The Poly’s roots are in artistic and technological innovation and local industry and it is based in an iconic listed building in the heart of the community. It is the proud guardian of locally, nationally and internationally significant collections of heritage archives and the works of Henry Scott Tuke.
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society has been encouraging innovation and culture for over 175 years. The original Society was founded by two daughters of the Falmouth based Fox family in 1833. It drew together people who were keen to see development and economic growth in Cornwall through eliciting ‘the inventive powers of the young through advancement of the useful arts’. The Society received Royal Patronage from King William IV in 1835, the year in which its Centre now known as the ‘Poly’ at 24 Church Street was built.
As well as putting on regular film screenings, comedy, theatre, and other live events, The Poly is also home to the Poly Guild - our contemporary design and craft shop, located on the Ground Floor. The Guild stocks a range of beautifully made work from artists and craftspeople who live locally or who have studied at Falmouth University, University College of Falmouth or Falmouth School of Art.