Isle of Scilly Museum
The Isle of Scilly Museum, situated in Church Street, Hugh Town is packed with interesting historical artefacts from wrecks, archaeological sites on the islands. The museum's exhibitions relate the story of the Scilly Isles through the centuries, from Dark Age artefacts discovered there, to evidence of its maritime roots and local pieces of art pieces.
The severe gales in the winter of 1962, uncovered some remarkable Romano-British finds on the Island of Nornour in the Eastern Islands which had been hidden for centuries beneath the sand dunes. Finds at the site included around three hundred brooches, assumed to be votive offerings, along with coins ranging from the late first through to the late fourth century, glass beads, finger rings, bracelets, bronze spoons, miniature pots and pieces of small clay Gallic figurines, including a Dea Nutrix ('nursing mother'), and a 'Venus' or Goddess figurine.
This caused some St Mary's residents to establish a local museum. After much fundraising and huge volunteer enthusiasm, the Isle of Scilly Museum was built. It opened to the public on July 15th 1967 and received a visit from the Queen on 8th August, 1967.
The Isle of Scilly Museum's collections are extremely diverse and include material from many wrecks; a wild flower display (during the summer months); Romano-British artefacts; stuffed birds; local art and much more.
The Isles of Scilly ahave one of the densest concentrations of archaeological sites in Britain, as is reflected in the Isles of Scilly Museum collections. Over 60% of the islands are classed as archaeologically important with 239 scheduled monuments in a land area of 16 square kilometres. Many of these sites cover extensive areas on the islands and sometimes, as in the case of Samson, the whole island. Often the scheduled areas contain several individual sites, resulting in over 900 separate `archaeological items'.
In order to preserve some link with the rich Scillonian past, the Isle of Scilly Museum also has a comprehensive collection of oral history videos featuring residents from well known local families.