Mevagissey harbour  Visiting Cornwall Logo - background is part of Bodmin Moor as seen from Jamaica Inn at Altarnun. The road in the picture is the main A30 through Cornwall. Eden Project near St Austell 
 

Guide to Museums in the County of Cornwall

 
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  Bodmin Town Museum, Mount Folly, Bodmin PL31 2HQ
Tel: 01208 77067
Open: Easter to the end of September - Monday to Friday - 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday - 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
October - Monday to Saturday - 10:30 am tp 2:30 pm


A local history museum displaying a collection of ores, minerals and fossils, a Cornish kitchen, photographs, artefacts and text relaing to World War II, the fire service, agriculture, wildlife, law and order, archaeology, railways and Victoriana.
Free Admission
 
   
  British Cycling Museum, The Old Station, Camelford
Tel: 01840 212811
 
   
  Bude Castle Heritage Centre and Gallery, Bude EX23 8LG
Tel: 01288 357302
Open: Easter to 31st October - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
1st November to Easter - 11:00 am to 4:00 pm


The Heritage Centre houses a fine display of local social history including geology and the effects of the oceans. Topics of interest are shipping, shipwrecks and the Bude canal. Famous local people featured are the Grenvilles (English Civil War), the Reverend Hawker (writer of The song of the Western Men) and the life story of Cornwall's forgotten genius Sir Goldsworthy Gurney.
 
   
Callington Heritage Centre, Liskeard Rd, Callington PL17 7HA
Tel: 01208 821215
Open: April to October - Friday to Sunday and Bank Holidays - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm A friendly local Centre relating to the town of Callington and most of the surrounding parishes. Mainly concerned with the mining history of the area, agriculture and social history. There are free facilities for family history research including use of computer.
Free Admission
   
  Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre, Charlestown, St Austell PL25 3NJ
Open: March to the end of October - Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

The Centre tells the history of diving, salvage and shipwrecks from the earliest times to the present day. Originally a dry house for china clay on underground tunnels that visitors can explore. On display are large collections of minerals and early mining equipment giving insights into industrial and social heritage.
 
   
  Constantine Heritage Collection, The Tolmen Centre, Fore Street, Constantine TR11 5AA
Open: Monday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm (Closed Chrismas to New Year)

From mining and quarrying, music and farming, bowling, and bands to cricket, art and religion, Constantine has a fascinating past. The museum reflects the life and times of this vibrant community near the Helford River.
Free Admission
 
   
  Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, HAS 3, Aerohub 2, St Mawgan, Newquay TR8 4JN
Open: Summer (Apr – Sep):
Sunday: 10am – 5pm, Monday :10am – 5pm, Tuesday: 10am – 5pm, Wednesday: 10am – 5pm, Thursday: 10am – 5pm, Friday and Saturday: Closed
Winter (Oct — Mar)
Sunday: 11am – 4pm, Monday :11am – 4pm, Tuesday: 11am – 4pm, Wednesday: 11am – 4pm, Thursday: 11am – 4pm, Friday and Saturday: Closed


The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre is a fantastic experience for all in the family to experience the excitement of aviation. CAHC celebrates and presents Britain’s aviation heritage from the age when it proudly lead the World.
Jet fighters, bombers, giant in-flight refuelers — and only ten minutes from Newquay!
 
   
  Cornwall's Regimental Museum The Keep, Bodmin PL31 1EG
Tel: 01208 72810
Open: Mid March to October - Every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (last admission 4:30 pm)
November to Mid March - Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (last admission 4:00 pm) (Plus selected dates over holidays and half terms).


Described as the best military museum outside London. A fascinating display of the history of the County Regiment of Cornwall since 1702. A superb collection of weapons, uniforms, medals and memorabilia. Child and dog friendly!
 
   
  Davidstow Airfield Cornwall at War Museum, Nottles Park, Davidstow, Camelford PL32 9YF
Open: 19th March to 28th June - Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
29th June to 27th September (including school & bank holidays) - Sunday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
28th September to the Autumn Half Term - Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Closed during the winter.


