National War Museum

Last updated

National War Museum, Edinburgh
National War Museum of Scotland.JPG
National War Museum
Coordinates 55°56′56″N3°12′05″W / 55.948965°N 3.2014781°W / 55.948965; -3.2014781 Coordinates: 55°56′56″N3°12′05″W / 55.948965°N 3.2014781°W / 55.948965; -3.2014781
Visitors805,934 (2019) [1]
Website www.nms.ac.uk/war

The National War Museum is a museum dedicated to warfare, which is located inside Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. Opened in 1933 in a converted 18th-century ordnance storehouse, the museum is run by the National Museums Scotland and covers 400 years of Scotland at war from the 17th century through permanent exhibits and special exhibitions. [2]

Contents

It was formerly known as the Scottish United Services Museum, [3] and prior to this, the Scottish Naval and Military Museum.

Location and description

The museum is located in the Hospital Square of Edinburgh Castle, within the Old Town area of Edinburgh, Scotland. [4] The building, which has been category-B listed since 1970, comprises two storeys with a ten-bay rectangular-plan. [5] It is managed by National Museums Scotland. [4] Admission to the museum is included in the entry charge for the castle. [6]

The museum's collection includes items used by Scotland's armed forces over many centuries. These include broadswords from the Scottish Highlands, protection against chemical warfare, and letters sent home from combat by personnel. It also houses a gallery, with works such as The Thin Red Line by Robert Gibb, and a library. [4]

History

Various movements proposing museums dedicated to warfare arose during World War I, and the consensus amongst those involved was that they should be regional in nature. Preliminary ideas for a Scottish museum were drawn up in 1917 by Alexander Ormiston Curle, curator of the National Museum of Scotland, under advice from organisers in London, as well as a civic committee of the Edinburgh council, set up by Lord Provost John Lorne MacLeod. [7] John Stewart-Murray, 8th Duke of Atholl, was also a supporter of the idea. The committee worked through 1918 and 1919 on ideas for the museum, including plans for procuring exhibits. After the end of the war, however, priority was given to the construction of the Scottish National War Memorial, which opened in 1927, and the museum project was put on hold. [8]

The museum project was resurrected in the late 1920s by the Duke of Atholl, [8] utilising a building inside Edinburgh Castle which was built in the 1748 by William Skinner as a storehouse for ordnance. [5] [4] Construction took more than three years, [9] and the museum was opened by Lord High Commissioner John Buchan on 23 May 1933 as the Scottish Naval and Military Museum. [10]

In 1949, recognising the importance of the Air Force to the war effort in World War II, the museum was renamed to the United Services Museum. [11] The museum was refurbished in 2000, and upon reopening was renamed to its present name of the National War Museum. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edinburgh Castle</span> Historic castle in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle is a historic castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. It stands on Castle Rock, which has been occupied by humans since at least the Iron Age, although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633. From the 15th century, the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. Its importance as a part of Scotland's national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Imperial War Museum</span> British national military museums organization

Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. Founded as the Imperial War Museum in 1917, the museum was intended to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire during the First World War. The museum's remit has since expanded to include all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces have been involved since 1914. As of 2012, the museum aims "to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and 'wartime experience'."

Broughty Castle is a historic castle on the banks of the River Tay in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Scotland. It was completed around 1495, although the site was earlier fortified in 1454, when George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus, received permission to build on the site. His son, Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus, was coerced into ceding the castle to the crown. The main tower house forming the centre of the castle with four floors was built by Andrew, 2nd Lord Gray, who was granted the castle in 1490.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blair Atholl</span> Human settlement in Scotland

Blair Atholl is a village in Perthshire, Scotland, built about the confluence of the Rivers Tilt and Garry in one of the few areas of flat land in the midst of the Grampian Mountains. The Gaelic place-name Blair, from blàr, 'field, plain', refers to this location. Atholl, which means 'new Ireland', from the archaic Ath Fhodla is the name of the surrounding district.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Atholl Highlanders</span> Scottish private military unit

The Atholl Highlanders is a Scottish ceremonial infantry regiment. They are the only remaining private army in Europe, and act as the personal bodyguard to the Duke of Atholl, chieftain of the Clan Murray, a family that has thrived in Perthshire for some 750 years. Although it has no official military role, this hand-picked body of local men are armed with Lee–Metford rifles, and the regiment includes a pipe band. Joining the Highlanders is by invitation-only from the Duke, who specially selects men with ties to the estate or the local area. The regiment is not part of the British Army but under the command of the Duke of Atholl, and based at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blair Castle</span> Country house in Blair Atholl, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, UK

Blair Castle stands in its grounds near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire in Scotland. It is the ancestral home of the Clan Murray, and was historically the seat of their chief, the Duke of Atholl, though the current (12th) Duke, Bruce Murray, lives in South Africa. The castle stands in Glen Garry, and commands a strategic position on the main route through the central Scottish Highlands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal Scots Navy</span> Military unit

The Royal Scots Navy was the navy of the Kingdom of Scotland from its origins in the Middle Ages until its merger with the Kingdom of England's Royal Navy per the Acts of Union 1707. There are mentions in Medieval records of fleets commanded by Scottish kings in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. King Robert I, developed naval power to counter the English in the Wars of Independence (1296–1328), and after the establishment of Scottish independence continued to build up naval capacity. In the late fourteenth century naval warfare with England was conducted largely by hired Scots, Flemish and French merchantmen and privateers. King James I, took a greater interest in naval power establishing a shipbuilding yard at Leith and probably created the office of Lord High Admiral.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Stewart-Murray, 8th Duke of Atholl</span>

