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Tarbat Discovery Centre, Portmahomack


Blackhart
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Tarbat Discovery Centre (TDC) is situated in the picturesque Highland fishing village of Portmahomack, just 7 miles off the NC500. It is an independent museum run by a trust on behalf of the local community and is often described as the Iona of the East.

 

The museum is housed in a former church building and is located on the site of the only Pictish monastery ever to be excavated and is therefore of national importance. The building itself has sections that date back over 1,200 years and it houses displays of some of the items excavated during the 13 year long archaeological dig by York University, including many items of the fabulous Pictish art that were discovered on the site.

 

The church itself has seen Viking raids, a clan massacre (the results of which are still visible in the crypt today), velum production for holy books and workshops for precious metals.

 

The museum is laid out in a very professional manner with clear and interesting interpretation panels which explain the archaeology that was discovered there and also the development of the building as a church until its abandonment in the 20th century. The churchyard contains some commonwealth war graves and the car park has the only concrete practice torpedo on display in the world. There are also activities to keep the children amused and they will love the 'skeletons'.

 

The centre is set on the edge of the picturesque coastal fishing village of Portmahomack (the only west facing coastal village on the east coast of Scotland), which has a 'Telford' harbour and beautiful sandy beach.

 

Tarbat Discovery Centre is run and staffed entirely by volunteers. Entry fee is just £3. 50 for adults, concessions (over 60) £2. 00 and children get in FREE!

 

There is a small campsite a few hundred meters from the centre right next to the beach, Portmahomack Caravan Site (http://www. tarbat. org. uk/caravansite).

 

You can check out all the visitor information and details of things to do and see on the peninsula at Tarbat Discovery Centre's website: http://www. tarbat-discovery. co. uk/

 

Highly recommended, well worth a visit.

 

BH

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Blackhart. I have done a circular walk from Portmahonach to Tarbert Ness a couple of times over the years but did not realise that this museum existed. I will undoubtedly visit the next time I am there.

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I visited PMH for the first time around 1973 and my girlfriend and I were some of the first customers to use bedrooms in the pub/hotel extension.

 

I went back circa 1993 with my wife and teenage kids on a day's outing whilst touring in the area.

 

Maybe as it's more than 20 years on we should go back again.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Hello

 

We look forward to seeing you both. Our museum opened in 1999 and now houses the collection relating to the excavation of the Pictish Monastery from the 9th century.

 

KH

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My main memories of my first visit are of walking to the lighthouse and the roar of Jaguar fighter bombers using the nearby bombing range. Oh and IIRC a golf course that seemed to have no facilities whatsoever.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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. ..and just to remind you, here are a couple of photos I took at the lighthouse.

 

BH

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Ah but they're Tornado's, back then it were the previous generation Jaguars, but nice to be reminded.

 

I've been reminded of why we went to PMH the first time. We were touring and my girlfriend, who worked for Hampshire CC as a Social Worker, remembered that a colleague was staying there in a rents cottage. So we drove over and met them, staying at the inn on the seafront for a couple of nights.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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  • 1 month later...

Here are some of the Directors/Trustees out and about at the Portmahomack Gala Week getting our 'message' out there. . .

 

BH

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