Gairloch Heritage Museum

Rua Reidh Optic at Gairloch
Rua Reidh optic on display
Photo courtesy of Ruth Drinkwater

Gairloch Heritage Museum is located in the centre of the town overlooking the loch.

The Heritage Museum opened in 1977 at Achtercairn Steading in Gairloch. It developed with a growing collection of artefacts and information donated by local people.

The lease on the building was coming up for expiry. Added to this the increasing number of collections meant that the museum had to find a larger site.

Gairloch Heritage Museum
The former Rua Reidh Optic in the previous museum

Following a fundraising campaign, the new Gairloch Museum was opened officially on 9th July 2019 by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

The museum is now located in a converted nuclear bunker, built as an anti-aircraft operations room during the Cold War. It also served as an Emergency Operations room in the 1980s.

Exhibits include information about the heritage of the area. One of the main exhibits is the former hyper radial optic from Rua Reidh Lighthouse. This is now one of the centrepieces of the exhibition. The former foghorn and coding equipment is also on display.

A replica croft house depicts early crofting life, and the online Film Gallery has some interesting video clips from people telling their stories of life in the area.

The museum also has a shop and cafe on site.