The Folk and Costume Museum is a flagship visitor attraction housed within a cluster of meticulously renovated traditional buildings set within Saumarez Park, less than 15 minute drive from the town centre of St Peter Port. Saumarez Park is the largest public park on the island of Guernsey. The park, one of the island's main social venues, is located in the Parish of Castel, about 4 kilometres from the centre of Saint Peter Port. It contains various facilities, including the National Trust of Guernsey's Folk & Costume Museum, a cafe, a large children's playground, large open grass lawns and a duck pond. A nature trail links the park with nearby Cobo Bay on the north shore of the island.
In 1869, Baron James Saumarez (1843–1937), grandson of Admiral James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez, who had acquired the property through his marriage in 1788 with Martha Le Marchant, exercised his droit de retraite (right of redemption) to buy Saumarez Park and the nearby Le Guet estate, after his father had put the property up for sale. A diplomat who travelled widely in his career, he created a set of exotic gardens, which included a bamboo walk, a Japanese garden, a camelia lawn, a rose garden and a walled garden. After his death Saumarez Park was acquired by the States of Guernsey. The park is open all year round from dawn until dusk. Entry is free of charge, except when certain events are held when there are charges for parking and entry. The large manor house, Saumarez Park Manor, is today a residential care and nursing home.
The visitor to the museum can learn about the history of Guernsey’s people over the past 250 years. Displays tell the story of daily life for those at home, at school or working in one of the local industries that dominated much of life on Guernsey until the late 20th century. Following from a traditional Guernsey farmhouse kitchen through to the 20th century growing industry the museum offers insights into all aspects of what life was like in Guernsey’s past.
Costume lovers will enjoy special exhibitions from their nationally acclaimed costume collection cared for by their costume volunteers. Selections from any of the over 8,000 pieces held by the museum are on display throughout every season. Any visit would not be complete without a visit to the museum shop which offers a range of local and traditional gifts and sweets for all tastes.
For 2017, the museum will be celebrating with a focus on tourism to and from the island alongside a study of Victorian Childhood clothing as part of the museum’s introduction this year of family friendly activities and areas for younger children.
Victorian Childhood: a selection of childhood items from then 19th century from the islands children of the time. See a unique collection telling the story of the development of childhood clothing in both style and utility.
Sun, Sea and Sand: a look at the more colourful side of Guernsey during the summer, with a selection of items depicting the trends and fashions of tourists and locals, in the sun, sea and sand of Guernsey throughout the last 100 years.
Cruise Culture: islanders have partaken of luxury holidays on island and across the globe and so this year we exhibit a selection of dress items from the 1920’s and 30’s which were part of this culture. From drinks party around the hotel pool in Guernsey to cruising across the Atlantic come and see styles worn by Guernsey people when enjoying their holidays.
They try and offer as much wheelchair access as possible (Currently around 65%) and have installed a lift to increase access around the museum. There are a number of facilities in the surrounding park. Assistance dogs are welcome. Private tours (including School groups) can be accommodated by prior arrangement outside of opening times. There is a fully accessible Victorian walled kitchen garden nearby.
Location : Folk and Costume Museum, Saumarez Park, Guernsey GY5 7UJ
Transport: Poole Ferry then bus. Bus Routes : 41 and 42 stop nearby.
Opening Times : 15th March to 1st November, Daily, 10:00 to 17:00.
Tickets : Adults £5.00; Children/Students (6 - 18) £2.00; Concessions £4.00.
Tel: 01481 255384