Brora Heritage Centre

At first glance, a piece of coal may seem like an odd object for a museum, but coal has been central to the story and history of Brora for many centuries!

Coal was first discovered in Brora in 1529. It was to play a key role in Brora’s wealth and industry.

Brora became home to the UK’s most northerly coal mine in 1814, which powered many local industries including brickwork kilns, and the woollen mill, as well as to fuel an intermittent salt-making industry. During that process, large pans of seawater were placed onto coal fires. The water evaporated, leaving the salt behind. It was important for preserving the salmon caught in the River Brora and Loch Brora.

The coal also powered the electric streetlights, 25 years before main electricity arrived in the northern Highlands. The coal mine closed in 1974.

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Date: 165,000,000 BCE
Materials : Fossilised Plant Material
Size : 19cm x 11cm

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