The Stewartry Museum
The Stewartry Museum was founded in 1879 by a group of local people in Kirkcudbright who felt that the material evidence of the human and natural history of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright (equivalent to the 'county of Kirkcudbrightshire') should be collected, preserved and displayed in an appropriate building.
Initially the museum occupied the top floor of Kirkcudbright Town Hall, but as the collection grew a new building was soon required, and the present museum building opened to the public in 1893. The museum remained under the care of an independent body, the Stewartry Museum Association, until 1990, when the building and its collections were transferred to the local authority, Stewartry District Council. At this point the Council appointed a professional curator, whose duties also included the management of the Castle Douglas Art Gallery and, from 1993, the Tolbooth Art Centre. The museum and its two branches are now part of Dumfries and Galloway Museums Service, within the Department for Community Resources, Dumfries and Galloway Council, following local government reorganisation in 1996.
The interior of the museum has been upgraded since 1990 and the permanent exhibition is being improved gradually, whilst retaining the traditional character of the museum. The museum continues to collect material reflecting the human and natural history of the Stewartry, and plans have been prepared for an extension to provide more display and storage space, as well as an area for research and educational use. The museum's archive and photographic collections have grown considerably since 1990, and are a source for local and family history research. Researchers are welcome to call in person to the museum, or to contact staff by letter, telephone or e-mail. General enquiries are always welcome.
The core opening times are 11.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Saturday, throughout the year, with longer opening times in the main summer season. Admission is free.
Admission is also free to researchers wishing to access the photographic or archive collections, and access can be arranged at any time between 9.00am to 5.00pm., Monday to Friday throughout the year.
Museum staff are also very willing to assist enquirers. If you need some local historical or genealogical research carried out an email or letter to the curator may well prove worthwhile.
The Stewartry Museum
St. Mary Street