Orkney Fossil & Heritage Centre re-opening for the season on Tuesday 22nd June. See an intriguing collection of rare fossils from Orkney and around the world and learn more about the heritage of the Orkney Isles.
Re-opening for the season on Tuesday 22nd June.
After a long closure due to Covid restrictions we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre again.
Please note that the Centre will be closed on Mondays.
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A recent visitor described the Orkney Fossil & Heritage Centre as a "hidden gem". Housed in converted farm buildings on the island of Burray, the Centre has an intriguing collection of fossils from Orkney and around the world, including some rare and beautifully preserved specimens. There are also local heritage displays, including fascinating exhibitions about Scapa Flow's wartime history: 'Building the Barriers' about the construction of the Churchill Barriers and new for 2019 'Scapa and the Scuttle'.
The collections were donated to the people of Orkney by local builder Leslie Firth who, with his father Ernest, developed an interest after finding fossils at their quarry in Sandwick, West Mainland. Recently updated exhibitions downstairs showcase the extensive fossil and rock collection, with detailed information and illustrations of 380 million year old fish!
Ernest Firth was also a great collector of heritage objects. His interest was not in fine antiques or valuable rarities, but in the objects used in everyday life by Orcadians. His extensive hoard includes furniture, household china, cameras and tools, providing an intimate portrait of life in Orkney in the last century.
The heritage galleries have been upgraded over the winter of 2015-16, with new information about boat building in Burray and exhibits about life in Orkney during the First and Second World Wars, including a feature about the other 'Italian Chapel' built at POW Camp 34 on Burray.
New for 2019 is the 'Scapa and the Scuttle' exhibition funded by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. A new interpretative floor map details the location of the scuttled
German ships and the WW1 and WW2 blockships whilst two screens show archive film and photos .
The Gift Shop at the main entrance stocks a large range of books about fossils and geology, gemstones, jewellery and other Orkney crafts, toys, hand-made cards, prints and local music recordings.
There is also a cafe
Free wi-fi available in the cafe.