Our collections are house in themed rooms on 3 floors and there is a wonderful garden with superb views, ideal for picnics on fine days
The six rooms on the ground floor feature local history, Launceston at war, a scale model of the old Southern Railway Station, the Mayor’s Parlour, a toy room with toys to play with and a room dedicated to Launceston’s famous sons: John Couch Adams, astronomer and discoverer of the planet Neptune, Philip Gidley King, early Governor of New South Wales, in whose honour Launceston, Tasmania, was named, Charles Causley, teacher, poet and broadcaster and William Wise, herbalist and plant collector. Don’t miss his wonderful 6 volume herbarium containing over 1000 plants collected locally between 1880 and the 1920s.
In the inner hallway is the Polyphon, a forerunner of the juke box which is coin operated and still playing all the popular dances and tunes from the late 1880s.
Our costume collection is on the first floor and includes wedding dresses from Victorian times to the present day. We also have some stunning samplers embroidered by girls as young as 11 years old.
Downstairs, as well as a splendid Victorian kitchen with “all mod cons”, there are rooms dedicated to agriculture and Launceston’s past: its shops, bank, hospital, workhouse, photographer etc. On permanent display in the Exhibition Room is a beautifully decorated 17th century wheel-lock rifle and, in the coin cabinet, a silver penny minted in Launceston during the reign of William the Conqueror. In the garden, turn right down the steps to the herb garden with its modern sculpture kindly loaned by Grenville Davey of Launceston who,in 1992, beat Damien Hirst to the Turner Prize.
During the season there is a programme of changing exhibits in the display case in the Inner Hallway and in the downstairs Exhibition Room so there is always something new to see.