St Ives Museum

Tucked away in the heart of one of Cornwall’s most beloved seaside towns, the St Ives Museum stands as a testament to the rich history and vibrant cultural tapestry of St Ives.

Nestled just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque beaches and winding streets that define this charming town, the museum offers visitors a deep dive into the local heritage, maritime legacy, and artistic spirit that have shaped St Ives over centuries.

Discovering St Ives Museum

Occupying a former pilchard curing cellar near Porthmeor Beach, St Ives Museum is an intriguing labyrinth of history and culture.

Managed by dedicated volunteers passionate about preserving and sharing the town’s legacy, the museum features an eclectic collection that spans maritime artefacts, mining memorabilia, and insights into the daily lives of St Ives’ residents through the ages.

Highlights of St Ives Museum

Maritime Heritage: Explore the town’s deep connection with the sea through exhibits of fishing gear, boat models, and tales of bravery and adventure on the high seas.

Artistic Legacy: Delve into St Ives’ world-renowned artistic scene, with displays dedicated to the artists and craftspeople who have called the town home.

Cornish Life and Industry: Learn about the traditional Cornish ways of life, including mining, farming, and the pivotal pilchard fishing industry.

Historic Photographs and Documents: A treasure trove of photographs and documents offers a window into the past, illustrating the evolution of this dynamic community.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

St Ives Museum is located on Wheal Dream, just off the main town centre and is easily accessible on foot from anywhere within St Ives.

For those driving, parking in St Ives can be challenging during peak season, so consider using the park and ride facilities on the outskirts of town.

Opening Times and Admission

The museum typically operates from Easter through October, welcoming visitors from Tuesday to Friday, with limited hours that vary by season.

It’s advisable to check the latest opening times before your visit. A modest admission fee supports the museum’s maintenance and operations.


Accessibility: Due to the historic nature of the building, accessibility may be limited. It’s recommended to contact the museum ahead of your visit for specific access information.

Shop: The museum houses a small shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs, books, and postcards featuring historical images of St Ives.

Maximising Your Experience

Plan for the Weather: As with any visit to St Ives, be prepared for changeable weather. The museum provides a perfect retreat on less sunny days.

Engage with Volunteers: The knowledgeable volunteers are a wealth of information and often have fascinating stories and additional context about the exhibits.

Combine Your Visit: Pair your museum visit with a stroll through St Ives’ cobbled streets, art galleries, and beachfront for a full day of cultural immersion.

Tips for Your Visit

Photography: Check the museum’s photography policy if you wish to take photos. Some areas or items may have restrictions.

Donations Welcome: Consider leaving a donation to support the museum’s ongoing preservation efforts and community projects.

Stay Nearby: St Ives boasts a range of accommodation options, from seaside cottages to contemporary hotels, making it easy to explore the museum and surrounding attractions at your leisure.

Nearby Attractions

Porthmeor Beach: Just a short walk from the museum, this beach is famous for its surf, sunsets, and the iconic Tate St Ives gallery.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden: Discover the work and garden of one of St Ives’ most celebrated artists, located within the town.

The Sloop Inn: One of Cornwall’s oldest inns, offering a taste of local ale and maritime history in a traditional pub setting.


The St Ives Museum offers a unique opportunity to delve into the heart and soul of this Cornish town.

From its maritime adventures and artistic endeavours to the everyday life of its people, the museum captures the essence of St Ives, making it a must-visit for anyone keen to understand the town beyond its beautiful beaches and art galleries.

A visit here enriches your Cornish holiday, connecting you with the stories, struggles, and triumphs that have shaped St Ives into the beloved destination it is today.