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Biggar Museum REVIEW


Biggar museum isn't really a museum at all. It is in fact a collection of six smaller museums all of which are overseen by the Biggar Museums Trust. They are all within easy walking distance of each other and together form an afternoons entertainment. Perhaps the beauty of the museums are that as a collection they cover such a wide variety of topics that surely one will be of interest. For the children there is a collection of old fashioned (i.e. the ones that their parents or grandparents played with!) within the Moat Park and within Gladstone court there is a fascinating look at life as it used to be.

gladstone court biggar picture photograph

The museums that make up the group are Moat Park Heritage Centre, Gladstone Court, Brownsbank Cottage, Greenhill Covenanters House, and Biggar Gasworks (which is an Historic Scotland property). They also manage Lamington Chapel,but this isn't really open to the public and is only available by appointment for special events and services.

Gladstone court is quite small (as indeed are the others) but tries to make up for this by cramming itself full of exhibits. It was originally set up as a private museum in 1968 and since then has evolved to show life as it would have been in Biggar over the last 100 years. The bank, for example not only has the high desks which would have been the workspace of the clerks but also has a small collection of old banknotes (Commercial Bank of Scotland One Pound Note)such as the one pictured below but also forged coins which were (presumably) passed over its counters at some point. Gladstone court also has a mock up photographic studio, joiners workshop, telephone exchange, ironmongers, dressmakers and school each with their own exhibits.

commercial bank one pound note picture photograph

Moat Park (which sits at the entrance to a grass play park) is also quite small and is hosted in a former church.

This part of the museum (if you view it as one whole museum) tries to look at the developments of the Biggar area over thousands of years. Starting with a small geology section it moves swiftly through time (stone age, bronze age, iron age, the Romans, middle ages) to the present day. As I stead earlier it has a few interesting exhibits such as a wedding from the 1950's which is based on real people, some of whom they are still trying to identify and a collection of toys from the 1950'2 and 1960's including some old annuals. There is also a small area where children can play "dress up" or play with some of these "old fashioned toys"

Is it worth going to see. All in, the answer is yes. Will it keep the kids amused - it certainly kept 3, 8 year olds amused. Enough for adults - I liked it.