Stromness Museum was founded in 1837 with the creation of the Orkney Natural History Society. The building dates from 1858. It has recently undergone major restoration, but still retains its Victorian atmosphere.
The lower gallery is full of exhibits relating to the local fishing industry, relics of the German High Seas Fleet (famously scuttled in nearby Scapa Flow in 1919) and numerous items relating to the "Nor' Wast" - the 19th century links between Orkney and Canada, involving the Hudson's Bay Company.
Particularly interesting is material concerning Orcadian Arctic explorer John Rae - who was the first European to learn, from Inuit hunters, the fate of the Franklin Expedition to the North-West passage in 1845.
The recently refurbished upper gallery displays the Society's fine collection of Orkney bird specimens along with displays of marine life and local fossils.
The Pilot's House next door is an award winning project which houses Inuit, whaling and maritime exhibits, as well as a reconstruction of the pilot's own living room. The pilots were local sailors who sailed out to the big ships visiting the port, to conduct the ships into port safely.
Archaeology, Archives, Natural Sciences, World Cultures, Coins and Medals, Science and Technology, Social History, Land Transport, Maritime
52 Alfred Street