Stromness Museum was founded in 1837 with the creation of the Orkney Natural History Society. The building dates from 1858. It has recently undergone major restoration, but still retains its Victorian atmosphere. The lower gallery is full of exhibits relating to the local fishing industry, relics of the German High Seas Fleet (famously scuttled in nearby Scapa Flow in 1919) and numerous items relating to the 'Nor' Wast' – the 19th-century links between Orkney and Canada, involving the Hudson's Bay Company. Particularly interesting is material concerning Orcadian Arctic explorer John Rae – who was the first European to learn, from Inuit hunters, the fate of the Franklin Expedition to the North-West passage in 1845. The recently refurbished upper gallery displays the Orkney Natural History Society's fine collection of Orkney bird specimens along with displays of marine life and local fossils. Paintings include portraits of John Rae and the Stromness writer George Mackay Brown, though the fine art in general focuses on Stromness’s long association with ships and the sea.
52 Alfred Street, Stromness, Orkney Islands KW16 3DH Scotland
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit