In the early 1980s, an exhibition of local historical memorabilia and information was staged in the town’s Guildhall. Following much investigation and discussion, including a public meeting, the Town Council endorsed plans and provided the funds to set up a one room museum on the ground floor of the town’s Public Hall. Under the guidance of two local historians and former Town Mayors, Jack Haworth and Ron George, interesting documents, old posters, photographs and objects were labelled, organized and displayed. Items not on display were safely stored in cupboards beneath the display cases.
Liskeard & District museum was officially opened on 13th May 1985. Conducted visits for schools and other organizations were arranged throughout the subsequent years as were special exhibitions. Many local enthusiasts lent objects and helped put these together. As the collection increased in size the museum outgrew the space available.
In the late 1990s, the Town Council started looking for more spacious premises to enable the museum to continue its growth. The derelict, 19th century Henry Rice building in Pike Street, known locally as Foresters Hall, was purchased by the Town Council (augmented by Heritage Lottery Funding) and converted into the present Liskeard & District museum. The reception room and shop are shared with the town’s Tourist Information Centre.
On 2nd May 2002, the museum was unofficially opened by the Town Mayor and on 6th June 2002, it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall.
In the Museum, there is the John Allen room which currently holds Phil Chapman’s toy exhibition as well as a small exhibit for the science fiction television show Doctor Who. In the Henry Rice room located next to the Allen room, on display is the 1950’s/60’s living memories exhibition showing items from this time. In the John Rapson room, we have exhibits dedicated to Emily Hobhouse, John Rapson (a local photographer) as well as other items. Finally, the Daniel Gumb room holds items related to the historical mining of the surrounding areas.