The museum has a wide remit, dedicated primarily to RAF Davidstow Moor from its opening on 1st October 1942 until its closure at the end of 1945. It also covers all the other airfields along the North Cornwall coast, the Royal Navy in and around the county, the Army civilian services, Home Front etc. The area is still a military training area so that gives scope to bring in the post-war period.
 
   
  Elliotts Grocery Store, 27 Lower Fore Street, Saltash PL12 6JQ
Open: Easter to the end of October - Wednesday from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am until 12:00pm

Elliott's Store was closed in the 1970s and remains as it was when closed, although the fixtures and fitings predate this by many decades. The exhibition concentrates on the history of the family, the building and local Social History.
 
   
  Falmouth Art Gallery, Municipal Building, The Moor, Falmouth TR11 4SN
Open:All year - Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

The Town's art collection is one of the most important in Cornwall, and features works by major British artists including Sir Frank Brangwyn RA, Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Charles Napier Hemy RA, Dame Laura Knight RA, Sir Alfred Munnings RA, William Strang RA, Henry Scott Tuke RA, John William Waterhouse RA, George Frederick Watts RA.
Free Admission
 
   
  Fowey Museum Town Hall, Trafalgar Square, Fowey
Tel: 01726 852458
Open: Easter until Mid October - Monday to Friday from 10:30 am until 4:30 pm (last entry at 4:00 pm)

Housed in the old Fowey Borough Council Chamber the collection illustrates the past social and civic history of the town. Includes Mayoral Regalia, costumes, old photographs, models of old sailing ships postcards, etc.
 
   
  Geevor Tin Mine Museum, Heritage Centre, Pendeen, Penzance
Open: Easter to November - Daily from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm
November to Easter - Daily from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm


Geevor, situated amid the dramatic scenery of Cornwall's Atlantic coast, is the largest mining history site in the UK. Here you can see how tin was mined and then processed. Whilst on site, you are free to explore the many surface buildings - including the museum - at your own pace.
 
   
  Gerrans Parish Heritage & Information Centre, The Old Forge, Tregassick Road, Gerrans, near Truro TR2 5ED
Open: 2nd April to 14th April and 30 April to 27th October (not Sundays) - 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm
30th July to 31st August (not Sundays) - 11:00 am until 1:00 pm


The history of Gerrans Parish is represented in the Heritage Centre through displays depicting farming through the ages, the fishing industry, education, Domesday Book entries and much more. Displays are illustrated with photographs, tithe maps and other documents.
Free Admission
 
   
  Grampound with Creed Heritage Centre, Old Town Hall, Fore Street, Grampound
Open: Two half days a week from March 31st to September 29th - Wednesdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

The purpose of the Grampound with Creed Heritage Project is to tell the story of the countless individuals who have made their mark on this place since ancient times and to ensure that this knowledge is recorded and passed on to future generations.
Open Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings
 
   
Helston Folk Museum, Old Butter Market, Market Place, Helston TR13 8TH
Tel: 01326 564027
Fax: 01326 569714
Email: helstonmuseum@cornwall.gov.uk
Open: All Year - Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Holiday periods (Easter, Summer, Autumn half-term and the first three weeks in December) - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00pm - Wednesday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm


Housed in the former butter and meat markets, now also the Drill Hall, the museum was established in 1949. The collection is mainly Victorian and covers all aspects of life on the Lizard Peninsula. Additions in recent times include an Early Learning Area, art and costume galleries and a shop. New displays in 2009 included serpentine and wartime. The Loft Area includes a display about the famous local pugilist Bob Fitzsimmons.
   
  King Edward Mine Museum, Troon, Camborne TR14 9DP
Tel: 01209 614681
Open: (Last entry at 4:00 pm) May to June - Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
July - Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
August - Sunday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Open most Sundays throughout the rest of the year from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm


King Edward is typical of many small Cornish mines of the first decade of the 20th Century. Remarkably it has survived almost intact and today is the oldest complete mine site in Cornwall. All of the buildings are Listed Grade 2 star which means that they are considered to be of national importance. The Mineral Tramways Great Flat Lode Trail passes through the site and the Mineral Tramways exhibition can be seen in the old calciner. Visit the museum and then explore the local mining archaeology.
 
