Newquay Museum – Facts and Future

Newquay Museum opened its doors in March 2014 to serve the community by offering a window into the town’s fascinating history.  With a small team of dedicated volunteers, we were able to offer set weekly opening hours and have attracted 1000’s of visitors, priding ourselves on being an additional attraction for tourists and, staying open for most of the winter months for the locals too.

Sadly, many of our older volunteers have had to step down and since re-opening after the pandemic, we no longer have enough people to keep the museum open in its current form.  To adapt to our current situation, we have had to close our dedicated museum room and move some of the exhibits into the Corridor Gallery situated outside of the archive room. The former museum room will now be used for storing documents, photographs and artefacts relating to the history of Newquay.  The museum will remain albeit in a reduced state and the archive will continue collecting items relating to Newquay’s heritage as it has done for the past eighty years.

Whilst we have been here for almost 10 years, it seems it’s only visitors to the town that seek us out and we appear to remain a mystery to those who live close by. We have tried hard to make ourselves known, for almost 10 years we have had signs out when we are open. We’ve put flags and banners out, we are linked to four Facebook pages. We are on Google Maps and we often get a mention in the local Voice newspaper.  Over the years the volunteers have carried out many external events throughout the town. We have had displays at Newquay’s past Fish Festival, the Lifeboat Day and with our friends at Newquay Library but this summer, the lack of volunteers meant this was impossible. However, this year has seen a good deal of tourists visiting the museum from Europe, USA, Australia and other places throughout Cornwall.

Newquay Museum and Archive are not supported by the Town Council as many other local museums are throughout Cornwall and rely entirely on donations and fund raising. With too few volunteers to carryout sufficient external fundraising and few regular local visitors supporting the museum, financial resources need to be preserved. Our landlords have been very understanding but to save funds our former storeroom has been handed back to our landlords.

Newquay’s heritage will continue to be shared with museum exhibits in the Corridor Gallery and in the Cornish Coffee Lounge, who have kindly sacrificed space to house two cabinets. The archive will be open for visitor queries and take donations of items of interest most Wednesdays. The Corridor Gallery is open Monday to Friday and the Cornish Coffee Lounge Wednesday to Saturday. Over the coming months the museum will be moving towards new online methods of sharing, and we hope to encourage the next generation of volunteers with computer skills and interest in local heritage to participate in preparing online exhibitions.

The Cornish Coffee Lounge will be resuming illustrated talks next month as social events and as a museum fundraiser. There is an event at the Headland Hotel on Wednesday 18th October at 8:00pm that includes the premier of a new Newquay history video and a talk by museum coordinator Len Sheppard entitled “Cornish Landscape and Monuments”. We hope that many people will support these events and the museum with our ongoing projects.

Besides the Kowethas Kernow Goth Tewynblustri (Newquay Old Cornwall Society) museum there is the Cornish Coffee Lounge which has a gallery with range of Cornish vintage art and Cornish pottery as well as contemporary artwork by members of the Newquay Society of Artists.

The Cornish Coffee Lounge is also home to the Towan Vintage shop and Proper Photography Kernow and the office of Kowethas Ertach Kernow

All are welcome to come and browse, relax for a coffee or pot of tea and support Newquay Museum as it moves forward.

To increase interest in Newquay's history and heritage Newquay Museum looks to encourage a younger generation of technically minded people to help with sharing Newquay's story.

It seems most local people now would rather follow online, so Newquay Museum will be looking to share with a wider Cornish and worldwide audience through its websites and social media, hopefully encouraging increased visits to Newquay through internal and external tourism. The shoulder months of the summer season seem to encourage visitors who engage far more with local Cornish heritage and we will aim to increase online and physical activities in our Cornish Coffee Lounge to meet their interests.

Newquay Museum will be looking long term for younger people who can contribute and learn technical skills through 3D Photogrammetry, video editing, adding to an online database and other ways of sharing local history and heritage. If you have technical skills and interest in Newquay and Cornish history, culture or environment please contact us at