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.

The Partridge Family of Barnstaple: Ethel Mairet, Fred Partridge and the Arts and Craft Movement

14/05/2022  -  29/10/2022

The Partridge Family exhibition and events programme is our latest project featuring objects from National museums with a North Devon story.

In a New Light

01/10/2022  -  18/02/2023

New exhibition exploring the endangered skills and crafts on the Red List, by the Heritage Craft.


Adult Talk – Frederick Partridge and the Guild of Handicraft


Costs: FREE

The museum welcomes Thomas Holman, the director of Wartski and a specialist in 19th and 20th century jewellery design on Thursday 29th September.

Curious Creators – Botanical Printing workshop


Costs: FREE

Come and try your hand at botanical printmaking with artist Annabel Hill.

Curious Creators – Recycled Fabric Workshop


Costs: FREE

Free summer holiday workshop for children, creating a coaster, trivet and place mat using recycled fabrics by Magpie and Hook

Finds Day


Costs: Free

Are you a seasoned metal detectorist or have you come across a chance find, if so come and get your find recorded and identified with…

Adult Talk – Ethel and her life at Gospels


Costs: FREE

Talk given by Crafts Study Centre curator Greta Bertram.

In a New Light


Costs: £5.00

Join us on Thursday 13th October for a talk and discussion looking at the Heritage Red List of Crafts.

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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