Telegraph Museum Porthcurno

Visitors enjoying exhibits
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One of Cornwall’s best kept secrets, The Telegraph Museum Porthcurno offers a surprising and inspiring visit time and time again. With hours of endless fun on offer, the Museum is well worth a visit. Be prepared to be amazed, no matter what your age...

Since 1870, messages from all corners of the world have been buzzing through undersea cables and arriving in Porthcurno. Step into this awe-inspiring past, and discover Porthcurno’s role in shaping global communication.

Each time you visit, you will uncover new discoveries and be astonished by Cornwall’s hidden history. With a wide selection of interactive exhibits, from sending and decoding Morse code messages, to getting hands on with science, to heading underground in World War Two tunnels, there are lots of activities to keep you entertained.

In addition to the main Museum exhibits, visitors can enjoy interactive talks and demo’s, family-friendly treasure trails around the Museum, make & take activities, and a calendar bursting full of events - all for free (as part of entry price).

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive, Heritage site

Opening hours

Winter opening (from 1 November): open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission 16:00.

Admission charges

Family (2 adults + 3 children age 5-16) £21.50
Adult £8.50
Child age 5-16 (under 5's FREE) £5.00
Senior (60+) £7.50
Student £5.00


  • Museums Association
  • English Heritage

Additional info

Museum shop & cafe area
Outdoor picnic area
Free sculpture gardens
Large car park (free in winter months)
Tennis courts for hire
Classroom facility
Meeting/conference facilities for hire

The core collection of submarine telegraphy objects and the historic archive collections of key international telegraph cable companies are Designated Collections of national importance.

These collections of archives and objects in their original setting, tell the story of the development of international communication that changed the world. In 1870, Porthcurno began its life as an important centre of international communications, as it was in this year that a chain of telegraph cables linking Britain with India was completed. Porthcurno was chosen as the landing point for the British end of this cable link. At its height, Porthcurno was the world's largest cable station, with 14 telegraph cables in operation.

The world's best specialist collection of telegraph equipment and technology. Technical collections mostly 1850 - 1950. Social history and ephemeral items relating to the evolution of the undersea electric telegraph. Local Parish history collection. Archive of Cable & Wireless covering telegraph businesses from 1860 - 1970s. Some material relating to the devleopent of radio, specifically at Porthcurno. Extensive photographic collection of local history, technical history and British Empire. Local archaeology.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Sport, Social History, Science and Technology, Photography, Maritime, Industry, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Models and material/archives from Brunel's Great Eastern. Working World War II Telegraph station in World War II underground building.
  • Designated Collection
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Communication Workshop

A very popular workshop using a hands-on approach to exploring communication before the telegraph, the science behind the electric telegraph, and modern internet communication. There is an opportunity to dress up in Victorian or WWII costumes, explore our museum and WWII tunnels, and visit our Anderson shelter and dig for victory garden.


  • Larissa Paver, Learning Manager, Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

How to obtain

To arrange a workshop and visit or to discuss any aspect of our learning opportunities, contact Larissa Paver on 01736 810592,

Electrifying Victorians

How did life change during Victorian times as electricity was introduced. What did they use it for? How effective was it? Who developed it? Lots of exciting experiments and historical information based at Porthcurno the home of the 'Victorian Internet'. Also don't miss the chance to dress up in Victorian costume and explore what life was like for people in the age of the early telegraph.


  • Larissa Paver, Learning Manager, Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

How to obtain

Call Larissa Paver, Learning Manager on 01736 810592 or e-mail

Sound science

All children like to make a noise and here they can! They also learn what sound is, what we use if for, how it can be sent long distances and who developed sound technology. Lots of hands on experiments and original artefacts to investigate.


  • Lesley Allen, Museum Education Officer

How to obtain

Contact Lesley Allen on 01736 810592 or email

Tunnels and Telegrams

Set at this important World War II site with its secret tunnels, escape stairs and gun emplacements, this workshop deals with life in a Cornish community during the Second World War and investigates why Porthcurno, a small valley in the far West of Cornwall, was such an important world communications centre. Explore the science behind the electric telegraph and dress up in WWII clothes, pack an evacuee suitcase, practice your gas and air raid drills with our gas rattle and air raid siren.


  • Larissa Paver, Learning Manager, Porthcurno Telegraph Manager

How to obtain

Contact Larissa Paver on 01736 810592 or e-mail on

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno
Eastern House
TR19 6JX



Front of House Manager

Learning Manager

Press Officer


01736 810966

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.