The Clan Cameron Museum at Achnacarry traces the history of Clan Cameron, from its early beginnings in Lochaber in the 14th century to the present day.
The museum, housed in an old traditional building, consists of several rooms of exhibits, an archive reading room and a gift shop. The museum was opened by Sir Fitzroy Maclean of Dunconnell in 1989 and is operated by Clan Cameron Charitable Trust.
Key events in the history of the clan, its chiefs and its changing fortunes, as well as the myths, legends and mottos associated with Clan Cameron are recounted through written accounts, exhibits and a range of artefacts, including maps, photos, paintings, tapestries , models, weapons, memorabilia and historical clothing (including the bridesmaid’s dress and accessories worn Catherine Cameron at Royal wedding in 1981 and the leather military boots worn by Sir Ewen Cameron during the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689).
There are also references to some of the more famous members of Clan Cameron, including the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, the botanical illustrator Elizabeth Cameron, the artists David Young Cameron and Katherine Cameron and the former conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron.
There is also a section on the role of the Chief in the Modern Clan, highlighting the changing role of the Chief from father, protector and leader to the custodian of Clan history and heritage. A display on Locheil Estate provides further information about 600,000 acres estate with its 140 crofts, the local wildlife and the activities that support it.
There is also an extensive collection of exhibits and artefacts associated with Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745. Artefacts include Prince Charles' actual waistcoats, a Jacobite ring, a white cocade, sword hilt and spur, a portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie, a prayer for victory and The Gentle Lochiel's bible. A central exhibit highlights the role of Sir Ewen Dubh (XV11 Chief) who fought on behalf of the Stuarts, and was knighted for his bravery.
Information boards further recount on the fate of the Highland Clans after the unsuccessful battle of Culloden, which include accounts of the destruction of the clan system, the exile, imprisonment or execution of Clan Chiefs, the forfeit of estates and the destruction of homes and land as well as associated changes in the social conditions of tenants and their allegiances, agricultural techniques, education and industrialisation.
There are also some moving accounts of voluntary and enforced emigration of members of the Clan to Canada and beyond.
Other exhibits include accounts and artefacts associated with the Cameron Highlanders and Colonel John Cameron of Fassifern, as well as the British Commandos and those who trained with them at Achnacarry during World War II. Military artefacts include cannon balls, handguns, swords, berets, bagpipes, bayonet, Thompson machine gun, Commando fishing knife, an officer's dirk with scabbard and the Gordon Highlander sash, epaulette and spurs.
An artillery pieces captured by Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders at the Battle of Loos, during World War I, is located outside the museum together with a "living" cairn.
Well worth a visit.