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Brechin Town House Museum

Brechin Town House Museum

About the museum

The museum is located within the old Town House in the centre of Brechin. A Tollbooth was first mentioned on this site in 1450 but was replaced in 1789-90 by the present building. At that time the ground floor contained a shop, a courtroom, a debtors’ prison and two cells for criminals. An elegant upper hall, known as the Guild Hall was also used as the Council Chamber. By the end of the 19th century it was considered too small for Council business and the administrative functions of the burgh were relocated to newly completed Municipal Buildings in Bank Street.

The Brechin Museum Collection was first gathered together by Brechin Town Council and in 1846 became housed in the nearby Mechanics Institute. The collection relocated to Brechin Library in 1976 and since 2003 has been located in the ground floor of the present building.

Museum Collection

Some of the most significant items in the collection of the Brechin Town House Museum are:

  • Highland Bagpipes - This set of highland pipes probably dates from the second half of the 18th century. The drones and chanter are of laburnum wood with rings of walrus ivory.
photo of Highland Bagpipes
  • Jacobite Sporran - Owned by David Mitchell of Lethnot, a sergeant in the rebel army and probably worn at Culloden.
photo of Jacobite Sporran
  • Jet Necklace - Jet necklace from a short cist found at Mains of Melgund in 1980 and dated to around 1800 BC. Necklaces like this were a sign of affluence in the Bronze Age and a number have been found in the Brechin and Forfar area
photo of Jet Necklace
  • Flintlock Pistol - A fine steel eighteenth century flintlock pistol by James MacKenzie of Brechin, manufactured from the time when Scottish pistol making was at its height.
photo of Flintlock Pistol

 

Ink drawing by David Watterson
Ink Drawing by David Waterson

David Waterson

David Waterson, artist, painter, etcher and mezzotint engraver, was born in Brechin in 1870. He studied at the Edinburgh School of Art, was elected ARE in 1901 and RE in 1910. Much of his work reveals Waterson as a man of extraordinary talent deserving of a wider recognition. Waterson was made a burgess of the city of Brechin in 1932, and in April 1954 he was given the freedom of the city.

Listing of artworks by David Waterson in the Museum's Collections (PDF 99KB)

A supporting friends organisation (Friends of Brechin Town House Museum) also affords local people the opportunity to volunteer to help the museum in various ways: research, oral history, helping in the museum, fund raising etc.

The website of the David Waterson Trust gives a wealth of information of the artist and is a comprehensive online resource of his works.

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© Angus Council 1998 - 2014

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