Musical StonesArtefacts

The Heritage Service is home to a collection of more than 25,000 artefacts, housed at the three museums. Although many examples of the collection are on display, we also provide access to our reserve collections for personal or professional research. Visitors are welcome to come 'behind the scenes' to study this material free of charge, but an appointment must be made.

We are always looking to add in a structured way to the collections and welcome approaches in this regard. As with many museums we have limitations on the space that is available to store material, so we are unable to take some material which we are offered, but we would like the opportunity to say 'no thank you'.

Library and Archive Material

The Helena Thompson Museum and Keswick Museum house a substantial quantity of library and archive material together with a considerable quantity of maps, newspaper cuttings and dossiers. Access is by appointment only. There is no charge for educational or personal interest. If you are unable to visit in person, telephone or write to us and we may be able to undertake the research for you.


The Service has an extensive historic photographic collection that is largely held in the form of prints, and glass slides. We are currently working to make the collection more accessible, and approximately 25% of the collection is referenced in a public catalogue. Please contact the office for more details and the current price list for copies.


Enquiries on all collection related subjects should be directed in the first instance in the form of a letter or email to the individual Museum.


Museum Staff will endeavour to identify any mystery object you may have. Simply leave the object at the Museum and obtain a receipt. You will be contacted when the identification is complete. Staff do not give valuations but can advise members of the public how to obtain one, or how to investigate the possibility of having a work conserved, if appropriate.

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