Social History, Archaeology, Geology, Genealogy

Social History

Social_HistoryThe stable and coach house contain permanent displays on various aspects of life on Arran in the past. Old photographs show village life and farming methods in bygone days. The island’s long seafaring traditions are remembered from the days of sail, through steam powered puffers, paddle steamers and warships, to the latest car ferry, and includes a model replica of a Viking ship of the kind assembled in Lamlash Bay in 1263 before the Battle of Largs.

The smiddy is still as it was when work stopped in the 1960’s, and much as it had been operated from early in the 19th century. Its forges, bellows, tools and other equipment are original, and metalworking demonstrations are given several times a year. The farmhouse accommodates a schoolroom, circa 1920, and the museum café, which offers a selection of delicious meals and snacks.

Archeology & Geology

Clachaig-Man-02Arran’s archaeology and geology are presented in a way which is of interest to the least informed on the subjects. There is a complete and authentic Early Bronze Age grave (over 3,000 years old) and a pottery food vessel found in it.

Why not come along and see Clachaig Man, 5,000 years old, re-created by computer technology from a skull found in a long cairn at Clachaig, on Arran, in 1900, and sculpted by local artist Marvin Elliot.


family_tree_ArranThis section of the Museum has computers and microfiche readers to assist our visitors in tracing family history. Please note that use of this equipment is limited to Wednesdays or by prior arrangement.

We have two experienced genealogists available to assist you, but if you wish us to provide family history for you, this can be done at a cost of £10.00 per hour to a limit set by you, and requires a deposit of £20.00. You can contact our Senior Genealogist by email at

Throughout the Museum we have a number of short video recordings running continuously illustrating and explaining many of our exhibits.

Our Guidebook, which you can buy in our Museum Shop, gives you much more detail and background about Arran’s past and our exhibits.