The Beacon Museum

The Beacon Museum
West Strand
CA28 7LY




01946 592302


01946 598150

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
beacon museum whitehaven harbour
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The Beacon Museum, situated on Whitehaven’s beautiful Georgian harbourside, tells the story of the rich history of this fascinating corner of the Western Lake District.

NEW for 2014, The Beacon Museum has launched a fantastic interactive exhibition which tells the story of the nuclear industry in West Cumbria, past, present and future.

Beginning at the top of the museum, visitors can expect to enjoy the best view in town in our viewing gallery, looking out across the Solway. That floor also features an interactive POP Gallery exploring leisure and culture in 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
Downstairs the story of West Cumbria begins with the hands-on history of the area from Norse Settlers to twentieth century industries.

Our new second floor exhibition tells the story of how West Cumbria supported the war effort and, afterwards, how new technology was pioneered right here to give the UK a nuclear deterrent. The exciting, interactive new exhibition charts, warts and all, how that early weapons programme grew into a nuclear industry which has supported Cumbria’s economy for the past 60 years, and looks at what the future might be for energy.

Whatever your age, The Beacon Museum is a great place to learn and have fun. After your visit, be sure to take a look in our gift shop before relaxing in The Wellington Bistro for lunch or a cuppa.

Also don't miss the gift shop, which stocks a whole range of locally sourced gifts.

We also have the family-run Wellington Bistro and Café on our ground floor.

With rotating exhibitions in our Harbour Gallery and events scheduled throughout the year and school holidays, it’s the perfect time to visit The Beacon. Visit for more details.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archaeological site, Science centre, Ship or maritime heritage site

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4.30pm. Last admission 3.45pm. Closed Mondays except for school and bank holiday Mondays.
Closed 24th to 26th December inclusive.

Admission charges

Adult £5.50, Concession £4, Child £2 (under 5s free), Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) £10.


  • Museums Association

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Land Transport, Maritime, Natural Sciences, Social History, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Portrait of a Child Seated on a Wooden Seat

The Uncelebrated Art of the Fowlers: Eskdale's Artists

  • 21 June — 7 September 2014 *on now

A collection of artwork by Frank & Beryl Fowler, never displayed before in its entirety.

This exclusive exhibition features not only artwork produced by Frank and Beryl, but also sets the scene for rural life over the turn of the 20th century.

The couple developed a deep love of Eskdale from Frank’s father. A retired Canon from Lincoln, he bought the house “Long Yocking” at Eskdale Green as a place to spend time after his retirement. Frank and Beryl met as students when they were both studying under Sir Hubert von Herkomer in Hertfordshire. Herkomer was a celebrated artist of the late Victorian era who, as well as being a teacher was also an illustrator, print maker, stage designer, filmmaker and writer. He also exhibited annually at the Royal Academy. The majority of the collection held by The Beacon Museum is from their student days.

After their studies Frank went on to become a teacher at Bolton Grammar School and Beryl became a professional portrait painter. Their love for Eskdale and the surrounding area can clearly be seen in their work.

In this, the centenary year of the advent of World War One, the exhibition also tells the story of how war almost destroyed their life together and the affect that WW2 had as their son became a Prisoner of War.

The exhibition “The Uncelebrated Art of the Fowlers: Eskdale’s Artists” is showing in the museum’s Harbour Gallery until 2nd September and is FREE to enter.

For more details, contact The Beacon Museum on 01946 592302 or visit

Suitable for

  • Any age