Find out about: St Ives Museum

About Us

St Ives Museum

The Museum is located in the heart of the old St Ives fishing community of Downlong.
Formerly the building housed a Pilchard Curing Cellar, Bible Christian Chapel then a laundry and cinema.
The British Sailors Society Mission occupied the first floor until 1968 when the St Ives Museum were offered space. Over the next few years the famous Troika Pottery vacated the ground floor enabling the museum to expand further.
This independent museum is administered entirely by volunteers.

'I was advised by a very learned elderly friend of mine that this museums is one of the top three he has ever visited in his life. He was not wrong! Thank you'

'A must see treasure trove for every St Ives visitor'.

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  • Wheelchair access

    Wheelchair Access

  • Childrens activities

    Family friendly

Toilets - located at the end of Smeaton's Pier.
Children's activity sheets can be purchased for 20p.
Find for fun - tiny models of cats and kittens are located among the display cases for younger children to search out. "As I was going to St Ives .."

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Our Collections

Hain Steamship Company - added this year is a collection of Captain Hollow's vessel receipts 1911 - 1913

Boat Building

Model boats

Pilchard Curing Cellar

Added this season
Display of Sporting Trophies
Martin's Haberdashery
World War 1


The Hain Room

"Edward Hain founded this famous local Steamship Company in St Ives in 1878. His father established a local fleet of merchant sailing ships one of which was the" Margaret Hain" The subsequent steamer fleet all bore the Cornish prefix "TRE" - Trewidden, Trelyon.

The Hain Room

Boat building

Long a vital part of St Ives' industry the skills of local boat builders are featured here. Photographs, models and rescue equipment associated with Wrecks are part of this display.

Boat building

Model boats

Associated with a local tradition when locals sailed their model boats in the harbour and at Consols pool on Good Friday

Model boats

Pilchard Curing Cellar

When this area was being prepared for display a corbelled pressing ledge was revealed which dates back about 175 years. The display includes a variety of pilchard pressing methods.

Pilchard Curing Cellar


St Ives and the immediate area was a hive of mining industry in the 19th century. The display includes photographs and tools.

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Admission & Prices

The Museum is open on the Monday before Good Friday (closed on Good Friday itself) and closes at the end of the October half term.

March 21st 2016 - October 29th 2016

Monday to Friday 10.30am to 4.30pm
Saturday 10.30am to 3.30pm
closed on Sundays

Adults £3
Children 50p
no concessions

School parties and other groups preferably by prior arrangement.

There is no charge for Cornish schools but a donation would be much appreciated

Dogs on a lead welcome

There is now a ground floor entrance and a stair lift has been fitted allowing disabled access to the first floor where a wheelchair is available if required.