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Encyclopedia > Museum of Scottish Country Life

The National Museums of Scotland and partners have developed the Museum of Scottish Country Life (MoSCL), which is on Wester Kittochside farm lying between the town of East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire and the village of Carmunnock in Glasgow. The site has good road links, especially with the new M77 extension and its associated link from Ayrshire. The National Museums of Scotland are: The Royal Museum of Scotland - a general museum encompassing geology, archaeology, natural history, science, technology and art. ... East Kilbride (Cille Bhrìghde an Ear in Scottish Gaelic) is a large town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. ... South Lanarkshire (Siorrachd Lannraig a Deas in Gaelic) is one of 32 unitary council regions in Scotland, covering the southern part of the traditional county of Lanarkshire. ... Carmunnock is conservation village within the City of Glasgow boundary. ... For other uses, see Glasgow (disambiguation). ... Ayrshire (Siorrachd Inbhir Àir in Scottish Gaelic) was a county in south-west Scotland, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. ...

Other National Museum of Scotland sites are the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh); the National War Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh Castle); the Museum of Flight (East Fortune); Shambellie House, Museum of Costume (New Abbey, Dumfries); and the Granton Centre (Edinburgh). The Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, is a museum dedicated to the history, people and culture of Scotland. ... The National War Museum of Scotland is housed in Edinburgh, Scotland, and forms part of the National Museums of Scotland. ... For the Museum of Flight in East Lothian, Scotland, see Museum of Flight (Scotland). ...


The Creation of the Museum

The project, opened in 2001, cost over nine million pounds and was made possible through a partnership between The National Museums of Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, South Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and a number of private funders. The standard of the NTS The National Trust for Scotland, or NTS, describes itself as The conservation charity that protects and promotes Scotlands natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations to enjoy. ... A play here! sign outside a newsagent, incorporating the National Lotterys logo of a stylised hand with crossed fingers. ... European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Scope As part of its task to promote regional development, the ERDF contributes towards financing the following measures: Productive investment to create and safeguard sustainable jobs; Investment in infrastructure which contributes, in regions covered by Objective 1, to development, structural adjustment and creation and maintenance... South Lanarkshire Council is a local authority in scotland. ... Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is a Scottish public body . ...

The MoSCL has greatly extended the work of the former Scottish Agricultural Museum, founded in 1949, latterly located within the show-ground of the Royal Highland Agricultural Society for Scotland at Ingliston, west of Edinburgh. Ingliston is an area to the west of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. ... Edinburgh (pronounced ; Dùn Èideann () in Scottish Gaelic) is the capital of Scotland and its second-largest city. ...

The completed MoSCL features a 50,000 square foot museum and visitor centre, the Georgian buildings of Wester Kittochside farm, the species-rich fields and hedgerows around it and a 24 ha (60 acre) events area.

Facilities and Resources

Wester Kittochside Farm

The Lairds of Kittochside

The 69 ha (170 acre) farm was gifted in 1992 to the National Trust for Scotland by Mrs Margaret Reid who had operated the farm for many years with her late husband, the last of ten generations of Reids, Lairds of Kittochside, to farm the property over a period of 400 years. Further land was purchased in 1997 for the construction of the main museum buildings.

The Laird's House

The fine dwelling house and most of the outbuildings have carved ball finials on the gable ends as per the architectural fashion of the time. The finial can also function as a lightning rod, and was once believed to act as a deterrent to witches on broomsticks attempting to land on one's roof. On making her final landing approach to a roof, the witch, spotting the obstructing finial, was forced to sheer off and land elsewhere. The house and farm stand on an exposed hill top and are screened from the elements by fine old trees, a fine old Sycamore or Plane (Acer pseudoplatanus) being prominent amongst them. A finial is a vertically mounted spike attached at the top of a building or structure. ... Sycamore is a name applied at various times and places to three very different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms. ...

The Doocot

A typical dovecot or doocot is located above the door in the cart shed building The doocot or dovecot above the entrance is a a typical feature of country estates, as the right to build a doocot was strictly limited to the major landowners intially, and only later were small freeholders permitted to build them; at a more recent date tenants could sometimes gain permission from their landlord to build doocots to provide food or to add a pictureque feature to their properties. (Peters 2003). In the Middle Ages doocots or pigeon-houses were a badge of manorial privilege and distinctive, often very ornate buildings were constructed. The Kittochside doocot is a simple and practical design, however the problem of the pigeons feeding off the farm crops still had to be balanced against the benefits of the all year round meat supply that the doocot provided (Quiney 1995). Dovecot is: a type of building, also known as a dovecote the name of a secure POP and IMAP server This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Dovecot is: a type of building, also known as a dovecote the name of a secure POP and IMAP server This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


A number of sandstone 'stile' gateposts are found at entry points to the fields. These were built with a series of downward facing 'L' shaped grooves on one side and a matching concavity on the other gatepost. Wood bars could then be inserted across and parallel, giving a gate without a hinge. These are sometimes still found in the countryside at large, but almost always adapted to carry metal hinged gates. In some area wood rather than stone was used to construct this type of hinge-less gatepost.


