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 collection

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.

Rotunda Museum

Vernon Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2NN

01723 353665


Opening times

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

With a National Art Pass you get

Free entry
Standard entry price

Price displayed is based on a standard venue entry price. Prices may vary according to ticket type and entry day/time.

Price correct at time of publication.

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Valid until December 2022

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