Housed in Helston’s former Market House and Drill Hall, Helston Museum offers a valuable insight into the history and architecture of the town.
The museum building itself offers a valuable insight into the history and architecture of the town. Although the museum was founded in 1949, the building was originally designed as the town’s Market House in 1837, with two separate buildings – one for butter and eggs, the other the meat market, and retains the original sloping granite floor.
The Museum expanded into the meat market in the early 1980s, then into the adjoining Drill Hall in 1999. A suspended gallery, the Loft, was also added at this time that in turn allowed the creation of the mezzanine art gallery.
A notable feature in front of the building is a cannon salvaged from the wreck of the frigate HMS Anson which foundered off Loe Bar in 1807. Around 100 sailors’ lives were lost in the disaster which led to the pioneering work of Henry Trengrouse, featured in the Museum’s Drill Hall.
The Museum’s collection reflects both the social and industrial history of The Lizard Peninsula, from mining, fishing and farming through to home life in the 18th – 20th centuries.
The displays are complemented by the mezzanine gallery, used for regular art exhibitions and workshops, and the museum shop that provides a fine range of silver and local jewellery, cards, local books and minerals.
Previously run by Cornwall Council, management of the museum was taken over by the South Kerrier Heritage Trust in August 2013. The Trust is a local registered charity working with the community, and day to day work at the museum is largely undertaken by volunteers.