Museums

There are more than 77 Museums to visit across Devon to suit all interests throughout the year. We list some we think are of real interest below and include a link to Devon’s Museum website.

MUSEUM OF BARNSTAPLE AND NORTH DEVON Did you know Barnstaple used to be called Barnastapolitum some 1000 years ago and was fully encircled by a large defence wall  with 4 town gates, North, East, South and West. One of the closest museums is the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon which is the perfect way to find out more about North Devon. Their collections and displays cover the natural and human history of this beautiful part of the country. Highlights of the Museum include the Tarka Gallery, the Story of North Devon and the Regimental Collection of the Royal Devon Yeomanry. The entrance to the museum includes a Gift Shop, Tea Room, Tourist Information and Visitor Reception and is pictured below:

GREAT TORRINGTON HERITAGE MUSEM AND ARCHIVE Torrington Museum is a small, friendly and free museum, which is housed in the centre of Great Torrington next to the market entrance. The museum possesses or holds on loan many fascinating exhibits and reflects the diverse history of this ancient market town. Torrington museum obtained a grant of £20,000 from Leader 4 as a ‘Start-up Project ‘ grant, which has enabled the museum to open all of 14 South Street and the Market House with all artefacts laid out on storage units, for all the community to be able to come and view them. They have also been able to display quite a number of Mayfair dresses and costumes on new dummies, extra Marley Haley boards for displaying photographs, chairs and tables and a computer programme for cataloguing all the artefacts and archive material. The Museum has a very extensive artefacts collection, which is all laid out on visual storage. They have items from gloving, agriculture, printing, blacksmiths and WW2. Also on view are a number of items from their costume collection. This was all made possible due to a ‘Start- up’ grant from Leader 4, for which they are most grateful.  Collections include Industry, agriculture, dairying, glove making, railways, roads, rolle canal, people, costume, bygones, the town, the country and the customs are all featured in their collection. Of special interest amongst the wide variety of artefacts is a display about the life and works of William Keble-Martin, author and illustrator of the Definitive Book of Wild Flowers and vicar of this parish for nine years. Thomas Fowler of Torrington was the first man in history to realise that hot water rose and in 1838, he invented our present day central heating system. He also produced the first working calculator.

NORTH DEVON MARITIME MUSEUM Situated in the picturesque village and sea port of Appledore on the estuary of the Taw and Torridge rivers the North Devon Maritime museum offers a fascinating insight into the rich shipbuilding and seafaring history of the area. In seven exhibition rooms, visitors can discover the WWII beach landing experiments, sail and steam vessels, shipwrecks, There is a gift shop and more! ARE THERE ANY PIRATES THERE…..AAHHHH SHIPMATES PIECES OF EIGHT!

NATIONAL TRUST CARRIAGE MUSEUM AT ARLINGTON COURT Arlington Court is an unexpected jewel on the edge of Exmoor, a complete family estate held by the Chichester family for over five hundred years. The collection consists of treasures for all tastes, from model ships to shells, collected over several generations. The house itself, built in 1823 and extended in 1860, has an austere facade. However, inside the cosy rooms purvey a homely, family atmosphere. The Carriage Museum in the stables has a vehicle for every occasion from cradle to grave. Currently on loan from the Houses of Parliament is the Speaker’s State Coach, a glorious, gilded carriage with over 300 years of history. Jacob sheep and Red Devon cattle graze the estate and provide seasonal dishes for their menu. There are over 20 miles of footpaths to explore, including their popular lake walk, just under two miles, which tours the man-made lake and bridge piers of an unfulfilled Victorian dream. A Formal Victorian garden with conservatory rebuilt in 2012, planted with exotic species and walled garden providing produce for the tea room and flowers for the house. There’s an abundance of wildlife to discover including two species of bat roosting in the cellars, an ancient heronry and a bird hide to view nature at its best.

Take a look at this website http://www.devonmuseums.net  to view many more Museums to visit during your stay at Boreat Manor. Maybe you will find out the true meaning of what a ‘tiddlywink’ is????

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