Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Situated in the historic port of Charlestown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just outside St Austell, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum offers a captivating journey into the world of maritime adventures, historical shipwrecks, and underwater treasures.

As one of Cornwall’s most intriguing attractions, this museum provides an unparalleled glimpse into the mysteries of the deep and the tales of endurance and fortune that accompany them.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of nautical tales, or simply looking for an engaging day out, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum is a must-visit.

Discovering the Shipwreck Treasure Museum

With over 8,000 artefacts from more than 150 shipwrecks, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum holds one of the most significant collections of its kind in Europe.

The exhibits range from ancient maritime history to more recent wartime wrecks, showcasing items that include precious cargo, personal possessions of ship passengers, and even pieces of the ships themselves.

Highlights of the Museum

Titanic Exhibit: Discover fascinating artefacts recovered from the world’s most famous shipwreck, offering poignant reminders of the tragic voyage.

Pirate Treasures: Delve into the world of pirates and privateers with displays of real pirate coins, treasure chests, and weaponry salvaged from sunken ships.

Underwater Exploration: Learn about the incredible advances in underwater archaeology and the techniques used to recover artefacts from the seabed.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

The Shipwreck Treasure Museum is located in Charlestown, approximately two miles from St Austell in Cornwall.

The museum is accessible by car, with parking available in Charlestown.

For those using public transport, St Austell is well-served by trains and buses, and from there, local bus services or taxis can take you to Charlestown.

Tickets and Opening Times

The museum is open year-round, but it’s wise to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on opening hours, as these can vary seasonally.

Tickets can be purchased on arrival or in advance online, with family tickets and concessions available.

Best Times to Visit

While the museum offers a fascinating experience throughout the year, visiting outside of the peak summer months can provide a more intimate exploration of the exhibits without the crowds.

The quieter atmosphere enhances the mystique of the museum’s tales and treasures.

Maximising Your Experience

Join a Guided Tour: If available, a guided tour can enrich your visit with expert insights and stories behind the artefacts, bringing the history to life.

Explore Charlestown: Combine your museum visit with a walk around Charlestown’s historic harbour, where you can see tall ships and imagine the bustling port activity in centuries past.

Visit the Tunnel of Lights: The museum’s subterranean tunnels are transformed into an immersive light experience, offering a dazzling visual journey (seasonal availability).

Tips for Your Visit

Wear Comfortable Shoes: The museum is spread across several floors with uneven surfaces in places, so comfortable footwear is recommended.

Allow Plenty of Time: With so much to see, plan to spend at least a couple of hours exploring the museum and its exhibits.

Check for Special Events: The museum and Charlestown host various events throughout the year, from pirate days to evening lantern walks, which can add an extra dimension to your visit.

Nearby Attractions

The Eden Project: Just a short drive from Charlestown, this global garden is housed in massive biomes and offers an unforgettable experience of the natural world.

Lost Gardens of Heligan: Explore one of the UK’s most loved botanical gardens, with over 200 acres of gardens, woodland walks, and farmland to discover.

St Austell Brewery: Learn about the art of brewing and sample some of Cornwall’s finest ales at this historic brewery’s visitor centre.


The Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Charlestown offers a unique window into the perilous beauty of the sea and its hidden stories.

From the artefacts that whisper tales of historic voyages to the modern techniques of underwater exploration, the museum captivates visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re drawn by the lure of treasure, the thrill of discovery, or the call of the ocean’s depths, a visit to the Shipwreck Treasure Museum promises a rich and rewarding experience that echoes the enduring fascination with the sea’s mysteries.