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Article published 23/10/2023

A press release from Culture Perth & Kinross has announced that the new Perth Museum will open to the public at Easter weekend, in March next year.

As part of the new permanent display, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s sword and a rare Jacobite wine glass will both go on public display for the very first time. This will be the first time the sword has returned to Scotland since it was made in Perth in 1739.

Perth Museum is a £27 million transformation of the former City Hall. It is funded by £10 million UK Government investment through the Tay Cities Deal and by Perth & Kinross Council.

Through nationally recognised museum collections, it will tell the story of Perth’s place in ancient and modern Scotland, as the nation’s first capital. The building has been designed by award-winning architects Mecanoo.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s solid-silver hilted broadsword was made by Perth craftsman James Brown, believed to have been given to him in 1739 by James Drummond, the third Duke of Perth. It would have been an important symbol of Charles Edward Stuart’s claim to the Scottish throne whilst the Jacobite court was in exile in Rome in 1739.

The stunning Jacobite wine glass will also be seen at Perth Museum for the first time and features the Duke of Perth’s family motto, "Gang Warily". It has recently been acquired by Culture Perth & Kinross, the charitable trust which will run Perth Museum in partnership with Perth & Kinross Council, and with support from the National Fund for Acquisitions.

These two new objects will be viewed alongside other significant Jacobite material from the Perth and Kinross museum collections including a rare and ornate "star" targe or Highland shield, possibly made by William Lyndsay.

the hilt of a sword, used by the jacobites. Credit Benedict Johnson

Perth Museum will tell the story of Scotland through the story of Perth as the nation’s first capital: how the Kingdom of Alba was forged in the area known as the "cradle of Scotland", and where the modern Scottish nation was later shaped through writers, artists and thinkers connected to Perth.

From when the first Scottish King was inaugurated on the Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, the city became a medieval powerhouse driven by technological innovation, powerful national and international political alliances, and major economic forces which shaped both ancient and modern Scotland.


The Stone of Destiny is returning to Perthshire from Edinburgh Castle, close to its origins at nearby Scone, for the first time in over 700 years. As the centrepiece of the new museum, the Stone will be free for all to visit.

Perth Museum will be a new addition to an already vibrant cultural scene in Perth and Kinross which includes the recently transformed Pitlochry Festival Theatre, a facelift for Perth Art Gallery and the ongoing expansion of the Iron Age Crannog Centre in Highland Perthshire.

The new museum represents a major investment in the economic and community wellbeing of the area as part of a wider regeneration strategy for Perth.

The announcement of the date for Perth Museum’s opening weekend is great news and a key milestone towards the opening of Perth’s new visitor attraction.

Perth Museum is such an important addition to the visitor experience of both Perth and Perthshire. It will deliver a high-quality visitor attraction that will explore Perth’s rich history as the country’s first capital, with the iconic Stone of Destiny at its centrepiece.

The opening is a catalyst in putting the city into the spotlight, reminding visitors in the UK and abroad of the many reasons to visit the city and surrounding area.

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Destination Development Director

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