Museum of Cornish Life, Helston

Museum of Cornish Life, Helston

Step through the unassuming doors of The Museum of Cornish Life, Helston, for a truly breath-taking surprise! This lovely old fashioned museum, housed in the town’s historic Market Buildings, is spread over five display halls on three floors, and the thousands of objects will keep you fascinated, entertained, and coming back for more! The museum houses one of the largest social history collections in the South West, and ranges from archaeological evidence of the earliest settlers to the Lizard Peninsula, to a fully stocked 1950s kitchen. Come and learn about Helston’s famous inventor, Henry Trengrouse, whose ingenuity helped to save thousands of lives at sea.

Marvel at the huge 5 ton cider press, meet Henry the parrot and see if you can spot our smallest object – made from a lion’s tooth! The museum is renowned for its costume collection, and a regularly changing display showcases some of the elegant fashions of the past. Of course, no visit to Helston would be complete without mention of Flora Day, and the museum holds a fabulous collection of photographs of this unique custom. We also play a starring role on the day as the Midday Dance winds through the museum! Don’t miss the Flora Day clock, which for a small fee, will burst into life with a rendition of the famous Furry Dance.

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  • Handling Boxes

    The Museum hires handling boxes in a wide range of subjects for schools and groups. ¢ World War One ¢ World War Two ¢ Holidays ¢ Domestic Home Life ¢ Toys ¢ Archaeology ¢ Materials ¢ Cleaning Technology ¢ Weighing and Measuring ¢ Lighting ¢ Fishing and Farming ¢ Reminiscence

  • Victorian School Room

    A product of partnership working between the Royal Cornwall Museum and Helston Folk Museum, this activity takes place in the reconstructed Victorian Schoolroom at Helston. Pupils take on the roles of pupils at a village school in 1891 and are given instruction by Mrs. Crawford.

  • Butter and Egg Market

    The Butter and Egg Market, site of the original museum, provides a fascinating insight into Helston's civic and town history, from its origins right through to the 20th century, with topics including archaeology, geology, religion, civic, and Victorian domestic life.

  • The Costume Gallery

    The Martin Matthews Costume Gallery was opened in July, 2002 There are early Victorian gentleman's smoking caps, leggings, and a prisoner of war shirt, as well as more conventional clothing. The Ladies Cabinet includes early footwear, capes and dresses from various periods.

  • Local Personalities

    The museum has extensive information on various personalities of local interest. Bob Fitzsimmons 1863-1917 William Bickford 1774 1834 William Cookworthy 1705 1780 Guglielmo Marconi 1874 1937 Henry Trengrouse 1772 1854 William Penberthy Davies Gilbert, P.R.S., M.P. 1767-1840

Admission & prices

Free Admission
Opening Hours
All Year
10.00am - 4.00pm

Closed 21 December 2018 – 7 January 2019 fro xmas
We are also closed on Flora Day - contact us for details.

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  • Toilets On-Site
  • Wheelchair access
  • Childrens activities
  • Gift Shop

Disabled access via lift to first floor and mezzanine gallery.
Children's activities
Well behaved dogs on leads welcome.

For enquiries, or to book a school visit, telephone 01326 564027.
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Market Place
TR13 8TH

T: 01326564027

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Museum of Cornish Life, Helston

Market Place
Cornwall, CORNWALL TR13 8TH