John George Stewart-Murray, 8th Duke of Atholl,, styled Marquess of Tullibardine until 1917, was a British soldier and Unionist politician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Katharine Stewart-Murray, Duchess of Atholl</span> British noblewoman

Katharine Marjory Stewart-Murray, Duchess of Atholl, DBE, known as the Marchioness of Tullibardine from 1899 to 1917, was a British noblewoman and Scottish Unionist Party politician whose views were often unpopular in her party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Murray (general)</span> Scottish Jacobite general (1694–1760)

Lord George Murray, sixth son of John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl, was a Scottish nobleman and soldier who took part in the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1719 and played a senior role in that of 1745.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dunkeld</span> Human settlement in Scotland

Dunkeld is a town in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The location of a historic cathedral, it lies on the north bank of the River Tay, opposite Birnam. Dunkeld lies close to the geological Highland Boundary Fault, and is frequently described as the "Gateway to the Highlands" due to its position on the main road and rail lines north. Dunkeld has a railway station, Dunkeld & Birnam, on the Highland Main Line, and is about 25 kilometres north of Perth on what is now the A9 road. The main road formerly ran through the town, however following modernisation of this road it now passes to the west of Dunkeld.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clan Murray</span> Highland Scottish clan

Clan Murray is a Highland Scottish clan. The chief of the Clan Murray holds the title of Duke of Atholl. Their ancestors were the Morays of Bothwell who established the family in Scotland in the 12th century. In the 16th century, descendants of the Morays of Bothwell, the Murrays of Tullibardine, secured the chiefship of the clan and were created Earls of Tullibardine in 1606. The first Earl of Tullibardine married the heiress to the Stewart earldom of Atholl and Atholl therefore became a Murray earldom in 1626. The Murray Earl of Atholl was created Marquess of Atholl in 1676 and in 1703 it became a dukedom. The marquess of Tullibardine title has continued as a subsidiary title, being bestowed on elder sons of the chief until they succeed him as Duke of Atholl.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Military history of Scotland</span> Aspect of Scottish history

Historically, Scotland has a long military tradition that predates the Act of Union with England. Its soldiers form part of the armed forces of the United Kingdom, more usually referred to domestically within Britain as the British Armed Forces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Museum of Scotland</span> Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland, was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new Museum of Scotland, with collections relating to Scottish antiquities, culture and history, and the adjacent Royal Scottish Museum, with international collections covering science and technology, natural history, and world cultures. The two connected buildings stand beside each other on Chambers Street, by the intersection with the George IV Bridge, in central Edinburgh. The museum is part of National Museums Scotland. Admission is free.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scottish National War Memorial</span> Monument

The Scottish National War Memorial is located in Edinburgh Castle and commemorates Scottish service personnel and civilians, and those serving with Scottish regiments, who died in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts. Its chief architect was Robert Lorimer, commissioned in 1919, and the monument was formally opened in 1927. It is housed in a redeveloped barrack block in Crown Square, at the heart of the castle, and incorporates numerous monuments.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gunpowder magazine</span> Building used to store gunpowder

A gunpowder magazine is a magazine (building) designed to store the explosive gunpowder in wooden barrels for safety. Gunpowder, until superseded, was a universal explosive used in the military and for civil engineering: both applications required storage magazines. Most magazines were purely functional and tended to be in remote and secure locations. They are the successor to the earlier powder towers and powder houses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warfare in Medieval Scotland</span> Overview of warfare in Medieval Scotland

Warfare in Medieval Scotland includes all military activity in the modern borders of Scotland, or by forces originating in the region, between the departure of the Romans in the fifth century and the adoption of the innovations of the Renaissance in the early sixteenth century. In this period conflict developed from minor raids to major conflicts, incorporating many of the innovations of continental warfare.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lady Evelyn Stewart Murray</span> British folklorist

Lady Evelyn Stewart Murray was a Scottish folklorist who collected Gaelic folk tales and songs. She was also a skilled needleworker and collector of embroidery and lace.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine</span> Scottish nobleman and Jacobite

William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine was a Scottish nobleman and Jacobite who took part in the rebellions of 1715, 1719, and 1745.

Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson RSA, FRBS, FRSA was a British sculptor prominent in Scotland in the 20th Century. Throughout his career he worked closely with the architect Sir Robert Lorimer. He is most noteworthy for his creation of one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks, the statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn.

References

  1. "ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". www.alva.org.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  2. Li, Martin (30 May 2017). Adventure Guide to Scotland. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 41. ISBN   9781588434067.
  3. Wright, Christopher; Gordon, Catherine May (2006). British and Irish Paintings in Public Collections: An Index of British and Irish Oil Paintings by Artists Born Before 1870 in Public and Institutional Collections in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Yale University Press. p. 30. ISBN   0300117302.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "National War Museum". Edinburgh Castle. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  5. 1 2 "Edinburgh Castle, National War Museum of Scotland (Former Hospital and Ordnance Store), Including Sentry Boxes and Urns". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  6. "Plan Your Visit". National Museums Scotland. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  7. "War Museums - Edinburgh's Part in a New Movement". The Scotsman. 7 March 1917. p. 8.
  8. 1 2 Jennifer Wellington (2017). Exhibiting War: The Great War, Museums, and Memory in Britain, Canada, and Australia. Cambridge University Press. pp. 252–253. ISBN   9781107135079.
  9. "The Preparation of the Scottish Naval and Military Museum". Dundee Evening Telegraph. 29 March 1933. p. 6.
  10. "The Day's News In Brief - Local and District". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 23 May 1933. p. 6.
  11. "Edinburgh Castle". HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND. p. 7. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  12. "History of National Museums Scotland". National Museums Scotland. Retrieved 3 March 2020.