Many of the artifacts and equipment originally came from the existing museum at Ingliston, others from an operational traditional working farm, as well as items which were donated and some which were specific acquisitions. The displays illustrate how people lived and worked the land in the past, and how this helped shape the countryside which we see today.The museum also includes items which highlight the folklore aspects of the farming way of life, including a 'cup marked' stone and a collection charms. Ingliston is an area to the west of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. ... Folklore is the body of verbal expressive culture, including tales, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs current among a particular population, comprising the oral tradition of that culture, subculture, or group. ... Charms - so Russian poet Daniil Kharms spelled his pseudonym Charm can have the following meanings: In the world of paranormal magic, a charm can mean either: An amulet or talisman, or a spell. ...

Specifically exhibits include agricultural tools and equipment, clothing, toys, musical instruments, household items. Amongst the preserved machinery is the reaping machine invented by Patrick Bell (1799-1869), the earliest surviving example of an iron plough invented by James Small (1730-1793) and the best collection of combine harvesters in Europe. The reaper was a horse-drawn farm implement invented by Cyrus McCormick in 1831 to cut small grain crops. ... The combine harvester, or simply combine, is a machine that harvests, threshes, and cleans grain plants. ...

The museum has a large collection of scale and other models relating to farm machinery, water wheels, etc.

The Visitor Experience

A day at MoSCL gives an opportunity for visitors to get back to the land and experience the traditional way of life as it was on the rural and partly mechanised Scottish farm of the 1950's. Ploughing, sowing, haymaking and harvesting are all carried out on this working farm. Interpretation guides enable visitors to understand and appreciate the many activities which are part and parcel of the Scottish farming year. Tractor rides take visitors to the farm where they can also see the herds of cattle and sheep. An annual programme is offered of demonstrations of country skills, workshops and ranger-guided walks. For the constellation known as The Plough see Ursa Major. ... Sowing is the process of planting seeds. ...

A very rare survival of a 'Horse mill' , engine or gin' has been partly restored to working condition. It is used to drive farm machinery, such as a a winnowing machine which removes the husk from grain, via a rotating horizontal axle drive from the mill. Prior to using horse driven machines a flail was used by the farm workers to seperate the grain from the husk.The flail itself being a wood pole with a smaller pole linked at the end via a chain or leather thong. A horse-mill is a mill that uses a horse as the power source. ... A flail is an agricultural tool used for threshing, separating grains from their husks, or a similarly constructed weapon or punishing implement. ...

The Rig and furrow marks in the fields are exceptionally well preserved due to the fact that heavy machinery was rarely used on these fields. These marks represent the way in which earth was built up with drains either side. Rig and furrow was a type of cultivation practised in upland areas of the British Isles which differs slightly from the more common ridge and furrow in that it appears to have been created through excavation by spade rather than plough. ...


The museum provides a national educational resource on countryside practices, biodiversity, the environment, traditional and more recent farming methods involving pesticides and fertilisers, topical issues, etc. It focuses on the long history of agriculture in Scotland and on the lives of those who lived and worked in the countryside.


  • Peters, J.E.C. (2003). Discovering Traditional Farm Buildings. Shire Books. ISBN 0-85263-556-7.
  • Quiney, Anthony. (1995). The Traditional Buildings of England. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27661-7 P.191.

See Also

Dalgarven Mill is near Kilwinning, North Ayrshire The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Staddle stones were originally used as supporting bases for granaries, hayricks, game larders, etc. ... A horse-mill is a mill that uses a horse as the power source. ... Dovecot is: a type of building, also known as a dovecote the name of a secure POP and IMAP server This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Bales of hay on a farm near Ames, Iowa A farm is the basic unit in agriculture. ... In geography, arable land is a form of agricultural land use, meaning land that can be (and is) used for growing crops. ...

External Links

  • [[1]] The Architecture of the MoSCL
  • [[2]] An aerial view of MoSCL
  • [[3]] MoSCL website
  • [[4]] Map (provided by multimap.com)
  • [[5]] National Cycle Network Map (provided by Sustrans)

  Results from FactBites:
Museum - MSN Encarta (2174 words)
Museums collect objects of scientific, aesthetic, or historical importance; care for them; and study, interpret, and exhibit them for the purposes of public education and the advancement of knowledge.
Outstanding museums of this type include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the Louvre in Paris, France; the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia; the National Gallery in London, England; and the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy.
History museums are dedicated to promoting a greater appreciation and knowledge of history and its importance to understanding the present and anticipating the future.
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Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge.
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[Responsible for: Hunterian Museum; Odontological Museum, Wellcome Museum of Anatomy; Wellcome Museum of Pathology].
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