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What’s On

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Our new Long Bridge Wing includes a high quality temporary exhibitions gallery, community gallery and Learning Room.  This means we can borrow important objects from national and regional museums.

We aim to borrow significant objects each year, combining them with items from our own collections to create exhibitions about North Devon’s people and places, demonstrating our part in our country’s cultural life.  This year we are focusing on dyer and weaver Ethel Mairet.

Recent exhibitions have included An Eye For Life: James Ravilious and paintings by Barnstaple’s only Royal Academician F. R. Lee, including works borrowed from the V&A Museum, Tate and Royal Academy.

Our permanent exhibition galleries display a cross section of the 80,000 objects in the collections, from the formation of the North Devon’s rocks to 20th Century life.

Highlights include the regimental collection of the Royal Devon Yeomanry, North Devon Art Pottery and the arts and crafts furniture of Shapland and Petter.

Temporary Exhibitions

Politics and Protest20240323

24-02-2024  -  23-03-2024

An exhibition of documents and images looking at the development of the political landscape of North Devon and Torridge from the 1700s to the 2000s.

Documentary Photography Open 2024 – Speaking Out: Changing Times20240413

10-02-2024  -  13-04-2024

The Museum's annual photography competition is now open, with the theme for this year being 'Speaking Out: Changing Times'.


Darkness & Light: A talk and demonstration with Stephen Raff


Costs: FREE

Stephen Raff will be talking about his work and interest in traditional photographic and printing processes, and will be demonstrating his process in two separate…

The Art of Protesting Creatively


Costs: FREE

Pressure groups usually have more enthusiasm and imagination than money, so creativity is at a premium. This event will look at how various groups have…

The Granite Kingdom – Talk by Tim Hannigan


Costs: FREE

Join us for a talk by Tim Hannigan about The Granite Kingdom. In this illustrated talk, Tim shares stories from his journey and explores often…

Permanent Displays

North Devon Art Pottery

Permanent Display

The museum holds one of the countries finest collections of North Devon Pottery from the medieval period to present day.

North Devon in the 20th Century

Permanent Display

The 20th Century gallery features local iconic objects and people’s personal experiences living in North Devon.

Shapland and Petter

Permanent Display

Barnstaple's largest employer of the 20th century, the S&P gallery includes some of their finest Arts and Crafts furniture.

Military Rooms

Permanent Display

Commemorating the Royal Devon Yeomanry and Devonshire Regiment's roles in both World Wars.

Railway Room

Permanent Display

Featuring the award winning 'Somweir Junction' model railway, the room tells the history of local scenic railways.

North Devon Biosphere

Permanent Display

The gallery celebrates the 55 square mile UNESCO Biosphere Reserve including Braunton Burrows and Lundy Island.

Pre-History Rocks

Permanent Display

Significant geology and mineral collections feature among the oldest inhabitant of the town, Barney the Elephant.

Welcome Hall

Permanent Display

The Welcome Hall features paintings of local scenes and notables of the past with some of the best of Brannam's pottery.

Athenaeum Library

Permanent Display

The Athenaeum Library holds original objects and publications from the museum's earliest collections.

Google Arts & Culture

Explore online exhibitions, highlighted collections and object focused stories on our Google partner page.

Keith Abraham Community Gallery

The community gallery provides groups and organisations the opportunity to showcase a project, celebrate local heritage or commemorate an anniversary.

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