The Museum is a “Tardis” well worth exploring. Here’s a quote from last years’ visitor’s book
“Wick Heritage Museum deserves all the praise for being one of the best museums in the whole of Scotland. The staff also need a mention for being so good at showing you around or if desired left to your own devices. Keep up the good work”.
The Wick Heritage Centre is like Dr Who's Tardis; it looks small on the outside, and frankly rather unimpressive, but once you enter inside the museum you realise just how big it is, and how much is crammed into this old collection of historic warehouses near Thomas Telford's harbour; one exhibition chamber leads to the next, and to another beyond that, in a bewildering and seemingly endless series of rooms, each with a different focus, from the birth of Wick as a centre for the herring trade, to recreations of historic rooms.
There is a special exhibit of Caithness Glass, originally, but sadly no longer, made in Wick. Other exhibits show a vast array of objects from the town's history as a royal borough, including official seals and symbols of office. There are historic costumes, objects from everyday life as diverse as dolls and furniture. See examples of the traditional 'Cathness Chair', known for its incomplete seat, and read about some of the historical characters who contributed to Wick's fascinating history.
For me the highlight of the Heritage Centre is the wonderful collection of old photographs, the work of three generations of the Johnson family. The Johnson collection is quite exceptional; they photographed seemingly every aspect of life in Caithness, from street scenes to fishing boats, portraits to architecture.
Some of the photos are quite extraordinarily beautiful, and when you consider that many were made with glass plates, and had to be painstakingly developed in a darkroom, the value of the collection is obvious. There are hundreds of prints on display, but these only represent a fraction of the entire collection. To accompany the photos is a collection of original cameras dating to the Victorian era, and a recreation of the Johnson's original studio, with the actual furniture they used to create portraits over 150 years ago.
Entry : £4 for Adults , £0.50 for children under 15