   
Lawrence House Museum, 9 Castle Street, Launceston PL15 8BA
Open: Monday 25th March to Monday 28th October - Monday to Friday from 10:30 am - last entry 4:00 pm

Housed in a fine Georgian building dating from 1753, in a street John Betjeman described as “having the most perfect collection of 18th century townhouses in Cornwall”, Lawrence House Museum is a real find for visitors to Cornwall. It welcomes many school and other groups during the course of its season, which runs from April to October.
Full of interesting exhibits, it features a toy museum, a Victorian kitchen and exhibits on some of the notable people associated with the town, such as John Couch Adams, the astronomer who is credited with co-discovering Neptune in 1846, and Charles Causley the poet. There is also a collection of delightful watercolours of bridges in the area painted by local artist Otho B Peter in the early 1900s, a Herbarium for Devon and Cornwall compiled between 1885 and 1925, and a scale model of the old Launceston Southern Railway Station.
Entry is free to all, though donations are always welcome. Disabled access to the ground floor only (5 rooms). Disabled WC.

Tel: 01566 773277
Email:
   
  Mount Edgcumbe House, Cremyll, Torpoint PL10 1HZ
Open: 3rd April to 30th September - Sunday to Thursday from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm
Last admission is at 4:00 pm


Mount Edgcumbe House is the focus of an impressive Tudor estate (now Mount Edgcumbe Country Park) with spectacular views over Plymouth Sound. The house was originally built in 1547-1550 when it replaced Cotehele, 10 miles up the river at Tamar, as the main family seat. The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe commissioned Adrian Gilbert Scott to rebuild the house in 1958 as it had suffered a direct hit by bombs in 1941. The interior is furnished with family possessions - including paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Gerald Edema and William Van der Velde - Irish Bronze Age horns, 16th century tapestries and 18th century Chinese and Plymouth porcelain.
 
   
  Museum of Submarine Telegraphy, Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JX
Tel: 01736 810966
Open: 24th March (2013) to the beginning of November - Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
11th November (2012) to 18th March (2013) - Sunday and Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (but closed 23rd to 27th December)
Last admission time 1 hour before closing time.
Closed throughout January 2013 due to renovation works.


A collection from the 1830s onwards of telegraph equipment and telegraph company records from England and around the world. The museum, set up in WWII tunnels, introduces the 'Victorian Internet' and has lots of hands-on equipment with additional exhibitions. Sculpture garden, picnic areas and tennis courts
 
   
   
National Film Exhibition, South West Film Studios, St Agnes TR5 0LA
Tel: 0871 2770819
Email: enquiries@southwestfilmstudios.com
  National Maritime Museum Cornwall Discovery Quay, Falmouth TR11 3QY
Open: Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week.
Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day.


Celebrating the sea, boats and Cornwall, this multi award winning Museum not only has 15 galleries, over five floors beautifully illustrating the past, present and future of this island nation but also offers a number of stunning exhibitions.
 
   
  Newquay Old Cornwall Society Dairyland Farm World (On the A3058 4 miles from) Newquay TR8 5AA
Open: End of March to October - Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Newquay old Cornwall Society has been in existence since 1928. It is now one of the finest private local history collections in the County.
Although there is no museum in Newquay it is possible to see a sample of this collection, as Dairyland Newquay have provided exhibition space to the Old Cornwall Society. Here you can find out more about the local history, an Iron Age fort, the history of Pilchard fishing and oher industries in the area, lifeboats and tourism. There are also displays of curiosities and ephmera and a large collection of Victorian and Edwardian souvenir ware, a tradition maintained to the present day.
 
   
  Padstow Museum, The Men's Institute, Market Place, Padstow PL28 8AL
Open: From Easter to late October - Monday to Friday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm band Saturday from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm

A small museum that tries to capture the spirit of this ancient sea-port from earliest times to the present day. The 'Obby 'Oss, the lifeboat, the shipwrights' tools each tell their own story and link to the people that inhabited this old town.
 
   
  Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Morrab Road, Penzance TR18 4HE
Open: 1st October to Good Friday - Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Easter Saturday to 30th September - Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed 24th to 28th December and 1st January


A changing programme of exhibitions at Penlee House mainly focus on the world famous 'Newlyn School' artists, who lived in the area from 1880 to 1930. A selection of works from the collections is always included in displays. The Museum collections, founded in 1839, cover 6,000 years of history in West Cornwall from the Stone Age to the 20th Century.
 
