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A photo of the entrance to the 'Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed' exhibition.

Celebrating our relationship with the sea

The museum celebrates and explores the overwhelming influence of the sea on history and culture; promotes an understanding of small boats and their place in people’s lives; and of the maritime heritage of Falmouth and Cornwall.

Our mission is to be a place where people come to enrich their understanding of the sea and Cornwall, and our vision is to be a nationally significant museum in Cornwall.


Promoting Cornwall and Falmouth to the world

Like other museums, we are committed to a special mix of conservation, research, education and entertainment. But we are more than just a museum. We aspire to be a standard bearer for the emergent Cornwall; innovative, confident, and stamped with a quality brand. Proud of its past and present, yet designed for the future. We also aim to contribute to the future of the Carrick Roads and Falmouth as a world maritime centre and successful tourist destination.


Anchoring all the displays at the museum is the notion of education, guiding visitors, schools, and teachers, on a voyage of discovery.

Museum of the future?

Our ground breaking Tattoo British Tattoo Art Revealed exhibition was only possible due to the passion and knowledge of individual collectors and the objects they have saved. Without them, all this material and the social history it represents would have been lost.

The few artefacts relating to tattooing held in museum collections only tell a partial story, one that reflects the value previous curators have placed on this art. Our view is that this profoundly limits and distorts understanding not just of tattooing but how we perceive our shared past.

This raises some challenging questions for museums:

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall wants to address these challenges over the coming years. We will be reaching out to engage with all our communities, to include their voices, and their stories, in the Maritime Museum of the Future.

What we do: 2018 highlights showreel

National Maritime
Museum Cornwall Trust
Discovery Quay
Falmouth Cornwall
TR11 3QY

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Tel: +44(0)1326 313388

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National Maritime Museum
Cornwall Trust
Discovery Quay
TR11 3QY

Tel: +44(0)1326 313388