Strachur Smiddy Museum and Craft Shop, Cowal, Argyll, Scotland
The Smiddy has a long history, the first recorded reference to it being in 1791, and it continued to perform a vital function in the social and economic life of the local community until it closed in the mid-1950s.
Unique in two respects
The Smiddy at Strachur is probably unique in two respects at least. Firstly, for most of its operational life, it was in the hands of the Montgomery family, spanning four generations of village blacksmiths. Secondly, the contents have remained virtually untouched since the day of closure, thus providing a unique record of the technology of the blacksmith and his craft.
Aided by local fund-raising efforts, and with the assistance of generous grants from several sources, the Strachur Smiddy Trust has been able to restore the dilapidated Smiddy building and it is now open to the public as a museum and craft shop.
Reminder of times past
As a museum, the Smiddy offers the visitor an interesting reminder of times past. For the young visitor, the implements, artefacts and photographs on display provide a valuable aid to learning and give a realistic insight into an important aspect of Scotland's rural history.
An area to the rear of the Smiddy has been developed as a craftshop with exhibition and sale of works of art and craft of local artists.