Royal Cornwall Museum

In Brief

Type: Museum attraction
Suitable for: History and culture buffs
Address: River Street, Truro
Price: Adults £7.50, free for under-18s
Dog friendly?: No

For museum fans, this is the big one. The more-than-200-year-old Royal Cornwall Museum (RCM) is the largest museum in the county and for anyone travelling to Truro, it’s an essential day out. Prepare for enthralling exhibits that take you through Cornwall’s storied past.

In 1818, The Royal Institution of Cornwall founded the museum to promote ‘excellence in science and art’ and to ‘forward the world-leading industries that Cornwall was known for’. It’s grown over the years and has always been a focal point for the county’s history – and for tales of other cultures across the world. It sits within a Grade II listed building in Truro’s River Street, where it has been housed since 1919.

Obviously, mining is a key feature at the RCM and there’s an extensive mineral collection on show, as well as a large Cornish art collection from over the years. A rolling programme of exhibitions is staged at the museum, ranging from military medals to old mining memories. In fact, there are more than 300,000 heritage objects in the building and visitors can expect to be taken on a journey ‘from Stone Age Cornwall to contemporary art’, with stories told ‘across cultures and also across the past 10,000 years’.

Kids and adults will get a lot out of a visit to the RCM. There are family trails and activities organised by the expert museum team and there’s also a regular roster of lectures and talks throughout the year. Outside of Cornwall, there’s a permanent exhibition of ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian artefacts to browse too. The institution’s Courtney Library holds a collection of rare books and manuscripts relating to Cornwall, however this may be closed so hit up the RCM website and check before your visit. But be sure to make time for Cornwall’s biggest museum. Explore the exhibits, soak up all the information and have plenty of fun to boot.