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The Clan Cameron Museum
at Achnacarry

Cameron of Lochiel's Own Website

A Message from
Colonel Sir Donald H. Cameron of Lochiel, KT
XXVI Chief of Clan Cameron (1910-2004)

Welcome to Achnacarry, the centre of Clan Cameron Country and home of the Chief of the Clan and his family.  Welcome also to the Clan Cameron Museum which was opened by Sir Fitzroy Maclean of Dunconnell in 1989.

The Museum was the brain-child of my son Donald and his wife, Cecil, and the idea was enthusiastically backed by the Clan worldwide who contributed generously to the cost of construction, as did friends of the family and many others.  The process of rebuilding this old listed cottage is described and illustrated in the Museum which, since its opening, has been visited by clansfolk from all over the world and by many people interested in the history of the Highlands and the Jacobite cause.

We have included in the Museum artifacts, photographs and information about the Commandos who trained at Achnacarry during the 1939/45 War and who frequently return here to visit their old training grounds.  I am sure they will be glad to know that we have not forgotten them and the important part they have played in the history of Achnacarry.

There are references and exhibits relating to the Clan Regiment, the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, and we are grateful to the Regimental Museum for lending us many items for display.

I hope that we shall welcome more and more visitors from all over the world, including clansfolk, Cameron Highlanders and Commandos.

The Clan Cameron Museum:
exhibits and Features, with Photographs 

Within the unassuming walls of a 17th century white croft, very near Achnacarry, thousands of Camerons have explored the history and artifacts of the clan.  While the Clan Cameron Museum contains much more than a web page can detail, we will take a brief tour.  

Please Note: Most of the following photographs are linked to larger images - visitors should feel free to browse these at their leisure.     

The tour of the Clan Cameron Museum begins outside. 
This artillery piece was captured by the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders at the Battle of Loos, during World War I.  The regiment suffered significant casualties, with Colonel Sir Donald Walter Cameron of Lochiel, XXV Chief of Clan Cameron being wounded in the action.  
Commenced at Clan Cameron's 2001 International Gathering, this "living" cairn contains stones contributed by clansfolk from throughout the world.  Many stones were engraved prior to their donation, most especially by the various branches of the Clan Cameron Association.  It contains a time capsule, with keepsakes of the early twenty-first century.
Visitors now commence the indoor portion of this tour. 
The first room contains a number of unique clan-oriented pieces.  One  interesting item demonstrates just how widely the Camerons have emigrated.  A world map adorns one wall.  It offers visitors the opportunity to interact by placing a small sticker showing the location of their home.  This map is literally covered with dots, proving that the Camerons have come from far and wide to visit Lochaber.
In the corner a unique Cameron of Erracht regimental kilt awaits one final inspection.
Originally issued to an officer of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, this was among the last kilts to be worn in action by a Highland soldier - at Dunkirk in 1940.  It is now among numerous items at the Clan Cameron Museum relating to this famed regiment.  There will be more on the Cameron Highlanders later, as this tour continues...
As visitors enter the first main corridor, one wall is emblazoned with a greeting: "Achnacarry - Home of the Cameron Clan."  Further along the corridor is a feature detailing the present day Lochiel Estate.  While many wish to ponder the past while at museums, this exhibit highlights the facets that make the estate viable in the twenty-first century. 
Within the next exhibition room visitors are provided with a glimpse of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie" from Scotland's romantic yet tragic Jacobite era.
Among other items, this corner exhibit includes one of Prince Charles' actual waistcoats, and a Jacobite ring, which, when opened by a secret spring, reveals a portrait of the Prince.  The ring is reputed to have belonged to a member of his staff.  Another interesting item from the Jacobite era is also included - The Gentle Lochiel's bible.  References to King George of Hanover are inked out, a common Jacobite practice. 
A unique exhibit awaits visitors, just around the next corner. 

