Dunbeath Heritage Centre

Dunbeath Heritage Centre
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Dunbeath Heritage Centre

Located in the Old School, with dramatic views over Dunbeath Bay (Highland), the Dunbeath Heritage Centre acts as a local history, environmental and cultural centre, and a focus for the work of the Dunbeath Heritage Trust. It provides a venue for workshops and lectures for local people and visitors, and includes exhibition and interpretation space, as well as acting as a repository for photographs, documents and family history archives.

This was the school in which Neil Gunn (1891 - 1973), author of Highland River and The Silver Darlings, received his only formal education and the centre includes an exhibition of his life and work, including the typewriter used to transcribe his work. Other exhibits include the 7th C. Ballachy Stone, an early Christian symbol-stone discovered locally in 1996.

Opened in 1986, the Heritage Centre was subject to an ambitious £150,000 modernisation in 2001. The Dunbeath Heritage Trust was founded in 1985 by the then estate owner, American self-adhesive label magnate R. Stanton Avery (1907-97). Its mission was to "support efforts to explore, study, preserve and maintain the natural and cultural heritage of Dunbeath and its strath in harmony with its community." In addition to the Heritage Centre, the trust owns a number of historic buildings in the vicinity, including the harbour store-houses and ice-house which provide a reminder of Dunbeath's role in the 19th C. herring boom. The trust supports archaeological and environmental work in the local area.

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