Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura

venue representative image
baby changing facilities icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

A treasure house of history in Dumfries and Galloway telling the story of the land and people of the region.

The Camera Obscura, installed in 1836, is on the top floor of the old windmill tower. From it you can see a fascinating panoramic view of Dumfries and the surrounding countryside.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

April - September Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1400-1700
October - March Tues - Sat 1000-1300, 1400-1700

Closed: Christmas & New Year

Admission charges

Admission to museum is free
Camera Obscura presentation - Adults £3.00, Concessions £1.50


  • Museums Association

Look out for fossil footprints left by prehistoric animals, the wildlife of the Solway, tools and weapons of our earliest people, stone carvings by Scotland’s first Christians and the everyday things of the Victorian farm, workshop and home.

Collection details

Agriculture, Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Land Transport, Law and Order, Maritime, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Religion, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • Reptilian footprints in Permian sandstone
  • Mineral collections from Wanlockhead and Leadhills
  • Log boats
  • Inscribed Christian stonework
  • The Seven Incorporated Trades of Dumfries
  • Provincial silver collection
  • Camera Obscura
  • Dumfries and Maxwelltown Astronomical Society
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Foyer Exhibition: Blood, Sweat and Tears – Conserving Mackenzie’s 19th century uniform

  • 28 September 2016 — 5 January 2018 *on now

Lieutenant-General Colin Mackenzie (1806 – 1881) was the son in law of Admiral John Douglas of Kinmount, near Annan in Dumfries and Galloway. His blood stained uniform coat was kept as a reminder of his lucky escape when he was attacked and left for dead in India in 1855.
The uniform is on display for the first time since being conserved by student Hannah Vickers at the Centre for Textile Conservation at the University of Glasgow.

James Pearson

World War One stories - Lieutenant James Pearson MM

  • 4 October 2016 — 1 April 2017 *on now

He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field for his actions on the Somme Battlefields on 1 April 1917. James’ story is told through memorabilia from his army career kindly loaned by Pauline Williams.


Fabulous Felt

  • 21 February — 17 April 2017 *on now

From stylish nuno felt scarves to sculptured needle felt creatures, this contemporary take on a traditional craft is an exciting blend of textures and colours. Hands on examples give visitors of all ages a sensory opportunity to explore the different fibres used to make felt and the variety of items that can be made from them.
This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Dumfries and Galloway Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura
The Observatory






01387 253374


01387 265081

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.