This life-sized scene recreates one of Prince Charles' various hiding places following 1746's Battle of Culloden.  He skulked for at least one week in Lochaber, in numerous locations, including one within sight of Achnacarry.
One of the Museum's holdings is the famous painting of Donald "The Gentle Lochiel" Cameron, XIX Chief of Clan Cameron.  Visitors learn the tragic fates of Donald, his brothers and the clan in general following Culloden.  There are also pieces devoted to the restoration of the forfeited Lochiel Estate, Cameron Emigration and the Highland Clearances.   
What follows next is a myriad of information on Clan Cameron's legends, chiefs, slogans, history and the clan lands in Lochaber.  From the origin of Clan Cameron to the earliest castles and churches, a story of yesteryear is told with stunning photographs and carefully crafted words.   
One exhibit is devoted to Sir Ewen Cameron, the illustrious XVII Cameron Chief.  At the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, the Cameron men were led into combat by their chief.  In that his men were barefooted, Ewen elected to lead by example.  But how were these boots preserved?  In the words of his descendant, Sir Donald H. Cameron of Lochiel, XXVI Chief: "He must have put them on afterwards, because they're now here in the museum."
The next room of the Clan Cameron Museum contains a variety of subjects, past and present.
The Cameron clansman depicted here, accompanied by his eagle, is adorned in an Ancient Clan Cameron kilt.  He is shown with an accurate representation of the Highlander's dirk and targe.  The Clan Cameron Rallying Cry is listed above, stating, in both English and Gaelic: "Sons of the hounds, come hither and get flesh." 


Across from the clansman exhibit visitors will discover a timeline of Cameron chiefs, past, present and future.  Cameron genealogists find this area of interest, for their forefathers probably followed these gentlemen into battle.  Through their actions and efforts these chiefs preserved a significant portion of the Lochiel Estate for Camerons to return "home" to. 
A subsequent exhibition room of the museum contains items from more recent years, including props from James Cameron's film "Titanic."  
At HRH The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer's Royal Wedding in 1981, six year old Catherine Cameron, the daughter of Donald Angus Cameron, XXVII Chief of Clan Cameron and Lady Cecil Kerr, was a bridesmaid.  Her dress and accessories are on display, in addition to the story of that memorable day.
Many other pieces are preserved throughout the Museum.  To be fully appreciated, they must be viewed in person.

Numerous Cameron Keepsakes

Some Famous Camerons

As visitors enter the final room, the echo of soldier's boots may still be heard.
Founded by Alan Cameron of Erracht, the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders recruited quite a few Lochaber men following their 1793 inception.  Their list of honours is lengthy, and includes Egypt, the Peninsula, Crimean War, and both World Wars.  During World War I Colonel Sir Donald Walter Cameron of Lochiel, XXVth Chief recruited and subsequently commanded the 5th Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders.
It was at Achnacarry that British Commandos, along with their counterparts from America, France, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Yugoslavia and Norway went through assault training courses during World War II.  The Museum contains relics from that era, which serve to tell the story of these courageous men, who endured 12 weeks at Achnacarry before earning their green beret.  

The Reading Room

While this brief tour of the Clan Cameron Museum has reached the end of the exhibition rooms, there is another area which has not been visited - The Reading Room. 
The Reading Room is the central repository for clan records relating to the Camerons of Lochiel, clansfolk (worldwide) in general and the Clan Cameron Association.  It offers a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere for those undertaking research.  Assistance will be provided when possible by the Clan Cameron Museum Curator, Denis Muir, and his staff.

Museum Gift Shop

At the entrance to the Clan Cameron Museum, visitors will find an excellent shop, containing a vast array of Clan Cameron Merchandise.  For those not familiar with the incredible variety, an online order form (with linked photographs) is available, which lists most items for sale.  Whether on holiday/vacation or just looking for a unique keepsake, the museum gift shop is a one stop destination.  In addition to other exclusive merchandise, the gift shop is the only source to purchase the definitive book on the clan, John Stewart of Ardvorlich's The Camerons - A History of Clan Cameron.    

the Clan Cameron Museum, Hours and Admission



(from April to mid-October)

Adults £3.50
Every afternoon 1:30pm-5pm Children under 14 Free
July & August 11am-5pm Senior Citizens (OPS) £2.00

In special circumstances, and during the winter, the museum can be opened by appointment for an additional charge of £4

Contact the Curator, Mr. Denis Muir, telephone: (01397) 712480