“Scotland’s Royal Collection” at Brodick Castle joins Recognised Collections
Scotland's 47th Recognised Collection announced
Tucked away on the island of Arran in Brodick Castle is a collection that gives a unique insight into the social and private lives of one of Scotland’s leading noble families.
From the fifteenth century to the twentieth, the Hamilton family was central to the cultural and political life of Scotland. They were Scotland’s foremost noble family and claimants to the Scottish throne and amassed what has been described as the greatest collection of fine and decorative art in the history of Scotland.
Now owned and cared for by conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland, Brodick Castle is home to part of their once vast holdings and on 23 November the collection was Recognised as Nationally Significant to Scotland. The award is made by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. This announcement brings the total of Recognised Collections in Scotland to 47.
The Recognition Scheme ensures that Scotland’s most important collections are identified, cared for and promoted to wider audiences. The award also opens up access for Brodick Castle to apply for Recognition funding from Museums Galleries Scotland to improve how people experience and engage with the collection.
Ray Macfarlane, Chair of Museums Galleries Scotland’s Recognition Committee, said:
“Scotland’s 47 Recognised Collections cover a fascinating range of topics and highlight the incredible diversity and uniqueness of what lies inside museums and galleries dotted in towns and cities all across Scotland. I am delighted that the collection of Brodick Castle cared for by National Trust for Scotland has joined this list of our must see collections. The quality of the collection is truly remarkable. Without a doubt this is one of Scotland’s gems.”
The honour was awarded at a special event today in the castle, where National Trust for Scotland Chief Executive Simon Skinner also shared the charity’s plans for Brodick Castle and Country Park over the next few years. Identified as one of the Trust’s priority properties, there will be an investment of £2.6 million as a programme of works to better protect this important collection gets underway, along with plans to provide exciting new visitor facilities around the wider estate.
Chief Executive Simon Skinner said:
“We are delighted that the collection at Brodick Castle has received this important recognition for its wonderful collection and important place in Scotland’s heritage. The Trust has long realised the significance of what we care for here on Arran, for its heritage value, for its importance in the history of the island and Scotland as a whole and as a destination for visitors from near and far. That is why we are investing to ensure that the important collections here are better protected for future generations. Out in the grounds there will be much more for visitors to explore and enjoy, helping to put Brodick back on the map as one of Arran’s heritage treasures.”
Work to make extensive fire protection improvements begin at Brodick Castle in the next few weeks. This requires the castle to be completely emptied of its contents before building can commence. The castle will re-open in Spring 2018.
Out in the country park, a series of themed interpretive trails will lead visitors on adventures from formal gardens through to wild woodlands, with sensory installations throughout. A new adventure play experience which takes its inspiration from Arran’s rich natural heritage is due to open in 2017.