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Campbeltown Museum

Brief History

Campbeltown Museum occupies a sizeable room in an A-listed building which originally also housed the public library and now provides accommodation for Council offices. The initiative to establish a library and museum came in 1896 from the Kintyre Scientific Association, today still active as the Kintyre Antiquarian and Natural History Society. It was the generous response from Mr James Macalister Hall, a wealthy retired businessman, which turned the dream into reality. The well-known Glasgow architect J.J. Burnet designed the building and in 1899 Campbeltonians were able to boast their own Free Library and Museum.

In the early days, the Museum was actually managed by the Librarian of the day. For years the tendency was to accept almost everything donated and as result the collection is a rather “mixed bag”. However, it has a very good collection of Kintyre archaeology, interesting ship models and some fine paintings.

With the relocation of the library to the Aquilibrium leisure centre, the Burnet building was closed for some time for refurbishment but reopened on the 25th of June 2008.


St John Street, Campbeltown, Argyll PA28 6BS Tel 01586 559000

The contact for Museum enquiries is:

Sharon Webb
Curator of Archaelogy and Natural Science
01546 510278
e-mail: sharon@kilmartin.org


Campbeltown Museum, the only Council owned museum in Argyll and Bute, is home to:

- an interesting collection of objects from internationally important archaeological sites including objects from the chambered cairn at Beacharra and a jet necklace, which is one of only 10 in Scotland.

- a varied collection of works of art including two oil paintings by William McTaggart and others by local artists, Archibald MacKinnon and John Campbell Mitchell.

- material pertaining to local social, industrial and natural history along with geology and much, much more.


The Council has entered into a Service Level Agreement with Kilmartin House Museum and Auchindrain Museum whereby Campbeltown Museum now has three specialist staff working for it part-time including one archaeologist, one social historian and an education officer. The normal hours for the Museum are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, but access is restricted if civil ceremonies or meetings are taking place in the adjacent Marriage Room, so visitors should check opening hours in advance by phoning 01586 559000. Due to security reasons, the Museum is only accessible through the Marriage Room. The number of times this affects public access to the Museum is being monitored.

Assistance for disabled visitors is available by ringing the bell at the rear entrance in Shore Street, leading to the Linda McCartney Garden.

There is on street parking outside the Museum and toilets are available for visitors.

For all access enquiries please contact :-  julie.mclellan@argyll-bute.gov.uk


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