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Meffan Museum and Art Gallery

Meffan museum panorama

About the museum

Situated in the heart of Forfar’s historic town centre is “The Meffan” built in 1898 as a bequest from the daughter of Provost Meffan. Originally Forfar’s library and museum, the building is now a lively art gallery and museum.

The building is much loved by the community with many clubs and societies meeting here. Two galleries are devoted to Art exhibitions. Every month new art exhibitions are staged and these ever changing exhibitions bring to Forfar the work of a range of contemporary Scottish artists.

Another two galleries explore “The Forfar Story” from the time of Pictish artistic endeavour. A stunning collection of Pictish Stones are displayed to best advantage so both front and rear of these enigmatic sculptured stones can be closely examined. An interactive screen guides the visitor through every Pictish stone found in Angus. Models of two archaeologists are seen excavating a log canoe dated to the 11th century.

The visitor can next wander through time down an old narrow cobbled street called The Vennel. They can peer into a knockmaker’s workshop (clocks), see linen being woven by a weaver, drool over bread, and of course, bridies at the bakers; the shoemaker is busy mending and making boots and shoes. The last shop on the street is Peter Reid’s sweetie shop with it’s famed Forfar Rock. Finally the visitor steps into a crowd staring in awe and horror at a witch about to be strangled and burnt. Forfar had a dark period in its history where several women were accused of witchcraft.

Overview of our collections

The Meffan Museum and Art Gallery collects objects, photographs and archive material relating to the history of Forfar together with the work of past and contemporary artists reflecting the rich art heritage of Angus. The collection consists of several thousand objects, paintings and drawings gifted or bequeathed to the museum.

Highlights

  • Pictish Carved Stones - A stunning collection of elaborately carved stonework from the period of the Picts (900-1000AD) are brought together in one place.
Kirriemuir No 1 Pictish Stone
  • Medieval finger ring - A beautiful gold and sapphire ring dating to the 12th or 13th century and found near to Restenneth Priory in Angus, an important church centre of medieval Scotland.
photo of medieval finger ring
  • Roman bust of Minerva - A delicate image in cast bronze of the goddess Minerva, found at Cardean, one of several Roman forts in Angus.
photo of Roman bust of minerva
  • Witches Branks - An example of the brutal iron witches branks used to subdue women accused of witchcraft in 17th century Scotland.
photo of witches branks
  • Log Boat - A rare survivor of the remains of an ancient mode of transport formed from a tree hollowed out around the late eleventh or twelfth century. AD
photo of log boat
  • Navar Bell - (1655), A large 17th century bronze parish bell commissioned from the Low Countries by John Fyff the minister of Navar in Angus.
Navar Bell
  • Weights and Measures - Burgh Measures from the time when both the town and country were responsible for keeping standard measures to ensure fair trading practices.
photo of Forfar weights and measures

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www.facebook.com/angusarchives | www.facebook.com/anguslibraries | www.facebook.com/themeffangallery

© Angus Council 1998 - 2014

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