Tain through Time
One of the main visitors attraction in the town is Tain Through Time, set in the beautiful churchyard around St Duthus Collegiate Church with entrances on Tower Street and Castle Brae. It explores the history of the Burgh from its earliest times and incorporates the collegiate church, which was one of Scotland's most important medieval shrines.
It was the existence of the shrine and sanctuary that
surrounded it that led to the development of the burgh as an important centre of trade. James IV took the opportunity on his many pilgrimages to the shrine between 1492 and 1513 to combine political with pious objectives and make his presence felt in the north.
The pilgrim’s story in general, and that of James IV in particular, is told by way of interpretive boards, replica pilgrim artefacts, dramatic murals and a video on the ground floor of the Pilgrimage building. While Tain’s early history, from St Duthus through the medieval period to the Reformation, is beautifully illustrated in the new gallery (Town Loft) upstairs in a series of paintings and calligraphic text reinforced by soundtrack.
After leaving the Pilgrimage, a personal CD tour guides visitors around the church, describing its history and architecture and setting the medieval scene. The CD tour continues around the main buildings of the town for those who are keen for a longer walk.
The third building in Tain Through Time is Tain and District Museum which was first opened in 1966 and has an important and wide-ranging collection of objects, archives and photographs illustrating the history of the burgh and its surrounding area. The Museum has won a number of awards for its displays and local history publications. Each season there is a series of temporary exhibitions and events including activity days, competitions and talks, and there is a variety of children's activities always available.
1st April to 31st October
Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
During July and August the time is extended to 6pm.
Other times may be booked in advance.
Your visit can start either at the Museum in Castle Brae or at the Pilgrimage in Tower Street, where there is a wheelchair lift and disabled toilet and a shop specialising in local and Scottish history books, Scottish music CDs and unusual souvenirs. The Pilgrimage is also the town's Tourist Information Point.