Rotunda Museum

About Rotunda Museum – Museum of Coastal Heritage and Geology

Opened in 1829, the Rotunda Museum is one of the world’s first purpose-built museums and was built to a design suggested by William Smith. The interior, with its fascinating Georgian gallery, features a frieze showing the geology of the local coastline designed by Smith’s nephew, John Phillips.

The original cases tell the history of the museum and they explore the stories of the nineteenth century Scarborough Philosophical Society which brought the collections together.

Rotunda Museum © Tony Batholomew

See remarkable 11,000-year-old artefacts from our Star Carr Collection and come face to face with the wonderful creatures which once called Yorkshire home in the Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast gallery.

We are a small site. Visitors typically spend up to 1 hour in the museum but some stay for longer.

Visit Rotunda Museum – Museum of Coastal Heritage and Geology


Accessible public toilet

With transfer space to the side, handrails and emergency call system.

Accessible interpretation

Captions for some exhibits and temporary exhibitions.
Large print.
Audio descriptions for some exhibits and temporary exhibitions.

For more information on accessibility, please go to


Rotunda Museum provides the following facilities


Street parking nearby.

Children's trails/adventure playground

Family activities and trails in the Gallery.

Toilets and baby changing facilities

Located on the ground floor.

Dogs at Rotunda Museum

Well behaved dogs welcome. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

Getting here

Contact us

Rotunda Museum, Vernon Road Scarborough YO11 2PS
Tel 01723 353665
Email Rotunda Museum


The Rotunda Museum is a stone building with a cylindrical tower located on Valley Road, looking out to Scarborough South Bay

Public transport

The nearest bus stop is opposite the entrance, across the road on Valley Road.
East Yorkshire Buses provide bus travel services around Scarborough borough.
Yorkshire Coastliner bus service provides travel links from Leeds, Whitby and Bridlington.
Arriva provide bus travel into Scarborough from Middlesbrough, Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay.
Scarborough railway station is a 15 minute walk away

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