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Dumfries Museum, Dumfries

(4.7/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web)
Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura, located in Dumfries in Dumfries & Galloway, is the largest museum in the region. The museum has extensive collections relating to local and history from the pre-historic era. The museum also has the world's oldest working Camera Obscura. Admission is free, however a small fee applies for the Camera Obscura.CollectionsThe museum's collections cover all material relating to the natural history and human pre-history of the region, from geology to dress, folk material, archaeology and early photographs.Notable artefacts include: A cast of the skull of Robert the Bruce as well as femur and foot bones. A Bronze Age cist burial including the remains of a 35-year-old man from the beaker people. A large collection of Roman and Celtic stone crosses and funerary monuments. A replica of the first bicycle, as designed by Kirkpatrick Macmillan. The photographic archive of Dr Werner Kissling. Personal items belonging to Thomas CarlyleHistoryOriginally built as a four-storey windmill on Corbelly hill, the highest point in Maxwelltown, in 1798, the site was purchased by Dumfries and Maxwellton Astronomical Society in 1834. Over a two-year period the tower was converted into an Observatory, and with advice from polar explorer Sir John Ross, a telescope was purchased from a Mr Morton of Kilmarnock. With its completion in 1836, unfortunately the observatory missed the arrival of Halley's comet; however, it was used in this role until 1872.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great views from the top in any weather conditions. Difficult to park too close but spaces found around.  more »
  • The a camera obscura was amazing. You reach it via a steep winding staircase. The friendly and informative guide explains how it works - the detail that can be seen of the town below is amazing. There...  more »
  • We visited on a cold winters day and after wandering round looking at the history and artefacts we enjoyed an ice cream. The curator even allowed us to sit and watch a virtual tour of Robert Burns hou...  more »
Google
  • It's well worth a visit. But you need to bring the good weather with you to get the best experience.
  • Free admission, apart from camera obscurer exhibit. Popular with schools and those interested in local history.
  • The Camera Obscura is fascinating but you need to go on a sunny day to experience it properly. It's so strange to see a birds eye view of the area all round the museum, with tiny cars driving along. The museum itself has displays on local history, farming etc (including a rather ghoulish set of death masks of executed murderers) which are interesting. But the Camera Obscura is the star.
  • Nice staff
  • Great little museum for all ages. Small charge for the camera obscura which unfortunately isn't used when the weather is wet (to prevent damage). There's a small car park in the grounds. The town centre is a 10-15 minute walk across the suspension bridge.