Museum nan Eilean (Stornoway), Lews Castle Grounds, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0XS

30 September 2023 - 23 December 2023

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland hold a unique place in medical history. Expansive geography, famine and economic instability combined to create precarious living circumstances for both physicians and patients.

This exhibition explores the changes which have taken place in Highlands and Islands medicine over 500 years. It uncovers the stories behind Jacobite medicines, local healers and famed Celtic physicians such as The Beatons.

Geographical isolation meant that many medical recipes needed to be adapted to include locally available ingredients, including seaweed and fish oil. The Highlands and Islands were also viewed as a potential source of income for charlatans and an influx of travelling quacks from the Lowlands streamed across the Highlands and Islands in the 1700s and 1800s.