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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

Devonian Monsters

27-04-2024  -  06-07-2024

Step back 400 million years ago to a time long before the dinosaurs. Encounter a world filled with curious creatures that lived in the geological…

Katy Lee – Going on Taw

18-05-2024  -  06-07-2024

Going on Taw is an 18-month storytelling & poetry project that travelled the length of the River Taw from Source to Sea – culminating in…

Turner in Barnstaple

20-07-2024  -  12-10-2024

Turner in Barnstaple - coming to the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon - Summer 2024.


Curious Creators: Turner in Barnstaple – Watercolour Mayhem


Costs: FREE

Join us for an exciting start to our Turner in Barnstaple themed Curious Creator sessions!

Curious Creators: Colour Science with Devon Science


Costs: FREE

Join Devon Science (formerly Sciencedipity) for some exciting colour science, as we explore Turner in Barnstaple this August!

Curious Creators: Building LEGO® Bridges – Stemgineering with Nick


Costs: FREE

Join us for morning or afternoon session, exploring Turner and the Barnstaple Long Bridge through LEGO®!

Curious Creators: Experimental Landscapes with Ruth Bateman


Costs: FREE

Taking inspiration from Turner’s dramatic sea paintings, come and have a go at replicating a Turner inspired waves, or try your hand at creating a…

Click here to find details for Friends of the Museum events

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.

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.

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.

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.

Receive news about exhibitions, events and family workshops.