Scotland's new Perth Museum is set to open on Easter weekend in March 2024, featuring a rare Jacobite wine glass and Bonnie Prince Charlie's sword on public display for the first time. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, was the grandson of James II, who became the King of England in 1685. He played a pivotal role in the 1745 Jacobite uprising. Bonnie Prince Charlie's solid-silver-hilted broadsword, crafted by Perth artisan James Brown in 1739, is returning to Scotland for the first time since its creation.
Designed by Mecanoo, Perth Museum will welcome visitors after a £27 million redevelopment of the former city hall. Mecanoo envisions the project as a means to create a new gateway to Perth, connecting its history and pride. The proposal aims to re-activate Perth City Hall through a series of 'light touch' interventions that embrace the building's beauty and character while improving accessibility and reinforcing existing connections. By increasing transparency on all sides and providing level access, people are encouraged to visit.
These two new objects will be exhibited alongside other Jacobite artifacts from the Perth and Kinross museum collections, including a rare and ornate 'star' targe or Highland shield. The new museum will narrate the story of Perth in both ancient and modern Scotland as the nation's first capital. Its centrepiece is the Stone of Destiny, which is currently housed at Edinburgh Castle. The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, was first used in the coronation of Scottish monarchs. It travelled to London for King Charles' coronation earlier this year.
"The collections housed in Perth and Kinross are recognized for their national significance and are continually developing," stated Charles Kinnoull, chair of Culture Perth & Kinross.
He added, "The opportunity to exhibit new objects like this exquisite Jacobite glass and sword alongside loans from national partners, the existing collections, and the Stone of Destiny, all within a stunning new home in the former city hall, is something I couldn't be more excited about."
Councillor Grant Laing, leader of Perth & Kinross Council, emphasized that Perth Museum will be "a landmark attraction that brings Scotland's history to life and represents the culmination of our long-term cultural regeneration vision for Perth."