The Atholl Palace Museum, set within the Atholl Palace Hotel tells the stories of the people who built, worked and visited this historic hotel from when building began in 1874 until today.
This is the only museum in Scotland to celebrate the social history of a hotel and in 2005 when it first opened it was the first museum of its kind in the UK. Over 2016 it has undergone an extensive £30,000 investment refurbishment to enhance the visitor experience including creating a small rail carriage and crafting a map of the hotel and a mini game within Minecraft.
Minecraft has over 100 million players worldwide and it has been widely accepted that through experimenting and working together, children begin to develop skills in creative thinking, maths, geometry, and even geology. To complete large tasks, they need to plan a strategy, define goals and work together to execute and see the mission through.
The success of Minecraft is largely due to its open gameplay; children don’t play just one mission, they choose from many activities.
Room settings and tactile exhibits within the museum are packed full of historical insights and anecdotes, perfect for minds both old and young to explore.
The museum charts the history of the hotel from when it opened as a Hydropathic establishment in 1878 through to its reopening after World War II and beyond. There are tales of bankruptcy, colourful entrepreneurs, unusual and torturous spa treatments, and evacuees turning hotel to school. As it unfolds, it delves behind the scenes of life for Victorian hotel servants including maids, porters, chauffeurs and gardeners, many of whom lived in the servants’ quarters where the museum stands.
A 23 minute film, "The Story of the Atholl Palace", explains how the hotel has changed and adapted over nearly 130 years. It began as a hydropathic establishment, run on strict temperance principles to treat people in the healthy air of Pitlochry. During both world wars, two schools sheltered in its walls, and it relaxed into a luxurious spa hotel.
Rooms have been set up with audio stories, in accordance with the original hotel plans, to show the working life of a Victorian hydropathic establishment, including the medical room of the resident physician.
While you are visiting the museum, take time to enjoy the lovely gardens, abundant with wildlife, flowers, specimen trees and walks. You may also want to take afternoon tea in the lounge or have a light lunch in the bar.