Tenby Museum & Art Gallery
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery is Wales’ oldest independent museum. It was officially opened to the public as Tenby Local Museum on 26 July 1878. The museum was set up by a group of enthusiasts and based around collections of geology, archaeology and the natural sciences.
Previously Tenby’s National School was on this site, which earlier had been the location of domestic buildings of the medieval castle. The school building was adapted for use as a museum by local builder Lewis John at a cost of £44.12s.4d.
Today Tenby Museum and Art Gallery has six main galleries, covering geology and archaeology, social history, the story of Tenby, maritime history and art. One display tells the story of Robert Recorde, the Tenby-born mathematician who invented the = symbol for “equals”.
On show are several beetlestones, clay ironstone nodules discovered in coal seams in the Tenby area. The patterns on them were formed by minerals filling cracks.
One art gallery houses the permanent collection, made up of works by Gwen and Augustus John, John Piper, Kyffin Williams and David Jones, to name but a few represented artists. The John siblings were raised in Tenby. The second art gallery features regularly changing exhibitions.
Other highlights in the displays include Croesmihangel urns, Roman glass, a collection of artefacts that belonged to Tenby-born filmmaker Kenneth Griffith, a Sedan chair, a Bath Chair and a penny farthing bicycle. A model and painting depicting Tenby in 1586 helps visitors to appreciate changes in the town.The RAF's wartime Air Sea Rescue unit in Tenby is the subject of another small display.
The museum also tells the story of piracy off Pembrokeshire. Children can dress up as pirates as well as other family activities including trails and quizzes and hands-on interactive displays.
Postcode: SA70 7BP