The National Museum of Bermuda was previously Bermuda Maritime Museum situated in Sandys’ dockyard. The inception of the museum began in 1974 and after that still continues to exhibitions and various programs to educate students and tourists raising it to the fame of National Museum of Bermuda. It was only in December 2009 that the giant fortress, The Keep that used the Museum was transferred to the Casemates Barracks by the government for expanding and improvising the existing one.
Sections to Visit in the National Museum
- Commissioner’s House – This house built in the Georgian architecture is regarded as the oldest cast iron residence in the world which was constructed in 1820. The house itself exhibits a great number of precious collections that gives a brief account of slavery that once existed in the island along with rare coins over the generations.
- Ordnance House (Queen’s Exhibition Hall) – Also popularised as the Queen’s Exhibition Hall, it was built in 1850 in the lower grounds of the then fortress. It got its name due to Queen Elizabeth II inaugurating it in 1975. The hall exhibits the history of Bermuda’s civilization displayed through various artefacts and recoveries made from the shipwrecks in the Bermuda’s shores.
- Shifting House – It initially used to serve as the store house for keeping gunpowder, muskets etc. At present, it is home to various artefacts collected from various shipwrecks like Sea Venture.
- Forster Cooper Hall – It was also used to serve as an Ordinance room for the storage of gun powder. This department displays the belongings that narrate the tale of Royal Naval Dockyard’s journey over years. The name of the Hall has been named after Forster Cooper, who played a major role in collecting the artefacts of the museum.
- The Boat Loft – This department holds the responsibility of preserving Fitted Dinghies containing large sails, a number of yachts and boats. It also accommodates the great storehouse clock along with other objects portraying Bermuda’s maritime traditions of fishing and turtling.
- The Dainty – The Ocean Racer on display is a gorgeous yacht aged more than 100 years. It is said that this great yacht won a lot many races during its time.
- The Dolphin Quest – This pond is now responsible from Dolphins exhibition, the pond being situated inside the museum add also serves as training centre for these Dolphins. Though own can walk around enjoying this view, in case of interacting with the dolphins one needs to pay extra charges.
Journey of Maritime Museum to National Museum of Bermuda
The museum authorities went on to restore the Commissioner’s House and various other significant buildings inside the Keep fort by the process of painstaking. The Museum was also expanded in area and its exhibition of artists along with varied programs, research and publications going on parallel. Some of the changes that have been brought to the earlier setting of the Museum are add follow:
- Exhibition of artefacts such as local crafts, furniture, commodities etc.
- A glimpse of Bermuda’s authentic architectural designs.
- A number of research, publication as well as exhibitions are conducted in the Museum on Bermuda’s Archaeological Sites.
- Display of the isle’s varied types of transportation history including trains, carriages, mopeds etc.
- A display of Bermuda’s rich art and traditions fused in music, entertainment, dance since performances that exhibits Gombey costumes along with musical instruments and many more.
- The history of Bermuda’s agricultural sector protruded through equipment used and other resources discovered.
- It also gives a glance of island’s postal history with a vast collection of postal covers and national stamps.
- When it comes to sports and recreation, the galleries aren’t pledged to hold back with displays of cricket, soccer and many other spots history along with the achievements of their respective players.
- It also holds the memories of the period of British colonization with rare private possessions of that period.
- From the history of Bermuda’s schooling facilities to religious institutions, you will find answers to all your doubts and excitements here.
- The Museum also preserves a deep study into the Royal Naval Dockyard’s defence mechanism asks the role of the Keep in it along with the Ramparts and the Casemate barracks which once served as a prison.
- The Museum not only tells the tale of Bermuda’s people but also the Portuguese, Africans and many more origins who immigrated to this beautiful island and became an inevitable part of it.
- Most significantly, the Museum boosts the contribution of Bermuda to world’s heritage that includes sloops, rigs, and scientific discoveries of Bermuda. One might also learn about Cassava Pie, Bermuda’s onions and the most talked about mysteries of the world, the infamous Bermuda Triangle.
See also my recent post on Bermuda attractions as there is plenty to do and see on the island and not only this museum.
The National Museum of Bermuda is the one stop solution to the history of Bermuda’s life in every sphere. Apart from this, the soothing and peaceful environment and views are delight to all the senses combined.