Trimontium Museum Trust, Melrose

4.4
#7 of 12 in Things to do in Melrose
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Trimontium Trust was established in 1988 to protect and promote the Roman frontier post of Trimontium, which was situated in the village of Newstead, near Melrose, in the Scottish Borders.

'Trimontium' was the Roman name for the site, meaning 'place of the three hills', referring to the Eildon Hills just to the south of the site. The Eildons were home to a large native hill fort, high up on the slopes, overlooking Trimontium.

Between 1905-10, local lawyer and amateur archaeologist, Dr James Curle excavated the Trimontium site and found a wealth of Roman material, including domestic items, cavalry and military equipment. He wrote 'A Roman Frontier Post and its People in 1911, summarising his fantastic finds, and theorising why the fort had been abandoned several times by the army during its existence. Over the following decades, further investigations and digs have taken place at the Newstead site, revealing further hidden secrets and adding new details to Trimontium's story.

In 1989, a museum was established by the Trust to tell the story of Trimontium and bring its history to life. The museum displays some of the artefacts discovered during the various investigations, although some of the rarer ones can be seen on display in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The Museum was situated in a red sandstone building, The Ormiston, in Melrose Town Square. From August 2020, the museum has been temporarily relocated nearby to Abbey House, opposite Melrose Abbey, to allow for major renovation and development to take place in the original museum building.

Thanks to support from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership, National Museums of Scotland, LIVE Borders, Scottish Borders Council and Museum & Galleries Scotland, we are hoping to open our new Trimontium Museum at the Ormiston in late spring 2021. Until then, you can find us at Abbey House.

We also run Guided Walks to the Trimontium site, between April and October. These run on Thursdays at 1.30pm throughout the season and on Tuesdays too during July and August. Booking is recommended.

The Trimontium Trust, museum and walks are volunteer run. Our volunteers come from all walks of life but share a common love of history and the local area.

The Trimontium Trust is registered as a charity in Scotland. The Museum is fully accredited by Museums and Galleries Scotland.
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Trimontium Museum Trust reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
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TripAdvisor
  • Sadly the museum is currently closed however their website has a host of useful information One can discover the archeological site for oneself and use the Trusts excellent webpages to improve...  more »
  • My Dad and I thoroughly enjoyed this guided walk to Trimontium. It covered the Iron Age fort on the Eildons, the masons and mill at Newstead, the Cistercian monks, the corn mill lade, and...  more »
Google
  • I have yet to enter the museum, however I have had the pleasure of the trimontium walk. Geraldine was an absolute delight, knowledgeable and entertaining, its a beautiful 10k walk with plenty of local history thrown in... I thoroughly recommend all to give this tour a go... Dogs and kids will enjoy it too...
  • A small but interesting museum with passionate staff.
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