Cornwall museums come in all different shapes and sizes, Bude Castle Heritage Centre Museum is a must-see attraction for the seaside town with a rich history.
Whether you’re looking for a rainy-day activity or seeking out local heritage, a trip to Bude Castle Heritage Centre Museum is a must.
While it’s impressive to look at Bude Castle is not a real castle, it was the home of inventor Goldsworthy Gurney who built it to prove a house could be built on sand back in 1830.
The Castle was reopened to the public in July 2007 and now serves as a heritage, archive, gallery and exhibition centre which is free to enter. Situated on the ground and first floor of building, it’s divided into themed areas which represent key elements of Bude’s cultural heritage history. There is also a special exhibition area dedicated to Padstow born inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney. A talented man, he was a surgeon, scientist, engineer, inventor, farmer and musician. Sir Goldsworthy Gurney built the world’s first steam vehicle to travel a long distance at a steady speed, and also invented new kinds of light and heating. One particular light became known as his Bude Light, which he used to light the whole castle using a series of prisms and lenses running down the hallways.
In front of the Castle is the Bude Light sculpture, erected in 2000 to commemorate the millennium and Sir Goldsworthy Gurney’s achievements. A coloured concrete cone, it has fibre optic star patterns incorporated into it and a light at the top, designed by local artists Carole Vincent and Anthony Fanshawe.
The Castle Heritage Centre has regular art exhibitions from other local creatives, often with pieces available to buy. Take a break from discovering and head to Café Limelight which overlooks Bude’s river/canal.
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