has not only captured the past and brought it to life through displays and interpretation, it also provides a real flavour of Caithness today to tempt visitors to find out more about this diverse county. Since re-opening the facility has attracted more than 17,000 visitors.

An enthralling new visitor attraction located in Thurso which acts as a hub for the surrounding Caithness area. A high quality permanent exhibition promoting the tourism attractions and places of interest to visit throughout the North Highlands. Visitors may look around the facility, which explores the archaeology and history of the area, the geology and ecology, the wildlife, flowers and fauna, our need for fuel and energy and a sustainable future. The building is also home to tourist information, temporary exhibitions and displays, educational projects, socio-economic history of Caithness, Dounreay history, audio-visual presentation facilities, a gallery houses temporary exhibitions including the display of work by local artists. In addition there is a shop and café..

The Museum’s Collections are broad in scope, ranging from archaeology, to decorative and fine art, to social and industrial history, geology and natural history. As well as providing modern facilities for community and educational use, the refurbished buildings contain a high quality accredited museum telling the human and environmental story of Caithness. The museum will bring together existing collections held in the area by Thurso Heritage Society, the Council and the UKAEA, the three partners who have formed a joint venture to take the project forward.

The facility remains open throughout the year, with free entry and will incorporate a Tourist Information Centre. A learning centre will provide locally accessible resources and facilities for schools and lifelong learning, as well as for academic courses and research in collaboration with North Highland College UHI.

Highlights include archaeological objects that date from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages and relate to the lives of the Broch dwellers, selection of items depicting how we used to live – including a croft room – the Ulbster Stone, old photographs, a Fossil section, the life of botanist Robert Dick or the fascinating story of Thurso tow, Picts and Vikings that made Caithness their home. A particular treat is the impressive array of Viking artefacts from a male Viking burial at Reay, Thurso, which are on loan from the National Museums of Scotland.

Whether it’s watching the sky, painting a picture or treading the boards, the message at the new Thurso museum is: Heritage is definitely huge fun.

Visitors can also wander through displays of birds, track bird migration routes and meet Thurso’s famous Geologist and Botanist Robert Dick. The displays feature Robert Dick’s herbarium, now accessible to the public for the first time in many years, along with personal items, geological and fossil specimens.

The premises are open between 10 am – 8 pm Monday – Saturday and between 11 am – 4 pm on a Sunday. It is noted that Thurso Heritage Museum Centre at Oldfield Hill, Thurso is also closed under the new identity of Caithness Horizons.

Further reading:
Caithness Horizons Astro-Art Exhibition – astronomy theme from the Hubble Telescope and the NASA space programme: Click here
Caithness Horizons, Thurso Museum’s Collections: Click here

Contact: Caithness Horizons Tel: 01847 896508 Fax: +44 (1847) 891152

Email: i…


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