Gordon Highlanders Museum
The Gordon Highlanders Museum is a 5-star Visit Scotland Attraction based in the west end of Aberdeen, Scotland. It is committed to preserving and sharing the legacy of the world-famous Gordon Highlanders regiment for future generations to enjoy. Based in the heart of north-east Scotland, in the beautiful former home of prominent Scottish artist, Sir George Reid, the Museum is a multi-award winning venue and can host conferences, training days, weddings and more. It aims to provide a wide range of unique experiences for all of its visitors, young and old.
The Gordon Highlanders Museum is an independent self-financed museum, governed by a charitable trust.
The Main Exhibition
The main gallery called The Grant Room houses the permanent exhibition and explores the dramatic 200-year history of the Regiment from the Napoleonic Wars, India, Afghanistan and South Africa, through to both World Wars and the Cold War. 11 of the 19 Victoria Crosses (VC’s) won by the Gordon Highlanders are also on display in the main exhibition.
Interactive maps, original film footage, scale reproductions, life-size models, touch screens, regimental colours, uniforms, medals and weapons are all featured to bring the unique history of The Gordon Highlanders to life.
The Armoury features a wide range of weapons dating from the late 18th Century through to the modern day rifles used by the British Military. It has an array of armaments including swords, bayonets, knives, pistols and rifles from many of the conflicts that the Gordon Highlanders were engaged in, including many of the arms used against them by the opposing forces.
Also housed in the Armoury is an array of medals won by the Gordon Highlanders soldiers throughout history.
The Silver Room
The Museum holds a large amount of the regimental silver in the Silver Room. Silver played a large part in the British Military and the Gordon Highlanders were no exception. The stunning pieces in the silver room are well worth a look.
The Museum puts on at least one temporary exhibition for each season. 2015 sees the double centenary of the Battle of Waterloo and as such the museum’s temporary exhibition is entitled ‘'The Road to Waterloo'. It is also working with the National Army Museum to host the 'Waterloo Lives' exhibition concurrently.
Previous exhibitions have included:
- Shattered Hopes: The Gordon Highlanders in 1914
- Steadfast! Commando at The Gordon Highlanders Museum
- The Finest Regiment in the World: The Gordon Highlanders in the Boer War 1899 – 1902
- Special Forces Gordons
- Gomel, A Belarusian Town at War
- Afghanistan -Then & Now
- Cogadh na Sith - War or Peace
The Lakin Room
Laid out as the Officers Mess, the Lakin Room is a wonderful part of the exhibition. It shows visitors how the officers would have dined, the colours of the regiment as well as an array of silver and original portraiture. However, not only is it part of the exhibition but it can also be hired out for corporate functions, birthdays and other special occasions providing first-hand experience of the wonderful traditions of the regiment and the fine dining that went with it.
The museum is also a place to inspire and educate children who attend Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire schools and to teach them about the legacy of the Gordon Highlanders in the North East of Scotland.
With a full programme of educational visits and programmes on themes supporting the 'Curriculum for Excellence’ including the First and Second World Wars, the museum is able to offer hands on access to original artefacts and clothing to help the children’s understanding in a fun, interesting and unforgettable way.
Bydandy is a time travelling stag whose aim is to help educate the children in understanding the Gordon Highlanders 200-year history.
Kids can pick up a comic about Bydandy’s adventures and follow the quiz in his interactive booklet whilst wandering around the museum. On special occasions Bydandy even visits the museum in person!
The Duchess Jean Tea Room and Shop
Named for the 4th Duke of Gordon’s wife Duchess Jean, the recently redeveloped the tea room offers a full lunch time menu including amazing cakes and pastry’s.
Corporate Events and Hospitality
The museum offers a range of corporate hospitality and conference venue options. Holding up to a maximum of 60 people many companies have used the wonderfully atmospheric Sir Jack Hayward Room as its venue for a training day or conference session.
As well as this the Lakin room is available for fine dining throughout the week
Sir George Reid and St Luke’s
The Gordon Highlanders Museum is housed in the former home and studio of prominent 19th-century Scottish artist, Sir George Reid PRSA. Reid purchased the original cottage in 1867 and named it ‘St Luke’s’ after the Patron Saint of artists. He commissioned Glasgow architect William Leiper to extend the property, creating a large studio with a stair tower and musicians’ gallery. He then painted the building in an attempt to hide its granite brickwork.
In 1883, Reid married Mia Best – a keen gardener. In her honour, Reid built St Luke’s gardens which became a rich source of inspiration for his painting. Following Reid’s death in 1913, his wife sold the house in 1921. It was then owned privately until 1960 when the UK Ministry of Defence purchased it for the Regiment.
In 1994, The Gordon Highlanders were amalgamated with the Queen’s Own Highlanders and the Trustees of The Gordon Highlanders bought the building from the MOD. The building was then further extended and reopened in 1997, with a new and exciting range of visitor facilities.
Today, The Gordon Highlanders Museum has been the recipient of numerous awards and is one of only two 5 star visitor attractions in the City of Aberdeen. It continues to host thought provoking exhibitions and are considered a highly regarded host venue for events throughout the year. However, it is most proud of its innovative education and lifelong learning programme that continues to inspire thousands of schoolchildren across City and Shire.