   
  Penryn Museum, Town Hall, Higher Market Street, Penryn TR10 8LT
Open: Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 3:30pm
Closed during December and Januar


A small museum that encompasses interesting objects from the vast span of unique history of Penryn and gives an insight into the people who created our past.
 
   
  Perranzabuloe Folk Museum, Oddfellows Hall, Ponsmere Road, Perranporth TR6 0BW
Open: Easter to the end of October - Monday to Friday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Look beyond the sand and surf to the fascinating history of the Parish of Perranzabuloe. Situated in the 100 year-old Oddfellows hall, the museum offers an insight into the social and industrial past of Perranporth and the surrounding villages. Displays include mining, farming, the railway and Cornish costume, and there is a replica of a Cornish kitchen.
 
   
Polperro Heritage Museum of Sumggling and Fishing, The Warren, Polperro PL13 2RB
Tel: 01503 272423
Open: Easter to October - Daily from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
In high summer these times are extended to 10:00am to 6:00pm approximately


A small, friendly museum situated in the old Pilchard Factory right on the harbour of the historic fishing village of Polperro. Exhibits depict the history of fishing and smuggling as well as local and family history, and include a fascinating photographic collection dating back to the 1860s.
   
  Redruth Old Cornwall Society Museum Tolgus Tin Treasure Park, New Portreath Road, Redruth TR16 4HN
Tel: : 01209 215084
 
   
  The Royal Cornwall Museum, River Street, Truro TR1 2SJ
Tel: 01872 272205
Open: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:45 pm - Last admission at 4:00 pm.
Closed 24th to 26th December, 31st December & 1st January. Also closed on Bank Holidays


Over the years generous benefactors have donated an amazing array of objects, broadening the collection so that it covers, for example, Egyptology (hence the famous unwrapped mummy), fine art and world cultures, as well as classical Greek and Roman objects. The Rashleigh gallery contains a world-famous collection of minerals, the core of which was amassed by Phillip Rashleigh of Menabilly at the end of the 18th century. It includes the largest specimen of liroconite ever found, and a large gold nugget found at Perranaworthal. The museum's decorative arts collection and old master drawings are also very strong, the latter chiefly due to Alfred de Pass, another generous benefactor.
 
   
  Saltash Heritage Museum and Local History Centre, 17 Lower Fore Street, Saltash PL12 6JQ
Tel 01752 848466
Saltash Heritage Open: April to the end of November - Wednesdays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Local History Centre Open: All year round - Wednesdays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Fridays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm and Saturdays from 10:00am - 1:00pm


A friendly local museum with a collection of items relevant to the history of Saltash and district, with ever changing exhibitions. The local history centre is bulging with records, photographs, maps and documents to excite any researcher.
 
   
  The Smugglers Museum, Jamaica Inn, Bolventor, Launceston PL15 7TS
Open:April to July, September and October from 10:00 am to 5:00pm
July & August (6 weeks of Summer school holiday) from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed from November to mid March every year


Probably the finest collection of smuggling artefacts in the country, featuring 'The History Of Jamaica Inn' an educational and historical theatre show that recounts many of the myths and legends associated with Jamaica Inn and Cornwall including tales of wreckers and smugglers over the past 300 years.
 
   
  St Agnes Museum, Penwinnick Road. St Agnes TR5 0PA
Tel: 01872 553228
Open: Easter to the end of October - Daily from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm

Housed in a former chapel of rest, St Agnes museum has a collection based on the parish of St Agnes, its history and its people, from mining to fishing, portraits by John and Edward Opie, a huge Leatherback Turtle, the Whitworth Collection depicting five generations of local village doctors and much more. New for 2012 is a display about sport in the parish, an atmospheric Daily Life cabinet and an exciting new touchscreen kiosk which enables access to items that are not on display as well as a deeper level of information about those that are.
Admission is still free.
 
