Wick Heritage Museum is located in the heart of Pulteneytown, an area designed by Thomas Telford. Situated in Bank Row, in premises that were once home to both businesses and families, there are many hidden gems in the museum's collections.
The museum aims to collect, collate, and display artefacts and stories relating to the history of Wick. Volunteer guides are on hand to answer questions on the displays and exhibits, which showcase various aspects of Caithness life during the heyday of the herring industry.
Allow plenty of time to see the collections in detail, or make a number of visits!
The museum is divided thematically into a number of displays charting the history of life in Wick. These are:
The Fishing Hall
Herring fishing was the town's prime industry. Pulteneytown and its harbour was built to accommodate this, and its ancillary trades. The Fishing Hall in the Museum reflects on this key part of Wick's past through stories of life during the 'herring boom' of the 19th century.
The Boat Section
The Boat Section, based in the old Herring Mart and Lifeboat Shed, keeps alive the history and knowledge of fishing boats. While the Isabella Fortuna (a traditional Fifie fishing vessel) may be the pride of the fleet, other examples are also available to view.
The Johnston Collection
The Johnston Photographic Collection is of international importance, representing the work of three generations of Caithness photographers who captured images of Caithness and particularly Wick life between 1863 and 1975. To date, some 40,000 images have been digitised and made available. Examples are displayed throughout the museum, or are available to view on their website.
The museum's Oral History Section, Wick Voices, is an ongoing and intergenerational project to document memories and information about Wick's varied past as audio recordings. These are available to listen to on the museum's website.