Glencoe Folk Museum was founded by Miss Barbara Fairweather MBE, Mrs Rae Grant and friends in the 1960s. After entering a WRI competition which asked applicants to tell the history of their village, they realised that not much information had been recorded about daily life in the past.
"We thought that THEY ought to make a museum to record daily life. But THEY do not exist...so we did it ourselves."
- Barbara Fairweather MBE
With no building and no collection, they had a lot of work to do! Money was raised through ceilidh dances and bake sales, they managed to secure a small cottage in Glencoe Village, and donations of objects from the local community began to trickle in.
The collection quickly outgrew the original museum building, and in 1971 the museum was gifted its current home by the late Hugh Grant. The new museum opened its doors in 1972, and the unique and eclectic collection of objects has continued to grow. Barbara Fairweather was passionate about preserving the history of the area and sharing our heritage with others, and this is still very much at the heart of what we do.
The main museum building was originally two separate cottages, which have been dated to the early 1700s. The western building is the older of the two, and is what is known as a 'cruck' cottage. This term is used when the bearing beams of the roof come down the inside walls instead of resting on the side walls. The low doors and thick walls are typical of buildings of this period, built for warmth and security.
The buildings are believed to have been inhabited right up until the 1950s, but by the time the museum acquired them, they had become derelict and were due to be demolished. In fact, in order to secure the thatched croft cottages for future generations to enjoy, Rae Grant stood in front of a bulldozer to prevent their demolition. They were restored in 1972. Every effort was made to retain the style of the original construction, so the cottage has been rethatched with heather, which would have traditionally been used in this area.
Did You Know?
Our museum is the only remaining heather thatched building in Glencoe!
Where to Find Us
"Fascinating record of local history. Excellent!"
"An excellent example of not having to be big to be great."
"Brings Glencoe to life"