The Malindi museum is unsure of the actual date that the building that it is housed in was constructed, but they think it was built towards the end of the 19th century as it is built in the typical style fashionable during this era, especially in the old towns of Lamu and Mombasa.
The building, known as the column house, is a charming, double storey structure, with a tiled roof, located a few metres from the Malindi jetty and fish market. The building has served many functions in the past; it has acted as a Native Civil hospital until 1952 and then as the Malindi Fisheries Office.
Until it was finally handed over to the National Museums of Kenya in 1999. In May 2004 the building opened its doors to the general public as Malindi Museum.
The building has four entrances. Two on the east facade are reached through a colonnade of 5 rounded pillars. One entrance has an Indian Gujerati 9 hand fitted to it, the other with a Swahili carved door. The third entrance is on the northern facade up a masonry stairway, it has a small trap door of Indian type serving both the ground and first floor of the building.
The fourth entrance, exclusively for the first floor, is on the southern facade is reached via an external wooden staircase. The door to this entrance is simple but opens onto a balcony. Inside on the first floor, there are examples of beautifully carved Bajuni doors. The museum currently houses temporary exhibitions.
For an interesting way to spend a half day, and gain a better understanding of the history of Malindi you can visit the following places; which are close to each other: Vasco da Gama pillar, Portuguese Chapel and the Malindi Museum (also known as the Column House). You can use the same ticket purchased for entrance to the Museum to enter all three places.