Highland Museum of Childhood

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The Old Station Strathpeffer

Highland Museum of Childhood is a museum in the restored railway station in Strathpeffer, Scotland.

History and background[edit]

The Highland Museum of Childhood is located in Strathpeffer’s restored Victorian railway station. The Museum was based initially on the doll and toy collection of former Strathpeffer resident, Mrs Angela Kellie. It is now a museum telling the story of childhood in the Scottish Highlands.

The museum is independent and fully accredited via Museums Galleries Scotland; it operates as a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

Collections and Displays[edit]

Fifi and Jane, two Parisienne dolls

The Museum tells the story of childhood in the Highlands of Scotland, using photographic collections, interpretive displays and artefacts. The collections include dolls, toys, games, children’s costumes and childhood furniture. Themes include Birth and Baptism, Homelife, Health and Nutrition, Leisure, Child Labour and Education. There is an award-winning[citation needed] oral-history film, “A Century of Highland Childhood”; there are also hands-on activities.

The Museum is home to the Angela Kellie Doll Collection, containing a wide range of dolls from the early 1880s. Several important doll manufacturers are represented with 14 items of international significance noted in Scotland’s National Audit[citation needed] including: ”Tissie” a wax over papier-mâché doll from 1830 with links to the Highland Clearances; “Fifi” a Parisienne Fashion doll from 1868; “Jane” a Parisienne from 1865.

Other collections include a range of 19th and 20th century board games, puzzles and toys. There is a collection covering primary and secondary school education in the Highlands.

Each year the museum stages an annual exhibition which runs throughout the season. For 2012-2013 this exhibition explores the life of a Ross-shire teacher in "Miss Mary Bruce: A life learning and teaching in the Highlands".


The museum has a focused Learning Programme serving schools and other local groups. In June 2010 the museum completed the construction of a new education space called "The Goods Shed", funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund; The Robertson Trust; Highlands & Islands Enterprise; The EU through the Highland Leader Programme; Community Energy Scotland; Museums Galleries Scotland; The Highland Council; several other Trusts and the museum's own resources.

It has a coffee shop, shop and craft outlets. There is a car park and picnic area.


Coordinates: 57°35′24″N 4°32′4″W / 57.59000°N 4.53444°W / 57.59000; -4.53444