Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

In this issue of Community Update, we are delighted to award David Livingstone Birthplace our Commitment to Excellence Award.

David Livingstone is widely regarded as one of the world’s best-known explorers, with passionate missionary and fierce abolitionist ideologies. 

David was born in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, in 1813, during the height of the Industrial Revolution, and began working in the local cotton mill aged ten. Later, he studied medicine and theology at The University of Glasgow and was posted to the Kalahari Desert perimeter in South Africa as a missionary in 1841. 

Throughout his celebrated lifetime, he explored Southern and Central Africa, meticulously collecting, recording and examining nature. His daughter, Agnes Livingstone-Bruce, inherited his love of nature. Agnes became a founding member of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and so his legacy lives on, through contemporary understanding of climate change, through endemic racism and Black History, perpetuated through the East African Slave Trade.  

The award-nominated David Livingstone Birthplace is a fascinating museum, housed at the actual birthplace of the explorer. The Museum has been skilfully curated to follow his life story from birth to death, through sectioned chapters of his life: birth and early life, university and missionary school, arrival in South Africa, Trans-Africa expedition, Zambezi exhibition, Nile expedition, the final journey to the legacy space. 

The David Livingstone Birthplace Collection houses many personal belongings and artefacts from Livingstone and his family, such as: manuscripts and papers, and important, original ethnographic material.  

Situated in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, it is a quick, half an hour drive or train journey from Glasgow Central train station or an hour from Edinburgh. It is the perfect family day out, with a quiz and scripted children audio tour, voiced by children from the local David Livingstone Memorial Primary School. 

The on-site Livingstone Café caters for all appetites, big or small with a breakfast menu, lunch and children’s menu. From a hearty cooked breakfast, light bite, to homemade cakes, there is something for everyone. The well-stocked gift shop has a wide selection of David Livingstone memorabilia, children’s toys and books, artisan crafts such as Tunisian Olive Wood items, through to classic Edinburgh honey and shortbread.  

The outdoor play area is steamboat-inspired, paying homage to Livingstone, all surrounded by areas of beautiful parklands for walks. 

The Museum is open daily throughout the summer months, from 10am- 5pm (with the exception of 21-23 August), with the special holiday offer of a family ticket for £12. Tickets can be purchased online or on the day and guided tours run at 11am on Fridays and Saturdays. 

For further information and future events, see the web site below: