James Clerk Maxwell Foundation

Explore the home of world-renowned theoretical physicist James Clerk Maxwell

What could you invent? 

Visit the birthplace of James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), Scotland's great theoretical physicist, world-renowned and revered, who discovered the theory of electromagnetism, and made major contributions in mathematics, astronomy and engineering. Modern technology - electricity, electronics, radio, television, even mobile phones - are based on his work.

In his short life he also:

  • produced a theory of the constitution of the rings of Saturn, confirmed by modern space telescopes
  • projected the first colour photograph
  • determined how to calculate stresses in bridges
  • explained mathematically the behaviour of gas molecules

As a child, he had a delightful curiosity, asking lots of questions, and making his own models to help him understand the world. He also enjoyed writing poetry, especially humorous verses to send to his friends and family.

The James Clerk Maxwell Foundation were able to purchase this building in 1993, and have maintained it since. Artefacts, memorabilia and posters relating to Maxwell's own life and work, as well as that of members of his family and contemporaries, are on display inside, and explanatory tours are on offer. Rooms on view are on the ground and first floors. These rooms have been restored as far as possible to reflect the Georgian era, with notable features such as Ionic pillars in hall, curved doorways and an oval first floor drawing-room.

Booking details: 

No advanced booking required


24th and 24th September 

Opening times:



14 India Street




  • External steps to the front door restrict accessibility.
  • Visitors please wear face masks