   
  St Ives Archives, Upper Parish Rooms, St Andrews Street, St Ives TR26 1AH
el: 01736 796408
Open: all year except for Christmas week - Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

An archive study centre that collects information on all aspects of St Ives and district history: includes art, fishing, folklore, industry, genealogy, maritime, mining, social history, wartime, buildings, writers, musicians etc. An outpost of the Cornwall Family History Society.
The archive holds a large collection of photographs of St Ives and the surrounding area. Copies of many of these are available to purchase. Local books on the history of the area are also on sale in the centre.
 
   
  St Ives Museum, Wheal Dream, St Ives TR26 1PR
Tel: 01736 796005
Open: April to early November - Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 5.00pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

The museum, situated in the old fishing quarter of the town and overlooking St Ives Bay, contains many varied displays and collections relating to the St Ives locality. It is St Ives's best kept secret, so there is plenty for all ages to discover and learn.
Activity sheets are available for three areas of the museum: - Fishing, Mining and Farming at a modest charge. As St. Ives was famous for its cats, for both old and young alike, there are our museum cats and their friends to Find For Fun (at the last count thirty eight cats with four kittens and six awaiting homes!).
 
   
The Shire Horse & Carriage Museum, Lower Gryllis, Treskillard, Redruth TR16 6LA
Tel: 01209 713606
   
  Torpoint Archive, Council Offices, 3 Bullers Road, Torpoint PL11 2LQ
Tel: 07530 976 981
Open: Tuesday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Friday from 10:00 pm to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The Torpoint Archives have a great deal of useful information to help those researching their Torpoint ancestry. Such information includes the Torpoint Censuses 1841-1911, local parish records (baptisms, marriages and burials), Trade Directories from 1830 and, for the late 18th century, extracts from the Antony Estate records noting many residents in Torpoint in the 1770s and 1780s. There is also a very fine photographic collection with over 12,000 photographs on a wide range of subjects including school photographs, weddings, events, locations, personalities and sport.
 
   
  Wayside Museum and Trewey Mill, Old Zennor Street, Zennor, Penzance TR26 3DA
Tel: 01736 796945
Open: April - Daily from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
May to September - Daily from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
October - Daily from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm


A large evocative collection of over 5000 artefacts representing Zennor and the area of West Penwith from 3000 BC to the 1950s set within the garden of a 16th century Miller's cottage and fully restored working watermill producing stoneground flour. 12 themed areas including a working watermill, the miller's kitchen, a cobbler's shop, areas devoted to wheelwright's and blacksmith's work and others relating to mining, agriculture, archaeology, Zennor School, domestic life and the people of past Zennor. Light refreshments are available in the garden. There is a quality gift and bookshop selling organic stoneground flour milled on the premises.
 
   
  Wheal Martyn Museum and Country Park, Carthew, St Austell PL26 8XG
Tel: 01726 850362
Open: January to March - Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
April to October - Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
November and December - Daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm


Nestled within the historic Ruddle Valley within 26 acres of woodland walks and amongst the preserved reamins of two former Victorian clay works, Wheal Martyn is the UK's only China Clay Museum.
This truly unique site tells the story of Cornwall's billion pound China Clay indsutry and the lives of those who lived and worked in the shadows on the white pyramids. It boasts Coprnwall's largest working water wheel and ancient buildings as well as a vast collection of industrial artefacts, photographs and tools including vintage commercial vehicles and a locomotive. In addition there is a fantastic interactive exhibition centre and at the top of the site there is a spectacular view into a modern working clay pit where you can witness today's mining in action! There is also a nature trail and adjoining 'clay trails' cycle routes.
 
   
  Witchcraft Museum, The Harbour, Boscastle PL35 0HD
Tel: 01840 250111
Open: Friday 29th March to Sunday 3rd November - Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm (last admission 5:30 pm) and Sunday from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm (last admission 5:30 pm)

The Museum of Witchcraft houses the world's largest collection of witchcraft-related artefacts and regalia. There are aspects of witchcraft that some find disturbing, but the museum presents a complete, unbiased picture - their aim is to change attitudes and enlighten visitors.
 
     
  Wonder Years Toy Experience, 27 Queen Street, Bude EX23 8AY
Not a museum - a real experience. Over 3,500 toys & games of the 60s, 70s and 80s - awake your memories
Tel: 01288 359979
 
     



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