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Project information

Support Tarbat Discovery Centre

To continue the activities of this outstanding Museum and to prevent it from closing permanently. The Centre is at the heart of an Internationally Important Pictish Monastic settlement and is the only Pictish site in Scotland ever to undergo such intensive archaeological investigation.

The project is ongoing.

Charity information: Tarbat Historic Trust

Tarbat Historic Trust logo
  • Need


    The prevention of permanent closure. Local Authority funding to Independent Museums in our area has been cut severely in recent years and is soon to be drastically cut again. Many small Independent Museums are now in an extremely vulnerable position. The only way we can continue to exist is with a combination of donations, more secure permanent funding and with the development of our own, more sustainable, income streams.


    By launching funding appeals, participating in consultation excercises and by developing new revenue generating projects.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    The Trust will strive to ensure that the museum achieves and maintains sustainability.


    » The Trust will consult with local and cultural heritage authorities with an interest in the future of the sector.
    » The Trust will work in partnership with others to increase visitor numbers to the area.
    » The Trust will explore opportunities to work with Community Organisations, Universities and Individuals to create events and research programmes.
    » The Trust will continue to seek donations to support the ongoing activities of the Discovery Centre.

    What success will look like

    By securing funding for the long-term future of the Tarbat Discovery Centre and recognition of the important contribution it has made to the enhancement of Scottish History.

    Aim 2

    The Trust will develop new and exisitng projects that would contribute to the revenue of the Museum.


    » The Trust will create an annual Pictish Arts Festival to encourage learning about Pictish Art and and create opportunities for craft workshops.
    » The Trust will design a new Pictish Trail for this part of Easter Ross which will include other Pictish monuments in the area and attract new visitors
    » The Trust will produce in-house publications, DVDs and Power Point Presentations using the Museum's archive, archaeological and genealogical resources
    » The Trust will continue with the development of its online activities.

    What success will look like

    Projects will be measured by monitoring visitor numbers, enquiries and revenue generated from admission charges and shop sales.

    Aim 3

    The Trust will provide educational opportunities wherever possible.


    » The Trust will consult with educational institutions to develop course materials and lecture programmes.
    » The Trust will create spaces to enable delivery of more versatile education and training programmes.
    » The Trust will provide up to date information, publications and exhibitions from the results of our partnerships with others.
    » The Trust will create new displays to tell the story of the Peninsulas 10,000 year history

    What success will look like

    Educational programmes and materials will be measured by monitoring demand for resources and audience feedback.

  • Impact


    It will continue to educate and increase awareness of Pictish History and provide a greater access to the general history of the Parish which, on this small peninsula, dates back approximately 10,000 years

    To demonstrate the success of our aims we will publish visitor numbers and sales figures, requests for information and resources and responses to our activities


    The biggest threat is from the lack of continuity of funding both from source and in amount.


    Donors will receive bi-monthly reports detailing on-going activities, future developments and any proposed changes to the management infrastructure.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £24,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £24,000 Revenue Income Per Annum To prevent closure and enable operation for at least 2 years
  • Background


    The Tarbat Discovery Centre in the village Portmahomack in Ross-shire was opened by HRH Prince Charles - Duke of Rothesay in 1999. This small Peninsula alone has a rich Heritage spanning 10,000 years from the Early Bronze Age. Vikings & Scots have battled here, the Picts founded an early Christian craft producing settlement here, Clan wars here changed the course of the history of Ross-shire. In more recent years the village was well known for large fishing fleets and agricultural improvers


    Situated at the centre of a scheduled Nationally important Heritage site, the Museum is a major attraction for many visitors from both the UK and abroad and is both a contributor to the economy of the village and the wider area of Easter Ross. The Centre provides an invaluable resource for the evolving interpretation of the archaeology and finds from this site and others, and in its promotion of the Pictish period in Scottish History to a local, national and international audience.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Trust worked tirelessly for many years to save our now A-Listed Church building from ruin. Our archaeological site is a scheduled National Monument and it's welfare would be best served by the Trust and the retention of it's Museum. The Trust brought together York University and many other skilled and knowledgeable people to create the ultimate design of the Church/Museum's interior and the displays that have brought about such a tangible and sympathetic meeting of past and present.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tarbat Historic Trust, It's Staff And Volunteers

    Management and daily operation of the Centre. Interpretation and display of historical information and artifacts for public presentation and education

    The University Of York/Field Archaeology Specialists

    The University/FAS has been responsible for the 14 year excavation of the Pictish site at Tarbat and the publication of the post analysis research.


Keeps Tarbat Discovery Centre open for 1 year

"Excelled presentation."

Sue H. (Trip Advisor)