Accessibility Guide

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno is situated in the village of Porthcurno in west Cornwall. It tells the story of the development of the electric and wireless telegraph and Porthcurno’s place at its centre. The museum is mainly sited in Eastern House, the home of the old telegraph station. There are further exhibitions spaces in the adjacent WW2 tunnels, built into the cliffs in 1941.

The museum’s archive and research facilities are housed in the Wilshaw Building, approximately 100 metres to the south of Eastern House.  The grounds around Eastern House and the Wilshaw Building are open to the public and incorporate a sculpture garden and Cable Trail.

Pre-arrival

We are happy to take enquiries by telephone, post or email:

Telephone: 01736 810966

Email: info@telegraphmuseum.org

Post: Telegraph Museum Porthcurno, Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall TR19 6JX

The museum is accessible by car and by public transport, and please visit our getting here page for more details.

Arrival and car parking

For visitors arriving by car there is a single “Blue Badge” parking space immediately outside the entrance to Eastern House. This is signposted from the main road through the village at the entrance to Old Cable Lane. There are three additional blue badge spaces on Old Cable Lane around 50 metres to the north of the entrance to Eastern House.

Parking for non-blue badge holders is in the main museum car park, 50 metres further into the village. This is located between Eastern House and the Wilshaw Building.

Click here for car parking prices.

There is a tarmac ramp from this car park to the entrance to Eastern House. This ramp becomes moderately steep just below the entrance.

There is level access from the main car park to the Wilshaw building.

The bus stop in Porthcurno is adjacent to the main museum car park.

Eastern House (Housing admissions area, exhibitions spaces, demonstration area, museum shop and cafe)

Main entrance, reception area and shop

There is level access to the reception area and shop.

A hearing loop has been fitted at the admissions desk and there is a dropped counter providing low-level access is required.

Gallery spaces

The gallery spaces in Eastern House are on the first floor. There are two staircases and two lifts to access the first floor from the reception area.

The flooring throughout Eastern House is a mix of carpet, wood and vinyl. Seating is provided in the exhibition area. Lighting is mainly by spotlights. Lighting in some of the exhibition cases is slightly lower in order to protect artefacts.

The galleries include a variety of ways to access information including text panels and labels, listening posts, handling objects and dressing up clothes.

Demonstration area

The southern end of the first floor of Eastern House contains the demonstration area, free talks and demos are delivered regularly throughout the day. There is a film show running on repeat when the demonstrations are not taking place, together with a large number of artefacts on display around the edge of the space.

The demonstration area is carpeted with bench seating. There are 12 benches with generous spacing around them. One of the benches has a back and is upholstered.

There is an induction loop in the demonstration area and talks are delivered via microphone linked to an amplification system.

The lighting in demonstration area is lower than in the rest of the exhibition space due to the delicate nature of the particular objects on display.

Cafe

The cafe is on the ground floor of Eastern House, adjacent to the reception area. The till and server area has a dropped counter providing low-level accessibility.

There is wooden flooring throughout the cafe and seating for up to 40 people. Food and drinks are brought to the tables by staff.

There is an additional seating outside, accessed via four steps and a short gravelled area.

Click here for more information about the museum cafe and a sample menu.

Toilets

There is a men’s toilet, a women’s toilet and a unisex accessible toilet on the ground floor, adjacent to the main reception area. There are baby-changing facilities in both the men’s and women’s toilets.

WW2 Tunnels (housing exhibitions spaces)

The approach to the tunnels is up a very gentle ramp and approximately 1.5 metres of metal grid flooring. Immediately on entering the tunnels there is a short gentle downwards ramp.

Exhibitions spaces

The exhibitions spaces in the tunnels are all on one level, with vinyl flooring throughout. There are 4 films showing continuously at points around the tunnels. One of these films has a soundtrack with subtitles, one has a soundtrack but no subtitles and the other two have no soundtrack.

Toilets

There are three unisex toilets in the tunnels, one of which has been accessible adapted.

“Escape Stairs”

The Escape Stairs are a feature of the tunnels, built at the time of their construction to enable safe evacuation in the event of an attack. They now form a part of the visitor experience, leading to a viewing platform overlooking the site.

There are 120 steps up a steep tunnel cut through the bedrock. Headroom is slightly restricted in places. Hard hats are available in both adult and child sizes, and must be worn. There is a handrail for all but 3 meters or the climb.

At the top of the escape stairs there is a viewing platform constructed from metal grid flooring.

For visitors unable to climb the escape stairs there is a screen at the bottom showing a live feed from four camera – three on the stairs and one on the viewing platform.

 

Wilshaw Building (Housing the Archive, Search Room and Clore Learning Space)

The Wilshaw building contains the Clore Learning Space (the museum’s education facility) and the archive search room. The building is not generally open to the public, but can be booked for particular activities. It is accessed via a level walkway from the main car park.

Search Room

The Search Room is on the ground floor and contains a number of desks and working surfaces. It is well lit and the floor is carpeted throughout.

Food and drink are prohibited from the Search Room.

Clore Learning Space

The Clore Learning Space is on the ground floor and contains a number of desks tables and hard chairs. There is a built in projector and a sound system, incorporating an induction loop.

It is well lit (blinds can be lowered if required) and the floor is wooden throughout.

Toilets

There are three unisex toilets in the tunnels, one of which has been accessible adapted.

 

Grounds and outdoor spaces

The gardens and grounds are primarily between Eastern House and the Wilshaw Building, and around the main museum car park.

The grounds house a number of sculptures as well as some larger artefacts such as grapnels and cable repeaters. There is a cable trail – a short path alongside a run of miniature telegraph poles – next to the Wilshaw Building.

The main, tarmac path between the buildings and the car park passes through the gardens and provides access to some of the sculptures. However, to fully explore the grounds it is necessary to cross lawned areas, and there are some narrow wooden steps which can become slippery when wet.

The cable trail can become muddy in wet weather.

Telegraph Museum