This small museum is located on the ground floor of Par-la-Ville, the former home of Hamilton’s famous postmaster William Bennet Perot. It’s run by a team of knowledgeable volunteers, always keen to give visitors additional information about the items on display. Some, like Andrew Bermingham, are respected historians and published authors.
A much needed revamp was completed in 2008. It’s not a huge museum like the National Museum of Bermuda. Visiting here is much more like browsing an interesting antique shop. There are numerous displays covering various periods of Bermuda’s history and many of the remarkable people that have made significant contributions to the island’s cultural heritage.
Artefacts on display include 18th century cedar furniture, portraits of Perot and Sir George Somers, early Bermuda coins, antique maps, silverware, china, and glassware, and a fine antique carriage clock.
The building itself was completed by Perot’s father in 1814. The Perot Post Office was later built in the grounds, now Queen Elizabeth Park. Both the post office and park are well worth visiting while you’re in the area. Many of the trees still standing in the park were planted by Perot himself. Just outside the museum is a famous Indian rubber tree, planted by the postmaster in 1847.
The museum is open on weekdays between 10 am and 2 pm during the summer, with reduced hours in the winter months. Admission is free but donations towards operating costs are welcome. It’s situated on Queen Street in Hamilton, just across the road from Hamilton Ferry Terminal and a 5 minute walk from the bus station.
The Bermuda National Library is housed on the upper floor of the building. It boasts an impressive collection of local books and publications, plus copies of newspapers dating back to 1784. It’s also one of just a handful of places on the island offering free internet access. WiFi plus a small number of terminals are available.