The National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum

The new Maritime Museum, completed in 2002, is set between the town centre and the large warehouses of the docks. Here it provides a focus for local identity and attracts the visitors on which the Cornish economy now depends.

Falmouth is one of the largest deep-water natural harbours in the world; it has always had a fishing fleet and was once a convenient stopping off place for the great ships on the Atlantic. The town grew along the western side of the Fal estuary, curving round into docks at the southern end where a headland projects to narrow the mouth.

The new Maritime Museum, completed in 2002, is set between the town centre and the large warehouses of the docks. Here it provides a focus for local identity and attracts the visitors on which the Cornish economy now depends. The new building combines two separate museums; the National Maritime Museum, whose small boat collection had been locked up in storage and the local Cornwall Maritime Museum which needed new accommodation. The brief called for an area of around 5,000 m2, some of which had to have at least 12 metres of headroom, together with smaller display and service areas.

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This significant and important piece of history – the only 16th Century warship together with the largest collection of Tudor artefacts in the world – is now in display in a new museum designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, with Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will as architect for the interior.

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