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Time Travellers - Scottish Traveller’s Gelly


  • Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds Oban PA34 5TT Oban (map)

Gypsy/Travellers have a long history in Argyll and have been an important part of the community and economy for hundreds of years. To celebrate Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month in Scotland members of the Argyll Gypsy/Traveller community have built a traditional tent called a gelly.

Until the widespread adoption of caravans many in the community built their own tents using traditional methods. There are many variations on the design depending on family preferences, location, size and time of year. The tents also have different names such as bough tent, barricade and gelly.

This tent was made with hazel boughs (branches) tied together with rags to create the frame and covered in a waxed canvas cover. It has a straw bed, tank lum stove and a few belongings inside.

You are welcome to enter the gelly where you will hear some recordings of people’s memories and reminiscences of traditional ways of life.

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