What is the Keep?
The Keep, the site of Bermuda Maritime Museum, was the citadel or
great fortress of the Dockyard defences. It is a six-acre fort,
with seven irregular bastions, named ‘A’ to ‘G’,
designed to protect the Dockyard from enemy attack. The lower grounds
of the Keep contain large Sea Service stores, which in 1857 comprised
two bombproof magazines for 6,540 barrels of powder, a shell store,
a filling room and a shifting house. Lighters, or small boats, were
dispatched from the Keep Pond to serve the fleet at anchor in Grassy
Bay. Lighters would provide ships with munitions from the Keep stores,
or safely remove munitions from ships under repair in the Dockyard.
How is the Museum funded?
The Museum is a non-governmental, not-for-profit charity (Bermuda Charity No. 136), meaning
the institution depends on private and corporate donations, membership
dues, admissions, and events rentals.
How many visitors does the Museum receive?
There are approximately 50,000 visitors to the Museum annually,
making it Bermuda’s most visited Museum attraction.
How many objects are in the Museum’s collections?
There are more than 30,000 objects in the Museum’s diverse
collections, including photographs, documents, plans, books, oral
testimonies, archaeological specimens, boats, ship models, and a
wide range of maritime artifacts.
Where do the Museum’s collections come from?
The Museum’s impressive collections are mainly donations from
the public and institutions, while some come from archaeological
How long have the dolphins been at the Museum?
Dolphin Quest has operated out of the Keep with its dolphins resident
in the protected waters of the Keep Pond since September 1999, when
Hurricane Gert destroyed the Dolphin Quest habitat at the Fairmont
Southampton Princess Hotel.
Why are there sheep on the upper grounds of the Museum?
The sheep you’ll encounter are our trusty lawnmowers. They
trim all the grass and vegetation on the Upper Grounds year-round.
The flock is Katahdin sheep, a special breed that requires no shearing.
Local farmer Bascome of Westover Farm in Somerset manages the flock.
Please do not try to follow, touch, or feed the sheep as they are
extremely timid creatures and scare very easily!
Does the Museum manage the entire historic Royal Naval Dockyard site?
The Museum manages the Keep, while the West End Development Corporation manages the majority of the remainder of the Dockyard site.