18/05/2017
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Surgeons' Hall Museums receives HLF grant for Soutra: surgery and superstition project

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Surgeons’ Hall Museums, home of one of the largest and most historic pathology collections in the UK, has received a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for a new project inspired by a medieval hospital in the Scottish Borders.

Surgeons’ Hall Museums in Edinburgh received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Stories, Stones and Bones grant of £7,000 to lead a series of events inspired by the 12th century Soutra Aisle Medieval Hospital in the Scottish Borders. Soutra Aisle Monastic Hospital (pictured below) provided medical treatment and hospitality to local communities, travellers and pilgrims for almost  500 years and has direct links to Surgeons’ Hall Museums’ early medical collection. This project is part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Project partners are Dig It! 2017, Mercat Tours and Scottish Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.

Events will be run with community groups and will include:

  • storytelling and guided tours
  • arts workshops
  • music and theatre performances

Workshops on medieval herbal medicine and storytelling will also  take place, allowing local communities to engage with their local heritage, as well as empowering them to tell their story.

Chris Henry, Director of Heritage at Surgeons’ Hall Museums said: 'Soutra Aisle Medieval Hospital is one of Scotland’s unique medical historical sites and I am delighted that Surgeons’ Hall Museums is working with so many partners on this collaborative project. This project aims to explore medical history through art and culture. Encouraging people to get involved in projects such as this is one of the ways in which museums can engage with communities outside their own space. We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and our other partners for making this happen.'

For more on the work of Surgeons' Hall Museums, visit their website.

(Images copyright Surgeons' Hall Museums)

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