Rotunda Museum

This unique museum is over 180 years old, and was first built to display the ideas of William Smith, the father of English Geology.

Smith suggested the circular design to illustrate the then new science of geology. The museum now not only tells the story of William Smith and Scarborough in the early 1800s, but also explores the 180 million years of earth history that literally underpin the building.

The three gallery spaces are very different: the Rotunda Gallery explores the history of the museum; Shell Geology Now is all about the coastline today; and the final galley is for temporary exhibitions.

Permanent collections

The Rotunda's most famous resident, Gristhorpe Man, a unique Bronze Age skeleton, is on show in the Shell Geology Now Gallery.

He is thought to have been an ancient British Chief who lived around 500 BC. On show nearby are the bones of the Speeton Plesiosaur, which looks as though it is still swimming through the sea.

Visitor information

There is no café inside the Rotunda but refreshments can be purchased in the Gallery part of the venue or at The Gala next door.

Venue details

Rotunda Museum Vernon Road, Scarborough North Yorkshire YO12 2PS 01723 353665

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £3)

Tue – Sun, 10am – 5pm
Open Bank Holiday Mon

Member offers

10% off shop purchases