Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura

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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:

Museum

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 £2.70, Concessions £1.35

Discounts

  • 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.
Dumfries Museum

Waterloo Remembered

  • 3 February 2015 — 3 January 2016 *on now

200 years ago at the Battle of Waterloo a French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. This exhibition explores how local families became involved in the Napoleonic wars.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Next of Kin

  • 21 March — 20 June 2015 *on now

The First World War separated millions of people worldwide from their families and homes. The impact of the conflict was felt by communities in every part of Scotland as family members fought across the fronts and news of losses were received.
For the servicemen and women who experienced the conflict first-hand, keeping objects was a way of remembering this extraordinary period in their lives.

Through a selection of these family keepsakes, this exhibition presents a portrait of Scotland at war, where the private lives of Scottish families introduce some of the themes and events of the conflict across the fighting fronts.

Next of Kin is a touring exhibition created by National Museums Scotland in partnership with eight regional museums throughout Scotland including Dumfries Museum.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Viking Artifacts

Viking Raiders and Traders - Excavating the Galloway Viking Hoard

  • 15 May 2015 6:30-8:30pm

All that glistens may not always be gold, but it sometimes is! In this illustrated talk Historic Environment Records Officer Andrew Nicholson will describe the thrilling excavation of the Galloway Viking Hoard discovered in Dumfries and Galloway in 2014. The hoard is arguably the most exciting ever found in Scotland and contains precious objects from all over Europe. Light refreshments will be served after the talk and there will be an opportunity to visit the museum galleries.

Suitable for

Admission

Free

Website

http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/artsandmuseums

Viking Soldiers

Viking Raiders and Traders - Viking Traders market day

  • 16 May 2015 10am-4pm

For one day only, our grounds will be magically transformed into a bustling Viking marketplace. Take a subtle peek at passers-by to see how an ordinary Viking person might dress - you might even pick up some tips on what the latest fashion is in jewellery! Learn how the Vikings lived, worked and fought - knowing what they're like, we've even cornered off a separate combat area to keep those quarrelsome lads occupied! There'll be plenty of opportunity for both kids and adults to have a go at some of the crafts on show and though we don't have a license to serve mead, we can offer a few light refreshments to keep you going.

Suitable for

Admission

Free

Website

http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/artsandmuseums

Male and female Viking reenactors with drinking vessels

Viking Raiders and Traders: Viking Tavern

  • 16 May 2015 7-10pm

Hang out with the Vikings in our traditional Longhouse complete with Viking lounge music. There'll be traditional drinks to purchase and you can enjoy some complementary 'pub grub' for a night out you won't forget. You'll even find that the pub bore (he's not that bad, honest!) will be spinning yarns in the corner and while there is a ban on pinball, you will be able to try out a few more appropriate games and crafts.

Tickets will be available to purchase from Dumfries Museum from 3rd April. Adults only!

Suitable for

Admission

£10, tickets are available from Dumfries Museum

Website

http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/artsandmuseums

Metal Viking Artifacts

Viking Raiders and Traders: Discovering Viking Treasure - responsible metal detecting

  • 16 May 2015 10am-4pm

Metal detecting - tin cans or Viking hoard? We have a couple of people who will happily tell you about how they found the latter...Derek McLennan and Sharon McKee of Beyond the Beep will be here to reveal their part in the discovery and excavation of the Galloway Hoard last year – possibly the most significant hoard of Viking treasure ever found in Scotland! Passing on their love of metal dectecting with a real treasure hunt, 'The Beeps' will be on hand to guide your intrepid wee dectectorists in the search for tokens - and pick up some prizes along the way.

Suitable for

Admission

Free

Website

http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/artsandmuseums

Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura
The Observatory
Dumfries
DG2 7SW
Scotland

Website

www.dumgal.gov.uk/artsandmuseums

E-mail

dumfriesmuseum@dumgal.gov.uk

Telephone

01387 253374

Fax

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.
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