If you’re looking for a Cornish, culture fix there are many fantastic museums dotted around the region, each with their own unique focus. Seeing as we had trouble whittling it down, we reached out to our loyal social media following and asked them for suggestions of their favourites. Here are the final 10 we came up with, if you make a trip to one in the near future, let us know!
Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen
Get interactive in the Hard Rock Museum that tells the fascinating story of Cornish Tin and Copper mining. Explore the many buildings with their magnificent mining machinery! Discover how the rock brought up from deep underground was processed in the Mill to produce the precious tin concentrate. All of this set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with fantastic coastal scenery, spectacular views and an array of wildlife!
Cornwall at War Museum, Camelford
This is not your usual type of museum and it certainly isn’t a large grey building with all the exhibits neatly arranged on shelf after shelf in glass cabinets – ask any of their visitors!
There is a do-it-yourself NAAFI on-site for hot & cold drinks, crisps etc with comfortable seating and WW2 newspapers to read. Well-behaved dogs (on a lead) are welcome.
There’s Airfield Tours on Thursday afternoons at 2pm (July to the end of September ONLY). Group and school visits can be arranged by appointment.
Regimental Museum, Bodmin
Recognised as probably the finest Military Museum in the South West of England, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum is housed in “The Keep” at Bodmin, a magnificent Grade II listed Victorian building constructed in 1857. The collection and displays cover 300 years of history, telling the story of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, volunteer militia and the The Light Infantry.
Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Newquay
Visit the aviation centre, taking a stroll through the Hardened Aircraft Shelter. Sit inside the Hawker Harrier jet, along with several other classics. Chat to the experienced team – who will only be too happy to tell you about the history and previous roles of the fleet of aircraft. Outside the hangar you can jump aboard and experience other iconic jets from yesteryear. Take the guided VC10 and Vickers Varsity tours. Enjoy the open grounds next to RAF St Mawgan and Newquay Airport.
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives
Visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists. Sculptures in bronze, stone and wood are on display in the museum and garden, along with paintings, drawings and archive material. Most of the bronzes are in the positions in which the artist herself placed them. The garden itself was laid out by Barbara Hepworth with help from a friend, the composer Priaulx Rainier.
Museum of Cornish Life, Helston , Helston
Explore 19th and 20th century Cornish culture and industry in the heart of Helston. Browse their spectacular collections housed in Helston’s historic market buildings – much bigger than it looks from the outside! Explore the way grandparents and parents lived and wonder at the way things were done only a few decades ago. Thanks to Ocean 3D you can now have a virtual visit to the museum from the comfort of your own home! Just click below
Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance
Founded in 1839, the museum collections cover 6000 years of history in west Cornwall, from Penwith’s awe-inspiring archaeological sites to the area’s more recent social history. The recently refurbished social history gallery houses a wealth of artefacts covering the area’s fascinating and often quirky heritage.
Mevagissey Museum, Mevagissey
The building that houses the museum is a museum piece in its own right. Dating from 1745 it was part of a boat builder’s yard that at one time extended to the far corner of the cliff. On display are larger exhibits such as the apple crusher and cider press, an original horse-drawn, rotating barley thresher and a perfectly detailed Cornish kitchen with a working cloam oven. There is also a wonderful collection of photographs depicting village life in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as many other small exhibits which perfectly depict life in Mevagissey over the years.
Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno
The tiny Cornish village of Porthcurno was once the heart of international telecommunications, boasting the largest telegraph station in the world. Today, the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno is a vibrant and captivating heritage attraction. Discover the World War 2 tunnels, the secret hub of Britain’s wartime communications. Visit the Cable Hut where the underwater cables came ashore. Explore our exhibitions and interactive displays, telling the amazing story of global telecommunications from the first practical use of electricity to how we communicate today, using fibre optic cables that still run beneath the world’s seas and oceans.
Kind Edward Mine Museum, Camborne
This museum provides an insight into Cornwall’s long mining heritage and (amongst the many exhibits) showcase the international history of Holman rock-drills. They have restored the building to house their original Holman winding machinery (for the headframe above the mineshaft). They have some of the last equipment of its kind remaining in the world, so it is our mission to preserve this and also interpret its importance for their visitors.