St Ives Museum

St Ives Museum

The museum is located in the heart of the old St Ives fishing community of Downlong, housed in a building that was formaerly 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.

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 museum 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'.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Model boats

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

  • 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.

  • Mining

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

Admission & prices

The Museum will open on Friday 1st April 2022 at 10.30 a.m. & will remain open until the end of October 2022.

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

Adults £5
Children no charge
no concessions
Card payments welcome


School parties and other groups are very welcome - 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.

Find us

Follow the signposts around the Harbour front. The Museum is situated 75 metres from Smeaton's Pier.


  • Wheelchair access
  • Childrens activities

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 .."

This unique museum contains many varied collections relating to the life and times of the town of St Ives and county
Boat Building
Cornish Kitchen
Hain Steamship Company
John Knill
Model boats
Victorian Clothes
Wartime Memorabilia

In addition there is an audio visual studio where films of local interest can be seen.

Photographs of local interest are on display and can be purchased. In addition there is a Museum booklet and guide on sale .
Also for sale are two books -one about the Pilchard Fishery compiled by the late Dr John Ferguson and the other by Robert Jones about Reuben Chappell - Pierhead Painter.

Wheal Dream
St Ives Cornwall
St Ives
TR26 1PR

T: 01736 796005

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St Ives Museum

Wheal Dream
St Ives Cornwall