Visit Cornwall Record Office

Please note: Cornwall Record Office will close permanently on September 1st 2018. It will reopen as Kresen Kernow in 2019. Further information is available on our Kresen Kernow project page. Please contact us for more information. 
Unfortunately personal visits to view the collections will not be possible during this time. The following services will still operate
     - enquiries
     - reprographics
These will be dependent on collection availability.

Everyone is welcome to visit the Record Office to look at the documents in our care (although young children may get bored!). There is no charge to use the service, but please do make an appointment in advance. 

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Please note: Cornwall Record Office will close permanently on September 1st 2018. It will reopen at Kresen Kernow in 2019. 

Until then, we are open: 

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday  9am-4:30pm
  • For Saturday opening please check the calendars below

We are closed to the public on Mondays and our monthly Collections Weeks.

Our collections weeks are the first full calendar week of each month. Please use the link below to see the full calendar for our 2018 opening hours.

If you have any enquires during our Collections Weeks please email For bookings please telephone 01872 323127.

To ensure we have availability in the searchroom, we strongly recommend you book an appointment in advance. Appointments can be for a morning, afternoon or all-day session. The morning session runs from 9am-1pm and the afternoon session from 1pm-4.30pm. To save time on the day you are also able to pre-order the documents you would like to look at.  For further details or to make an appointment please contact the Record Office using the contact details on this page. If possible please allow up to two weeks' notice (especially in the summer months) to avoid disappointment.

You can order your documents in advance by email, letter or telephone. Please contact the Record Office using the contact details on this page. You will need to provide us with the full reference numbers for the documents you would like to use. You can use our online catalogues to find the references.  You can order up to five items but please give at least two working days' notice so that we have time to get the items ready for you.

In some instances we may consider producing more items but this will be at the Duty Archivist’s discretion. We would require at least five working days' notice.

Please tell us if you need to cancel your visit so that your documents can be returned to the strongrooms.

You can order original documents from the strongrooms throughout the day during your visit.  The first production run in the morning leaves at 9:15, and takes place every half an hour until 12.15.  The afternoon productions begin at 13:30 and take place every half an hour until 15.30.  You can order three items at a time and we will hand out the documents one at a time.

The documents usually arrive within 30 minutes. However, when the searchroom is busy we might not be able to produce your documents as quickly as we would like. We would ask you to be patient in these circumstances. We will keep you informed of any problems or delays with your requests throughout your visit.

Situated in Truro, Cornwall Record Office lies in the grounds of the Old County Hall site. It is clearly marked on the site by signs stating 'Cornwall Record Office' and 'County Records'.

The building is on one level for easy access. Toilets and a seating area are available in the foyer. There are no refreshments available at the Record Office, but there is a supermarket and café near by.

Wheelchair access tables are available in the searchroom. Please contact us before your visit to ensure availability.

We require everyone using the Record Office to have a valid reader's (CARN) ticket. If you do not have a CARN ticket from another record office we will issue a ticket to you. You will need to bring some identification (including your name, address and signature) for this. We will ask you to sign the visitors' register - signing in means that you agree to abide by the searchroom Conditions of Access.

Visitors will also need pencils, as pens are not permitted in the searchroom.

You may bring the following items into the searchroom with you:

  • laptop computers
  • transparent document folders or plastic wallets
  • notebooks
  • loose papers
  • glasses
  • cameras
  • keys
  • pencils

Please leave everything else (including bags, folders and pencil cases) in the lockers in the foyer. You will need a £1 coin to operate the locker, which is refunded when you have finished using it.

Unless you are wearing your coat, please hang it on the coat hooks provided, or place it in your locker. 

Please note, there is no food or drink (including sweets and chewing gum) permitted within the searchroom.

For the benefit of other users, please observe a quiet working atmosphere. Mobile phones should be switched off or in silent mode.

It is possible to take your own photographs of original documents, rather than use our document copy service. You will need to complete a photography form and copyright declaration and pay the appropriate charge. Forms are available in the searchroom. The current charges are £5 per day, £15 per week or £100 per year and these also apply for the use of mobile phone cameras.

Please note that the size of some maps, plans and drawings can make it difficult to photograph the entire document in one image. You can use a tripod to maximise the quality or coverage of the image, but we do not permit standing on chairs or placing items on the floor. To minimise disruption to other searchroom users, the use of flash is not permitted.