Moirlanich Longhouse teacher information

Moirlanich Longhouse is a rare and outstanding survivor of the Scottish longhouse, in which a family and their livestock lived under one roof. It dates from the early to mid-19th century and was built from locally available materials – oak and beech, stone, clay, sand, turf and bracken.

Many original features survive virtually unaltered as they were built into the structure, such as box beds, a scotch dresser and the ‘hingin’ lum’ – they offer a glimpse of rural Highland life in the past. The Robertson family lived and farmed here until 1968, without electricity or plumbing ever being installed.

The building was bought by the National Trust for Scotland in 1992, when it was only a few years from collapse. The conservation project aimed to halt the decay whilst maintaining the character and integrity of the property, using authentic tools and materials. It’s furnished according to archaeological evidence and the memories of local people who knew the Robertson family well. 

Adjacent to the Longhouse is a Display Hut, which houses a small display of artefacts discovered by archaeologists. These include a rare collection of work clothes found in the house and information about the history and restoration of the building.

The school programme offers many opportunities for cross-curricular work and engaging with the Curriculum for Excellence. The programme complements People, Past Events and Societies. It can also be used as a basis for classroom work across the whole curriculum. The school programme is suitable for First and Second Level pupils. 

The Longhouse illustrates part of Scotland’s rural highland heritage and history, and the exhibition explains how different sources of evidence were used to reconstruct the interior and understand the daily lives of the inhabitants. Pupils will gather evidence, view an exhibition of the finds from the archaeological investigations and visit the reconstructed house.

Possible topics

  • Rural heritage
  • Life in the Highlands
  • Archaeology
  • Conservation
  • The Victorians

Resources for schools

  • A teaching pack, with information about the interior of the house and the life of its residents as well as activities for pupils, is available from the Moirlanich office.
  • A model of the house, displaying the cruck frames, is available for loan. Please contact the Moirlanich office.

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact the Moirlanich office on 01567 820988 to discuss your visit. We can tailor activities to suit your requirements. 
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Visits are available from Easter to September. The house is open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2–5pm; please avoid these times.
  • Maximum class size: 30, with a ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 10 pupils. Classes will be split into three groups.
  • Access: there’s a short walk along a minor road between the car park and the Longhouse and Display Hut. Both buildings are small and the house has limited light and uneven flooring, so care needs to be taken.
  • Moirlanich Longhouse school visits are designed to fit each school’s needs but usually last around 2 to 2½ hours.
  • Toilets: there’s only a single toilet (accessible) on the site so we recommend stopping en route.
  • Refreshments: there’s no café here but pupils are welcome to bring their own snacks and eat outside. It may be possible to use the meeting room in our Killin office.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers are expected to prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.

Charges

  • There’s no admission charge for schools with Trust educational membership.
  • Non-members are welcome but there’s an admission charge of £2 per pupil. 
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free.
  • Class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site. Please contact us to arrange this.

During your class visit

  • On arrival: please come to the car park at the property.
  • Trust staff will lead the school programme.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • Pupils do not need to bring any materials for the school programme.
  • Coats and bags can be left in the Display Hut during the visit.
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