CREETOWN GEM ROCK MUSEUM
Chain Road, Creetown, DG8 7HJ
• Unique opportunity to acquire a thriving and established museum
• One of Dumfries & Galloway’s finest tourist attractions
• Exquisite collection of minerals, crystals, gem stones and fossils
• In business since 1981 - renowned throughout the UK
• Museum, The “Crystal Cave” & Professors Study
• Exhibition Workshop, Gift Shop and tea room
• Self-contained 4 bedroom owners accommodation
• 4 star VS, ample private parking.
The Creetown Gem Rock Museum is situated within the pleasing coastal town of Creetown on the north side of the Solway Firth, 7 miles from Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway. A former fishing village, founded in the 18th century, it became a busy port from which locally quarried granite was shipped all over the world. Creetown has a host of local amenities which cater for everyday needs, with nearby Newton Stewart offering further amenities including primary and secondary schools (although, Creetown does still have its own thriving primary school), supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, shops, leisure centre with swimming pool and other services.
Newton Stewart is at the centre of the Galloway Forest and Galloway Hills and has become a popular base for the abundance of tourists and outdoor sporting enthusiasts who visit the area throughout the year. The surrounding area offers a vast array of outdoor activities including fishing (River Cree and Bladnoch), shooting and golf. The open countryside also plays host to some of the finest mountain bike trails in the UK with the world famous 7 Stanes trails located close by and for the walkers the Southern Upland Way, all making Galloway an outdoors paradise with activities to suit all tastes.
Due to its location Creetown is easily accessible via the A75 Stranraer to Dumfries road with Ayr and Prestwick Airport being circa 1.5 hours’ drive via the A714 or the more scenic coastal route A77.
Having turned what was a hobby and passion into a thriving business the Creetown Gem Rock Museum is without doubt one of the most unique private tourist attractions in Dumfries and Galloway and having built up a reputation not just in Scotland but all over the world, visitors flock to the museum throughout the year. It has an unrivalled collection of gems, fossils and crystals from across the globe with the majority of pieces picked up from the family’s travels over the years, all of which is included within the sale price and a full exhibit breakdown will be given upon request to assist with any valuation.
Very much a family run business the museum is currently open all year (except the six weeks from Christmas to the end of January) and is open 7 days a week in the summer, 5 in the winter.
As well as tourist trade the Gem Rock Museum has built up an excellent reputation throughout Dumfries and Galloway and benefits from local business to the tearoom, shop and museum. It also benefits from visits from coach and school parties from the region and further afield.
The business has been placed on the market because the owners would like to retire. Although it currently trades as a museum – and this is the most obvious choice for how it should continue - a new owner may utilise the space further and it has been suggested that the tearoom could do well as an evening “pop up” restaurant, particularly during the summer months.
The business as it stands has many business streams under its roof including retail, catering, geology, jewellery design and marketing (online shop etc) and as a result could appeal to many different buyers which makes it so interesting and unique. To fully appreciate the extent of what is on offer look to the website www.gemrock.net.
The museum is a granite built converted school, which our clients bought in 1981 to house their extensive collection. Over the years, many internal and external renovations have been carried out including the building of the “Crystal Cave”, audio visual room/lounge, exhibition halls/display areas, gift shop and exhibition workshop, to turn it into one of the finest museums of its type in the UK. In 2003 the old tea room was extended which increased its capacity and it is now a popular haunt for many locals as well as the tourists visiting the museum. The property is presented extremely well internally and externally and over the years has won various accolades through Visit Scotland, including 4 stars. In 1991/1992 a large and airy apartment was added to the upper floor at which time the whole building was also re-roofed.
Welcoming reception with small office to the rear, accessed directly from the car park and leads straight into the museum. From the office, direct access is given to the open glazed workshop and store areas.
MUSEUM (display halls)
The halls introduce the general theme of the museum, with an outstanding collection of minerals, crystals, fossils and gem stones with many rare examples from not just the UK but around the world. These include a 4.5 billion year old meteorite, a fossilised dinosaur egg and the “Maverick” gold nugget which is one of the largest specimens of gold in the UK. These are all presented extremely well within brightly lit display cabinets, strategically placed to allow a free flow through the museum and tell a story of every different piece. A collection of this size and nature is very rare in the UK and has taken many years of time and dedication to gather.
THE CRYSTAL CAVE
This purpose built cave to the rear allows visitors to explore the minerals and crystals displayed in a realistic setting. Various pieces are displayed around every corner within a dark and atmospheric space, made all the more dramatic by the fluorescent displays in which ordinary looking rock specimens suddenly take on a colourful glow, a phenomenon brought about by the mineral’s natural composition. This sizeable space, however, could lend itself to many other uses, if desired.
Located centrally within the museum and accessed from all areas, this Victorian themed study, with ok panelling and magnificent Creetown and Peterhead polished granite fireplace, offers an abundance of geological books, magazines and literature allowing visitors to take time out and read up on their findings. In addition this room doubles as an audio visual presentation room, which will take visitors on a journey of discovery and understanding into the founding fathers of the science. This space lends itself well to private functions and other out of hours bookings.
The “Fire and Stones” auidio-visual presentation, part of the museum experience, illustrates the creation of minerals and gemstones (including Scotland’s only volcanic eruption) and how they are cut, polished and crafted into beautiful works of art.
The fully equipped jeweller’s workshop is set behind glass just next to the Crystal cave, allowing visitors to see how gems are cut, faceted and polished, then fashioned and set into beautiful pieces of jewellery, which can be sold in the shop. There is also an activity bench for the younger visitors to enjoy and identify different specimens, while watching the jeweller at work.
PROSPECTORS PANTRY TEAROOM
Extended and developed in 2003 this pleasing tearoom is always open at the same time as the museum and offers a selection of home baking, teas and coffees along with a home cooked food menu to suit all tastes. The tearoom can be accessed directly from the car park or from within the museum, making it popular with the locals and visitors alike. It is not necessary to purchase a museum ticket to use the tearoom and it is mountain biker and walker friendly. Again, very well presented on an open plan basis, with large windows running along one wall. Gem and crystal displays are also located throughout, in keeping with the museum. This space also lends itself well to private functions and other out of hours bookings. It is currently set up with c70 covers but can easily accommodate 100 covers.
The Gem Rock Shop offers one of the best selections of gemstone jewellery, gifts and collectibles in Scotland including a selection of silver gem set and beaded jewellery, to suit all tastes. The shop also sells a unique selection of gifts and collectibles and the owner, who is a gemmologist and lapidary, can cut, polish and set stones to order too. There is also a large collection of fossils, minerals, crystals and a children’s corner focusing on gem rock gifts. The Gem Rock Shop is also available online at www. gemrock.net
Located on the upper floor of the building is a large and very well proportioned self-contained owners apartment. Comprising large living room with lovely views over the town and towards the firth, dining room, kitchen, utility room, 4 double bedrooms (master ensuite) and family bathroom. The apartment can be accessed from within the museum or separately through its own private front door from the car park, via a small enclosed patio area. Presented well throughout.
Is accommodation included?:
The Creetown Gem Rock Museum is situated within the pleasing coastal town of Creetown on the north side of the Solway Firth, 7 miles from Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway. A former fishing village, founded in the 18th century, it became a busy port from which locally quarried granite was shipped all over the world.