Summer Events at Bodmin Keep

Summer Programme

Spy School!

Bodmin Keep is one of Cornwall’s most prestigious buildings, standing proudly at the gateway of town for over 160 years. In the First World War the Keep was an enlistment centre for new soldiers heading out to the trenches. During the Second Word War it was a training camp for American GI’s preparing for the Normandy Landings and in the 1950s, during the Cold War, the site was home to the Joint Services School for Linguists (JSSL) also known as The School for Spies!

And this summer they are taking visitors back to a time of espionage and code breaking with a programme of ‘Spy School’ activities for all the family on Tuesday-Thursdays!

Visitors can learn morse code, test their memory skills, make paper, create invisible ink and dress as a spy!

New Exhibition : Suited & Booted

There will also be an opportunity to get up close to some fascinating objects with ‘Curator’s Curiosities’ and see a new exhibition ‘Suited and Booted’, which explores a soldier’s uniform construction and production throughout the generations. 

There are different activities programmed each day, some are free as part of museum admission and some extra special spy themed activities are separate to a museum visit and have a small additional fee.

Bodmin Keep is a family friendly museum with a picnic area, a NEW ‘Coffee Stop’ and where the dog is welcome too!

Summer Events at Bodmin Keep

Spy School – Disguise for Cover

spy disguise
Disguise for Cover

Monday – Saturday in August until 3 September

10am – 4pm

A spy needs to blend in. Have fun dressing up in our hats, jackets, glasses and moustaches and try some other disguise techniques.

Free as part of museum admission

Spy School – Invisible Ink Formulas

Invisible Ink Formulas
Invisible Ink Formulas

2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 August

10am – 4pm

Learn how to make invisible inks using household items. Use these to write secret messages!

£2 or free with museum admission

Exhibition Tour

Suited and Booted Exhibition
Suited and Booted Exhibition

9, 16, 23 & 30 August

11:30am & 2pm

Explore our new exhibition, ‘Suited and Booted’ with its Curator, Fran in these family friendly tours.  Find out about the design and wear of military uniform through historic collections and interactives. Learn about the fabric, patterns, and design of British Army uniform from the construction of tailor-made frock coats to darning socks!

Free as part of museum admission

Spy School – Morse Code Sessions

Morse Code Workshops
Morse Code Workshops

3, 10, 17, 24 August

1 – 4pm

Morse code is a form of communication and Guglielmo Marconi sent its dots and dashes through the air from the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall to the other of the Atlantic in 1901. Drop in and meet Kelvin from Footsteps of Discovery who is a licensed CW operator. CW is a Morse transmission using a radio signal which uses a Carrier Wave, or Continuous Wave that is interrupted.  Find out how Kelvin has used CW for over 30 years to speak to people all over the world! Try some morse code challenges and find out which is faster; texting on a mobile phone or morse code.

Drop in and join in, £3 

Spy School – Mind Memory Challenge

Memory Challenge
Memory Challenge

3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 August

10am – 4pm

Is your memory good enough to be a spy? Try our mind memory challenge with our friendly team and find out!

 £2 or free with museum admission 

Meet a Collector

Meet a Collector
Meet a Collector

3, 17 & 31 August

10am – 4pm

Meet William and find out some of his collection highlights. Explore his collection of British Army uniform, kit and firearms. 

Free as part of museum admission

Curator’s Curiosities

Curators curiosities
Curator’s Curiosities

4, 11, 18, 25 August & 1 September

1 – 4pm

Get up close to some curious objects, which have been specially chosen by our Trainee Curator, Fran. Find out about their links to the Joint Services School for Linguists – a School for Spies in Bodmin during family-friendly chats!

Free as part of museum admission

Paper making 

Paper Making
Paper Making

4, 11, 18, 25 August

1 – 4pm

Make your own handmade piece of paper from recycled papers with our friendly team. Take it home to dry before writing a secret message on it using invisible inks!

£2 or free with museum admission

Problem Solving Challenges

Problem Solving Challenges
Problem Solving Challenges

10 August

1 – 4pm

Meet Active Plus, who use the skills, experience and expertise of injured and retired military veterans to deliver unique activities. Put your problem solving and communication skills to the test and discover how military experience can translate to real life problems in these family friendly activities.

Free as part of museum admission

Army Outreach

Army Outreach
Army Outreach

1, 15 & 22 August 

Explore a MAN Support Vehicle on display at the front of the museum. Find out about what these vehicles do with the friendly Army Outreach team. 

Free as part of museum admission