Rotunda Museum

Scarborough, United Kingdom

Rotunda Museum


The Rotunda Museum is one of the oldest purpose-built museums still in use in the United Kingdom. The curved grade II* listed building was constructed in 1829 as one of the country's first purpose-built museums. Situated in the English coastal resort of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, it houses one of the foremost collections of Jurassic geology on the Yorkshire Coast.

The Rotunda Museum, described as the finest surviving purpose-built museum of its age in the country, was built in 1829 by Richard Hey Sharp of York, to a design suggested by William Smith, the "Father of English Geology". Smith's pioneering work established that geological strata could be identified and correlated using the fossils they contain. Smith came to Scarborough after his release from debtors' prison. The dramatic Jurassic coastline of Yorkshire offered him an area of geological richness.

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