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Dornoch Historylinks Museum


Permanent Exhibitions

From the museum reception desk there is immediate access to the public access computer and our reference library.

To move down the ages in Dornoch history, the central achway leads to a successive permanent exhibition areas with side alcoves. This pathway terminates at the museum end wall where there is a geological display and cabinet containing ancient artefacts.

The museum side passageway leads back, through further display areas to the Childrens Room, the temporary exhibition room and areas for viewing films of the Dornoch Light Railway, Sutherland and Dornoch.

  • Reference Library and Public Access Computer Reference Library and Public Access Computer Wall display of Dornoch 'Then and Now'
  • Tees & Tourism 1877 to 2000 Tees & Tourism 1877 ~ 2000 Entrance to central pathway of Dornoch through time; Golf and development of tourism
  • Left side: Illustrated panels and uniform Seaforth Highlanders Left side: Illustrated panels and uniform Seaforth Highlanders Tourism, Dornoch Light Railway, Dornoch War Memorial
  • Right side: Illustrated panels Right side: Illustrated panels Golf; Donald Ross of Dornoch, golf course architect; shooting trophies Robert Mackay
  • Right side alcove Right side alcove Watchmaker A M Paul; Andrew Carnegie, Skibo Castle
  • Clan Feuds 1567 to 1877 Clan Feuds 1567 ~ 1877 Following the museum central timeline
  • Power struggles Power struggles Conflict between Earls of Sutherland & Caithness, Glencairn's Rising 1653
  • Right side alcove Right side alcove Objects of 20th century; Meikle Ferry disaster; crossing the Dornoch Firth
  • The Cathedral & St Gilbert 1224 to 1567 The Cathedral & St Gilbert 1224 ~ 1567 The building of Dornoch Cathedral
  • St Gilbert's miracles St Gilbert's miracles Illustrated display panels
  • Right side alcove Right side alcove Seal matrix of James, Chaplain of Dornoch; Dornoch artefacts
  • Alcove display Alcove display Dornoch from the air
  • Picts and Prows  850 to 1224 Picts and Prows 850 ~ 1224 Monastic settlement 1136; Vikings
  • Right side alcove Right side alcove Viking battles around Dornoch
  • The Time Before 850 & beyond The Time Before 850 & beyond Archaeological finds, Geological evolution
  • Right side alcove Right side alcove Geological evolution of the Northern Highlands
  • Central display cabinet Central display cabinet Local archaeological finds and the Ospisdale brooch
  • Return passageway Return passageway Walls displays, The Mound, Highland Clearances, Crofting, Embo
  • The Children’s Room The Children's Room Displays and dressing-up box
  • Temporary Exhibition Room Temporary Exhibition Room Each year the museum has an external or in-house temporary exhibition
  • Golf Workshop ~ alcove to temporary exhibition room Golf Workshop ~ alcove to temporary exhibition room Reproduction of the type of golf workshop used by Donald Ross


Dornoch on Film

For your entertainment we have a choice of three films:


Proud Sutherland

Links through
The Dornoch Light Railway
(Sutherland in 1950)
Dornoch's history

To overcome the physical limitations of our small museum, Historylinks is making increasing use of digital technology to provide access to additional images relevant to displays.

Two Videos, 'The Dornoch Light Railway' and 'A Year in Dornoch - 2013' may be purchased by post or from the Museum Shop.

A clip of 'A Year in Dornoch' is available on YouTube

Fun for the Children    




Puzzles and quizzes with the Dornoch Imp as your guide.

Dress them up!


Lock them up!

(Photographs of children displayed with parents' permission)

School Parties

School parties are welcome with prior contact with the Museum Curator, Lynne Mahoney at : enquiries@historylinks.org.uk

Primary and secondary school education packs are available.

Historylinks Trail


Don't miss the Historylinks Trail. Starting from the museum the trail leads through 16 sites of particular historical interest.

There is a display board at each site but, if you wish to have more detail, illustrated guide books in English, Gaelic, French, German and Italian are available for purchase at the museum shop.








VisitScotland 5 Star Museum award

Left to right: Trustee Cllr Jim McGillivray, Trustee Christine Murray, Curator Peter Wild, Museum Manager Sue Higgins, Trust Chairman John Barnes, Trustee Cliff Reddin

Historylinks Museum in Dornoch was delighted to receive the prestigious VisitScotland 5 Star museum award in September 2009, the only such award in the Highlands and one of seven museum awards in Scotland.

The award cited Historylinks very high quality of displays and the ability to engage the attention of visitors from the very small to very senior with a wide range of subjects in an excellent standard of interpretation.

All past and present Historylinks Trustees, Heritage Society Officers, Members and volunteers share in this notable achievement, which marks a long term programme of development of the museum. Teamwork has been the key to innovation and enhancement in museum displays, exhibitions, publications, film production, the shop and web sites, plus the complementary 'back-room' activities of cataloguing acquisitions, the development of protocols and procedures, and routine administration.

Rather than resting on our laurels the Trust is actively seeking ideas and offers of individual skills for new developments and projects to consolidate the newly won position by further innovation.

Last updated: 19 August, 2016

Dornoch Heritage SCIO

Registered Charity No.