Much of the history of the Falkland Islands revolved around the lives and lifestyles of the rural community – the farmers and workers who lived in the Camp.
"Camp" is the name given to all areas outside of Stanley - just by driving out of the town one is going into Camp, but it specifically relates to the farming settlements established on East and West Falklands and on the smaller outlying islands.
Sheep farming is historically the main source of income for Campers. Although sheep are believed to have been placed on the Islands in the 1700s by the early French settlers, it was not until the 1840s and 1850s that serious efforts were made to farm sheep commercially.
Living in Camp would have been very hard work where there would always be something to do from fencing, gardening and keeping the settlement houses maintained, then gathering and shearing the sheep once a year. A settlement manager would traditionally oversee a large workforce of men and would keep the farm running financially, while wives stayed at home cooking, cleaning and looking after the children.
In the 1980s a move began to subdivide the large farms, many of which had previously been held by overseas landlords. As these farms were broken up many of the local workers found themselves in a position where they could buy their own farms and work for themselves. Now women are likely to do just as much farm work as their husbands, as couples strive to make a success of their family business.
However, the Camp population has dropped dramatically since the 1980s - partly because of subdivision, partly because modern technology means that the large workforces are not required and also as a result of the drop in wool prices since that time.
Our Camp display is severely limited by space, but does give a taste of what life used to be like on these farms. Items range from a rather evil-looking portable dentist's chair, to hand-made horse gear and shearing equipment.
We also hold many photos showing every-day life and work in Camp and what would have been required to keep a farm running.
High Season (November to End of March)Monday to Friday: 9.30am - 4.00pmWeekends: 2.00pm - 4.00pmHours may be extended on days when cruise ships are visiting Stanley
Off Season (April to end of October)Monday to Friday: 9.30am-12.00 noon and 1.30pm - 4.00pmWeekends: 2.00pm - 4.00pm
To promote awareness and appreciation of the history and heritage of the Falkland Islands and to protect and preserve this history for future generations.