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:

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 £3.00, Concessions £1.50

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.

The Making of Dumfries

  • 4 July 2015 — 31 December 2016 *on now

Throughout spring 2015 our local history gallery will be given a partial makeover, some of our much loved collections will be redisplayed and new objects from the store will be put on show for the first time.

From the 18th century onwards talented craftsmen ensured that Dumfries prospered as a town. Discover who the hammermen, squaremen, cordwainers and fleshers were, what they did, and how they contributed to “The Making of Dumfries”.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

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

Hunter

Foyer Exhibition: Collecting Things!

  • 12 February 2016 — 28 January 2017 *on now

What do green rubber “Hunter” wellies, Egyptian tomb figures and 225 million year old fossil footprints have in common? This exhibition explores how Dumfries Museum’s collections evolved through the Victorian era and the 20th century up to the present day.

Burnswalk Hill

The Offensive Romans

  • 10 September — 26 November 2016 *on now

Is Burnswark Hill the site of a Roman training camp or a scene of bloody conflict between invading Romans and the native people of Southern Scotland? This question has puzzled archaeologists since the 18th century.An imposing table – top hill in flat surroundings, Burnswark has been an important site throughout the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman occupation of Britain, mediaeval period and 17th century Civil War.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund a team of archaeologists and volunteers carried out digs in September 2015 and August 2016. Using modern methods of metal detecting, soil testing, and input from experts in the UK and Germany new evidence is being presented to tell the story of Burnswark and the Roman invasion of Scotland.

Coat

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

  • 28 September 2016 — 5 January 2018

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

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.

urban landscape

Rethinking the Urban Landscape

  • 1 December 2016 — 7 January 2017

This exhibition sets out to show that with long-term landscape planning cities can become healthier, safer and happier places to be – from reduced risk of flooding, to countering the ‘invisible killer’ of bad air quality, to weaving more enjoyable and inspiring environments throughout the urban fabric. The exhibition includes many of the best international projects, including projects from Scotland, which illustrate the themes of Community, Water, Saving Lives, Financial Benefits, Orchestrate, Beauty and Potential.

Poster

"My favourite building in Dumfries and Galloway”

  • 1 — 10 December 2016

To celebrate the Scottish Year of Innovation, Architecture, and Design, The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) organised a photographic competition for young people of Dumfries and Galloway. This exhibition features the winning photographs from the competition.

felt

Fabulous Felt

  • 21 February — 17 April 2017

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
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.
romans

The Offensive Romans: drop-in activities

  • 10 September — 26 November 2016 *on now

Design your own Iron Age shield
• Make a Roman helmet.
• Learn about Roman numerals and take the shopping challenge
• Dress like a Roman or an Iron Age Briton
• Roman gallery trail, quizzes and colouring sheets

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly
Graham Taylor

Roman pottery with master potter Graham Taylor

  • 18 October 2016 10am-4pm

Sessions run 10am - 12noon or 2 - 4pm (Booking essential).

Suitable for aged 5 and upwards, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Admission is free. Please wear old clothes - workshops can be messy! Where booking is required this opens one month before each event.
Booking essential for some events, to reserve a place please phone Dumfries Museum on 01387 253374 during normal opening times.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

If you like what you have made you can have it kiln fired and returned to Dumfries Museum (cost £3 per object). There is no charge for taking part in the activity at the museum.

roman flower

Roman inspired mosaics with artist Jane Rose

  • 25 October 2016 10am-4pm

Sessions run 10am - 12noon or 2 - 4pm (Booking essential).

Suitable for aged 5 and upwards, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Admission is free. Please wear old clothes - workshops can be messy! Where booking is required this opens one month before each event.
Booking essential for some events, to reserve a place please phone Dumfries Museum on 01387 253374 during normal opening times.

If you like what you have made you can have it kiln fired and returned to Dumfries Museum (cost £3 per object). There is no charge for taking part in the activity at the museum.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

If you like what you have made you can have it kiln fired and returned to Dumfries Museum (cost £3 per object). There is no charge for taking part in the activity at the museum.

snowflakes

Money can’t buy love!

  • 26 November 2016 10am-4pm

Drop in 10am - 12noon and 2 - 4pm.

Come along to Dumfries Museum and join staff and volunteers using mainly recycled materials to create cards, decorations and presents with that personal touch.

Suitable for aged 5 and upwards, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Admission is free. Please wear old clothes - workshops can be messy! Where booking is required this opens one month before each event.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

What is Landscape Architecture?

  • 1 December 2016 6:30-8pm

Rachel Tennant, acting chair of the Landscape Institute Scotland and Fellow of the Landscape Institute will give an introduction to this topic in relation to the exhibition “Rethinking the Urban Landscape” at Dumfries Museum.

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

Admission

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

Robert Waland

Robert Waland - Optical Engineer and Astronomer

  • 8 December 2016 6:30-8pm

Hayden Goodfellow, astronomer at Kielder Observatory will describe how Dumfries born and educated Waland’s work on telescopes enabled astronomers to compile an atlas of the moon surface that was used by the first astronauts to land on the moon in 1969.

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

Admission

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

pottery

The influence of historical collections on contemporary pottery

  • 15 December 2016 6:30-8pm

Professional international potters Hannah McAndrew and Douglas Fitch are based in Dumfries and Galloway. They will give an illustrated talk about their lives as professional slipware potters and the influence of historical pottery on their work as well a demonstration of some basic slipware decorating techniques. This talk will be followed by seasonal refreshments.

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

Midwinter Turning

Midwinter Turning

  • 15 January 2017 2:30-4pm

Reflective, funny and moving, Midwinter Turning is a performance not to be missed.
Midwinter Turning is produced and conducted by The Feral Choir’s musical director Alison Burns. A prolific reader and collector of contemporary poetry, she has drawn on many sources and included stories, poetry and prose from the local and global writing communities to devise this atmospheric concert.
Tickets £8, include seasonal refreshments afterwards. Tickets available from Dumfries Museum (telephone: 01387 253374).
Space is limited and pre-purchase of tickets is strongly recommended.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Tickets £8, include seasonal refreshments afterwards. Tickets available from Dumfries Museum (telephone: 01387 253374).
Space is limited and pre-purchase of tickets is strongly recommended.

rooster

Chinese New Year decorations

  • 28 January 2017 10am-4pm

Suitable for aged 5 and upwards, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Admission is free. Please wear old clothes - workshops can be messy! Where booking is required this opens one month before each event.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children
Conservation

Textile Conservation Talk

  • 6 February 2017 6:30-8pm

Karen Thompson, University Teacher, University of Glasgow and Hannah Vickers, Textile Conservator, former student of the MPhil Textile Conservation programme will provide an introduction to textile conservation and talk about the challenges presented in the preservation of a blood stained and slashed jacket belonging to Colin Mackenzie who was injured in a sabre attack in India in 1855.

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

Admission

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

zoolab

Zoolab – Build a dinosaur

  • 15 February 2017 10am-4pm

Meet the Zoolab animals, learn how animals colour change, control their temperature, attack, defend and find other animals by detecting heat. Which of these amazing powers would you put together to create the perfect dinosaur?
This event is free but booking is essential - booking opens 13 January, please call Dumfries Museum on 01387 253374.

Suitable for aged 5 and upwards, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Admission is free. Please wear old clothes - workshops can be messy!

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly
felt

Fabulous Felt Preview Event

  • 20 February 2017 6:30-8pm

An evening event with the opportunity to visit the Fabulous Felt exhibition and meet some of the makers.

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

Admission

Please book for these talks by telephoning 01387 253374. Each talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to look around the museum.

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.
advertisement