Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura
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.
April - September Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1400-1700
October - March Tues - Sat 1000-1300, 1400-1700
Closed: Christmas & New Year
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.
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
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”.
- Any age
“Amang the rigs o’ Barley”
- 12 March — 18 June 2016 *on now
Burns wrote “Rigs o’ Barley” in 1783, around the time when many of the
maps in this exhibition were drawn. Rigs were a feature of the landscape
that had slowly begun to change. The landscape of the larger estates was
being mapped in order to plan future changes.
The basis of today’s landscape has changed little but tree planting and
modern roads now cloak once bare hills and poor roads. With the help of
these early maps we can imagine the landscape Burns saw. Glimpse how life
became more comfortable with enclosures around houses including gardens
and perhaps even orchards, hedgerows to halt the wind, mosses where peats
were cut and of course the strips of cultivated land or rigs. By the early 19th
century the maps show the enclosed fields and enlarged steadings created to
feed an expanding population.
These old maps allow us to see where we have come from. They may be the
closest that we can get to time travel.
The Summer Wandering
- 14 May 2016 10am-5pm
Choose your allegiance for a battle is about to commence! Embark on an epic quest with local Vikings, Galloway Longfhanda, to see what life was like more than 1000 years ago. Brush up on your bartering skills, see what food you and your family would have eaten - and be ready to defend the honour of your village. Viking warriors are on the rampage and have sent out a challenge for your presence at Ragnarock, The Final Battle at 4pm (they are on a schedule, you know)!
For the less blood-thirsty among you, there is the opportunity to form teams from your school or community group to take part in a day-long trading game woven around Dumfries town centre, the River Nith and Dumfries Museum*. We are also thrilled to see the return of Beyond the Beep between 10am - 3pm. These guys have all the kit to help you find your own treasure trove - and maybe a little bit of history too.
*If you'd like to participate in the game, please contact the museum to register before 14 May.
£10 per team to enter the Summer Wandering trading game, final battle and responsible metal detecting events are free
Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura