Bringing The Keep Back To Life: Mary Godwin, Museum Director

Front entrance to Cornwall's Regimental Museum and the War Memorial

Bringing The Keep Back To Life, by Mary Godwin, Museum Director

We have recently commissioned Saltash-based architect Amanda LePage to help develop a master-plan for the future of our historic museum building.

The Keep looks like a French Chateau and was once at the heart of army life in Bodmin, a lively garrison town. It was built in the 1850s and became the home of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light lnfantry when the regiment was formed in 1881. It was here that recruits assembled and trained and where injured soldiers returned after discharge from hospital before returning to full duty. It was also where the regimental stores, such as uniforms and weapons, were kept. It’s likely that a member of every Cornish family has walked through its gates since the start of the First World War. What a great place for a museum!

At the moment the building is funded by the Ministry of Defence but this will change in future, so we’re starting to plan for the big changes that we hope will transform it for the long-term. With our architect’s expert guidance, over the next 6 months we’ll be exploring how the building could be transformed into an atmospheric, accessible visitor attraction and museum, bringing all its rich history to life whilst also providing high-quality visitor facilities and making it affordable to run and maintain. We want to provide our future visitors with a memorable living history experience where they can discover our amazing collections and the stories of soldiers’ lives over the past 300 years. It’s going to be a great challenge but it’s an exciting one and we’ll keep you posted on the outcomes of our master-planning work.