Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura

Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura
The Observatory






01387 253374


01387 265081

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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:


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 £2.60, Concessions £1.30


  • 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
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.

Meet the Vikings

  • 17 May 2014 10am-4pm

Visit the Vikings as they choose to settle in the gardens of Dumfries Museum for just one day. You'll encounter Viking warriors (they're really quite a friendly bunch) and learn how they dressed for battle, meet Viking craftsmen and women, and find out how the Vikings lived their daily lives. Learn how everyday objects would have been created and have a shot at making them yourself. With narry a horned helmet in sight, you'll find out the REAL story of these iconic people. Note - if the weather is bad, the Vikings will very sensibly decamp to the warm and dry of the museum galleries.


Free. There may be a small charge to cover the cost of materials for making craft items to take home.



Frog in pond

The Wildlife of the Great Moss

  • 27 June 2014 2-3:30pm

Join Peter for an illustrated journey across one of the largest bogs in Western Europe, discovering the wildlife that lives there today and in the past, including Boars, Bitterns and Black Grouse. Watch out for the carnivorous plants! No booking required for this event.
Please note: this even takes place at Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Caerlaverock, Wetlands Centre, Eastpark Farm,Caerlaverock, DG1 4RS.

Suitable for

  • Any age