Sunday, 14 September 2014

Museum, Dunrobin Castle

The Museum at Dunrobin Castle started out as a gazebo or summer house, built in 1732 by William, 16th Earl of Sutherland.

The building, just outside the walled garden, was extended in 1878 by the 3rd Duke of Sutherland to create a private museum.

The 4th Duke of Sutherland and his wife,Millicent enlarged the collection. They were magpie-style collectors who added  bead work from Central Africa, Eskimo fishing equipment and Berber saddlebags. These and a plethora of other objects took their place in the cornucopia of curiosities, beside engraved Pictish stones, bird's eggs, fossils, a slipper belonging to Garibaldi, geological specimens, a (used) handkerchief of Queen Victoria's and the figure head of the 3rd Duke's yacht, 'Catania'.

However  in these days of political correctness it is the sheer scale of hunting trophies, from the bags of the 5th Duke of Sutherland, that take the breath away. It seems no animal was spared the attention of this enthusiastic big-game hunter. Elephant, giraffe, kudu, rhino, frogs, impala and basking sharks; gemsbok, turtles, and warthog compete for wall space with many, many, many other trophies.