The National Museum site isn’t extensive, yet it’s convenient to access and is worth a quick visit. Funds are being raised to construct a modern museum.
4 star rating for National Museum and Heritage Site by Visit Turks and Caicos Islands
The grounds and outdoor exhibits at the National Museum on Providenciales.
The National Museum site on Providenciales hosts a small collection of outdoor historical exhibits. The current site and exhibits are a placeholder for a modern museum building, which funds are currently being raised for.
This heritage site on Providenciales is a counterpart to the
Turks and Caicos National Museum in
Cockburn Town on the island Grand Turk, which houses important exhibits on the Molasses Reef Wreck, which is the oldest excavated European shipwreck in the Americas, and on the Taino people, the first known inhabitants of the islands.
When the Providenciales museum branch is completed, the origin of exhibits and artefacts may determine which museum they are displayed in. As our country’s name suggests, our archipelago is made up of
two island groups: the Turks Islands and the Caicos Islands.
Subjects and items related to the Caicos Islands and Tainos, such as the Molasses Reef Wreck, may be relocated to Providenciales, and exhibits tied to the Turks Islands, such those on the U.S. Space Race and the HMS Endymion wreck, would be shown in Grand Turk.
The Providenciales Museum would also allow space for exhibits on the
Loyalist Caicos plantations, the historic Trouvadore slave ship wreck, the cave guano mining days, the sisal plantings, and the nation’s late 1900s foray into luxury tourism.
The interior of the replica home at the Providenciales National Museum.
Tour admission is $10.
There is currently no charge for visiting the museum ground. Donations towards the future museum are greatly appreciated.
The National Museum is open for tours Monday to Friday, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
The museum grounds are located in the Village at Grace Bay on the western side of the
Grace Bay region.
Look for the large roundabout near
The Sands resort, and take the exit with the arched entry. Once through, continue straight (through the second roundabout) for 1400 feet (420m) to the museum and heritage site.
The centrepiece of the museum site is a reproduction of a late 1800s to early 1900s home, an example of a common residence at the time. This building is surrounded by several varieties of indigenous plants and trees that played an important role in local living, including species used for medicinal purposes, and hardwoods that were used in boat construction.
This structure was assembled from locally-quarried cut limestone and plastered with stucco to prevent the decay of the soft rock, as was the most common for nearly all houses, warehouses and cisterns.
The outer roof also follows the traditional practice, with a thatch palm (Coccothrinax inaguensis) frond covering.
Other fascinating artefacts include centuries-old ship’s anchors and a 1700s cannon.
The Caicos Sloop
Another interesting feature is on the
Caicos Sloop, a small locally-built vessel that served as the mainstay of trade, transport and fishing in the Turks and Caicos for centuries.
Onsite is the hull of a small Caicos Sloop, and the half-scale framework model of another. The story of how these sailboats were made by hand is fascinating in itself.
Map & Location
Located in Grace Bay
Grace Bay is located in central Providenciales and is home to the majority of tourism development in the Turks and Caicos. The world famous Grace Bay Beach front the northern edge of this area, and many resorts, shops, and restaurants are found here. More about Grace Bay →