Cornwall has such a varied history that it can be tricky deciding where to start to get an idea of its past. Do you start with a walk past the disused mines, by looking for King Arthur at Tintagel or by learning about the days of smugglers at Newquay’s Buccaneer Bay? The Royal Cornwall Museum has everything you need to know about the county’s rich history under one roof, and it’s a fascinating attraction to visit during a holiday in Cornwall.
Most of the collections are relevant to Cornwall, although the museum also has an Egyptology area which is home to the intriguing unwrapped mummy. The art collections showcase the work of local artists and the photographic collection tells the tale of life in Cornwall in pictures. See Cornwall as it once was and decide for yourself whether the landscape has changed or if it’s managed to stay much as it was in 1845 when the collection starts. The Fine Art collection has more than 2000 pieces, including watercolours, oils, prints and drawings.
The collection’s highlights include pieces by Henry Scott Tuke and Harold Harvey, and to make sure homage is paid to the early art of Cornwall you’ll find the work of John Opie and Henry Bone, the miniaturist who hailed from Truro itself.
The Social History section always captures the imagination, and its miscellaneous objects give an insight into life in Cornwall over the decades. You’ll find transport items in this impressive collection, and event a medical chest once owned by the explorer Richard Lander. Entry into the Royal Cornwall Museum is free for children (under 18) and it’s £5 each for adults. The majority of the museum is accessible for wheelchair users.