No trip to the Falklands can be complete without a visit to The Historic Dockyard Museum. Displayed in beautiful historic buildings, with spectacular views of the harbour and mountains, the newly-opened Historic Dockyard complex will be the highlight of your time in Stanley – and so much more than you expect.
In 2014 the Falklands museum moved from Britannia House to the Dockyard – the site which includes some of the oldest buildings in Stanley, constructed at the founding of the town in the mid-1840s. With five large galleries, a cluster of themed outbuildings, and a fantastic little coffee and chocolate shop, the Historic Dockyard complex truly has something for everyone. The exhibitions will give you an incredible insight into the Falklands story – whether you want to read in depth or just catch a flavour of the Falklands – and it is all within a leisurely 5-10 minute walk from the Jetty Visitor’s Centre.
"Essence of the Falklands” – In partnership with Seafish Falklands Ltd. Learn about the people and the traditions of our Islands – the pioneer families and the building of our small nation. Social history covering everything from the farming community to music and entertainment.
"Natural Beauty” – In partnership with Fortuna Ltd. The wildlife, flora and geology of the Falklands – featuring an amazing diorama which allows you to get up close and personal with penguins, black-browed albatross and a range of small birds.
"The Isles of the Sea” – In partnership with Consolidated Fisheries Ltd. Everything in the Falklands has always been closely linked with the sea – this gallery illustrates our rich and varied maritime heritage, from the days of sail to modern-day fishing.
"1982 – In Our Own Words” The Argentine invasion of the Falklands in 1982 changed everything for Islanders. This modern audio-visual exhibition tells the harrowing story of the war from the point of view of young locals who experienced it first-hand.
"Gateway to Antarctica” – In partnership with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. The centrepiece of this gallery is a genuine Antarctic refuge, relocated from the Antarctic Peninsula in the 1990s. The Heroic Age and the continuing work in the region is explained, along with the close relationship between the Falklands and the frozen south.
The R/T & Telephone Exchange – In partnership with Beauchene Fishing Company Ltd. This Listed Building was moved onto the Dockyard site to help tell the story of telecommunications in the Falklands through the 20th century. The Radio/Telephone system was the only link the far-lying farm settlements had with Stanley until the modern telephone system was introduced in the 1990s and so was a vital part of Island-life. The manually operated Telephone Exchange became obsolete only a little earlier. The building also houses a wide range of radio equipment used in the Islands.
The Smithy & Gearshed. Many of the fittings in the Blacksmith’s Shop were installed at the time of construction in the 1840s, although a fascinating array of tools and equipment has been added. Horse-lovers will delight in the Gearshed which displays a vast array of traditional Falkland Island horsegear, much of it hand-made locally.
The Printing Office – In partnership with S&J Robertson Ltd. Although still a work in progress, The Printing Office will be greatly enjoyed by visitors with an interest in letterpress printing. The vintage machinery was used by the Government Printers until the late 1990s and many original examples of their work remains.
Cartmell Cottage on Pioneer Row is one of the original colonists’ cottages from 1849, brought in kit form from Britain for the military pensioners who came to settle in the islands. It is now a recreated period house showing life as it was in the 1850s, 1940s and 1970s. Outside are a hen-house, toilet, workshop and vegetable garden.
Visitors with more time on their hands may also be interested in visiting the Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Situated at the most easterly point of the Falklands, it is 7 miles east of Stanley and makes an excellent half or whole day walk; it can also be reached by vehicle along a, sometimes muddy, track. The key to the lighthouse is available from the museum for a small charge, enabling visitors to climb the spiral stairs for great views of the surroundings.
Weekdays 9.30 am – 12.00 noon and 1.30 – 4.00 pm
Weekend 2.00 – 4.00 pm
*Weekdays 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
*Weekend 2.00 – 4.00 pm
*The Museum is open longer on days when a cruise ship is visiting.
Read more about the Stanley museum on http://www.falklands-museum.com/
Smaller museums are located in some Camp settlements. North Arm has a fascinating museum of agriculture and Islands life. San Carlos museum has items from the 1982 war alongside an interesting display of the work carried out by Falklands Conservation. Port Howard museum also has an excellent collection of 1982 artefacts. Ask in the settlements for details of how to access these museums.