Cromarty Courthouse Museum is housed in an elegant A-listed 18th century townhouse, refurbished in 1980s. It has two floors with a single storey jail extension, added in the mid-19th century to house 3 cells and an exercise gallery. The courtroom upstairs has the original fixed court furniture.
We are a community museum welcoming visitors curious about local history and Highland justice as experienced in our local parishes of Cromarty and Resolis. There are 4 story soundscapes in the museum, based on real stories and told using our memorable mannequins. Two trials can be heard in the courtroom – gems of stories concerning 18th century vandalism and a pub brawl with undertones of racism. The unique Cromarty Fishertoun dialect is used to full effect in these trials. In a prison cell, a Victorian era prisoner, fallen on hard times, talks to his jailer. From behind his desk, the eccentric 17th century laird of Cromarty, Sir Thomas Urquhart, will confront you with one of his many obsessions! All the voices used in our recordings are members of our local community. There are QR codes on the walls which allow you to link to the text of the soundscapes on your phones.
Our museum collection consists of objects, paper archives, books and photographs. These illustrate the history of the area from the foundation of the medieval burgh through its heyday as a fishing community and commercial centre and forward to the 21st century. We run a programme of changing exhibitions that often involve community input.
There is a shop selling a range of locally produced goods as well as items made specifically for the Courthouse from elsewhere in Scotland. There is an attractive walled garden to the rear of the building that has been nurtured over the last few years as a wild-flower garden and orchard.