Dumfries Museum, Dumfries

4.8
#2 of 6 in Museums in Dumfries
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 Traveler Rating
181 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 15, 2017
    Excellent small museum. Highlight was the camera obscura which was really good to show you images of the town. Great explanation from the guy working it. Fascinating visit. Would definitely recommend ...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    When we approached the museum I was expecting to maybe spend an hour there but ended up being there for two to three and could've spent even longer. Downstairs is an enlightening exhibition on the fir...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    Situated with a commanding view over Dumfries,this museum is housed in a building which was once a windmill. There are many showcased exhibitsp featuring life in the area dating back to pre Roman time...  more »
Google
  • Sweet little museum with some fantastic finds. Well worth day trip.
  • 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.
  • Very interesting
  • 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.

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Where to stay in Dumfries

As Dumfries is just a small city within the Dumfries and Galloway region, the city itself is somewhat limited on places to stay. You'll find a handful of mid-range to high-end hotels in the city--if you're intent on being based in Dumfries, it's best to book early to avoid disappointment. Otherwise, there are plenty of options in nearby cities and towns such as Sanquhar, Lockerbie, Auchencairn, and Thornhill.
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