Royal Cornwall Museum

Coordinates: 50°15′49″N 5°03′17″W / 50.2637°N 5.0548°W / 50.2637; -5.0548
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Royal Cornwall Museum
The Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro - - 46507.jpg
LocationTruro, Cornwall
Coordinates50°15′49″N 5°03′17″W / 50.2637°N 5.0548°W / 50.2637; -5.0548

The Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro holds an extensive mineral collection rooted in Cornwall's mining and engineering heritage (including much of the mineral collection of Philip Rashleigh). The county's artistic heritage is reflected in the museum's art collection.[1] Through the Courtney Library the museum also provides a collection of rare books and manuscripts to help with education, research and the discovery of Cornish life and culture.

The museum also highlights Cornwall's relationship with the wider world through one of the most significant British emigrations of the 19th century. The museum hosts a permanent exhibition of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman objects, supported by the British Museum.

The museum is part of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (RIC), a learned society and registered charity.[2]

The Courtney Library[edit]

The Courtney Library and Archive[3] holds books, periodicals, archive material and ephemera relating to Cornwall and the South West of England.

Museum building[edit]

The interior of the central hall of the museum

The Grade II building which has housed the RIC since 1919 was built in 1845 as the Truro Savings Bank and subsequently became Henderson's Mining School. In 1986/7 the RIC acquired the adjacent Truro Baptist Chapel, built in 1848. Together these granite-fronted buildings (linked with a new foyer and shop in 1998) are a distinctive presence in the centre of the historic city of Truro; both buildings were designed by the local architect Philip Sambell, who was deaf and without speech.


In July 2022 Cornwall Council announced plans to cease funding the museum.[4] This resulted in the museum stating that it might soon have to close.[4] In October 2022 the Council provided the museum with £100,000 with the stated aim that it would allow the museum to transition to other funding sources.[5]


A Dream Princess by Elizabeth Forbes (1897)

The museum is home to the Trewinnard Coach which dates to around 1700.[6]The Artognou stone found at Tintagel Castle is also at the museum.[7]

Rail access[edit]

The nearest railway station is Truro railway station.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Discover Artworks". Art UK. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  2. ^ "The Royal Institution of Cornwall, registered charity no. 1150749". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  3. ^ "Official website". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro faces 'imminent closure'". BBC News. 5 July 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  5. ^ "Museum to receive £100,000 in support from council". BBC News. 6 October 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  6. ^ Downing, Paul II (1965). "A history of carriages". The Carriage Journal. 2 (4): 132–139.
  7. ^ Barrowman, Rachel C; Batey, Colleen E; Morris, Christopher D (2007). Excavations at Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, 1990-1999. Society of Antiquaries of London. p. 195. ISBN 9780854312863.

External links[edit]