The building which houses the museum is an artefact itself.
Though her outer shell has changed little through the centuries the building has been utilised in many different ways.
Originally used as the dowar house of the old Castle the building became a school in 1706. It is from here that the inscription of the lintel dates from: it confirms the use of the building for the perpetual use of the school and schoolmaster.
Then, about a century later, the building became a poor house which also provided overnight lodgings for vagrants.
In the early 20th century the building was converted into a dwelling with lodgers on two separate levels. By this time the school had moved to the site of the current ‘St. Bride’s Community Centre’. The building remained a dwelling until 1961 (in fact, one of our volunteers remembers living here for a time as a child). In 1961 the building was converted again, this time into an Episcopal Church which served as a replacement for the chapel in Douglas Castle which had been demolished by this point. It served the local Episcopal congregation, including the Douglas family when they were in the area (The Douglas family were staunchly episcopal despite the local population’s majority support for Presbyterianism. It was rumoured that the Douglases were closet jacobites for in Scotland the vast majority of Jacobites were Anglican, not Roman Catholic as popular opinion would have one believe). Prince Charles, the current heir, visited the Chapel (named St Sophia’s) on a visit to the town and signed a guest book which is on display in the museum.
The building finally took it’s current museum form in 1993 after the Episcopal congregation had withered away. The Heritage Society currently have a 99-year lease agreement from the Douglas and Angus estates which will expire in 2092.