Museums in the Scarborough area

Find out about museums in the Scarborough area, including Rotunda Museum, Scarborough Art Gallery and Woodend Gallery and Studios.

Find out about museums in the Scarborough area from the Scarborough Museums Trust website.

Rotunda – the Museum of Coastal Heritage and Geology

Opened in 1829, the Rotunda Museum is one of the world’s first purpose-built museums and was built to a design suggested by William Smith. The interior, with its fascinating Georgian gallery, features a frieze showing the geology of the local coastline designed by Smith’s nephew, John Phillips. The original cases tell the history of the museum and they explore the stories of the nineteenth century Scarborough Philosophical Society which brought the collections together.

When you visit you can also learn about dinosaur footprints, fossils, the remarkable 11,000-year-old artefacts from our Star Carr Collection, as well as coming face to face with the wonderful creatures which once called Yorkshire home in the Ancient Seas Gallery.

Find out more about Rotunda Museum.

Scarborough Art Gallery

Scarborough Art Gallery houses a permanent collection of fine art, which has grown through gifts, bequests and purchases since its beginnings in 1947, reflecting the vibrant mix of the community and its cultural heritage.

The gallery, originally called Crescent House, was built as a family home in the late 1840s by local solicitor John Uppleby and has had a fascinating history. This Grade II Italianate villa is one of the finest buildings in Scarborough, set in the beautiful Crescent Gardens in the centre of town.

As well as the permanent collection, the Art Gallery hosts regular temporary exhibitions, giving an opportunity to show some of the fine collections held, and to display work by local, national and internationally renowned artists, as well as interesting touring work from around the UK.

Find out more about Scarborough Art Gallery.

Woodend Gallery and Studios

Woodend Gallery and Studios is a gallery and creative industries hub open to the public. It hosts a changing programme of contemporary exhibitions.

Find out more about Woodland Gallery and Studios.

Loans and donations


Scarborough Museums Trust organises a lively programme of changing exhibitions. Many of the exhibitions are made possible through the generous loans of private individuals, and other local authority and national museums. Please contact the appropriate curator if you have an object which would be suitable for temporary display in a specific exhibition or may enhance displays of the permanent collections.

Donations and bequests

If you would like to donate an object to Scarborough Museums Trust or bequest an item in your Will, please contact the Curator of Museums or the Curator of Art for further details.