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This is a Grade A1 listed building built in 1829 at a cost of £900. It was in regular use until 1935 as a Church of Scotland parish church. The last service was a wedding. The congregation finally moved into the current Church of Scotland building in Mill Street.
It is known as both a ‘Parliamentary’ and a ‘Telford’ church because it was following an Act of Parliament and Thomas Telford was the chief surveyor engineer involved in the design and building. The plans and specifications were actually by James Smith and approved by Thomas Telford. 32 were built throughout the Highlands of Scotland, all to the same design of which about ten survive, although Ullapool is the most complete. It seated 490 people with the gallery and was one of only three thus built.
It has been in use as a museum since 1990. The Museum Trust bought it from the Church of Scotland for £1. In the mid-1990s it was refurbished as a museum to the colour and décor of the original 1829 building. This work cost more than £500,000, over £50,000 being raised by the community. Imagine the Trust’s dismay when serious damage was discovered in 2010-2012 resulting in another major repair and refurbishment programme in 2013 eventually costing nearly £200,000. We are immensely grateful to our funders and supporters, in cash and in kind, and to the dedicated work of the Curator, trustees and many volunteers in managing and achieving this project.
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This work has only been possible due to the substantial funding and support from Historic Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Highland Council, Fargher Noble Trust, and the people and businesses of Lochbroom. We are particularly grateful to Ullapool Harbour Trust for lending us the temporary exhibition space for the period of the work.
Full Accreditation achieved! We are extremely pleased to announce that, following our re-accreditation application and detailed return to Arts Council England (who operate this scheme in Scotland) we have just heard from Museums and Galleries Scotland that we have achieved Full Accreditation
During the time when we were housed in the temporary exhibition space, we met with many visitors interested in what was happening in the historic building. Here are some of their comments:
SOME VISITORS’ COMMENTS ON SAVING THOMAS TELFORD PROJECT
Very worthwhile and would look forward to visiting after the renovation.
It is all very interesting and keep going as you are.
It is interesting to see the old building and old methods.
I cannot believe the state of the building and well done.
I didn’t realise the extent of Telford’s work.
It’s very interesting. The Curator was very informative.
It’s all very interesting. I have done the same work myself.
It is an interesting insight into Telford.
It is good to keep the history alive.
It looks to be in good hands.
I will keep an eye on it, through the internet.
Thanks for your patience in answering questions
We found it very interesting to learn about Telford’s surviving churches.
It is great as a temporary display.
The Museum is a credit to the village and it is a shame all this work has to be redone. You are all doing a grand job.
It is a shame old methods have to be used which adds to the cost.
The very best wishes come from across the water on Lewis