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Ilfracombe Museum


Opening hours

WINTER: Nov - Mar: Tue - Fri: 10.00-1.00 SUMMER: From April - Oct: Every Day: 10.00-5.00


Tel. 01271 863 541

Postcode EX34 8AF


Formerly the laundry of the magnificent Ilfracombe Hotel that was once on the site where the Landmark Theatre now stands, Ilfracombe Museum is overflowing with curiosities and memorabilia, this historic building houses unimaginable finds from a shrunken head to pickled bats. First opened in August 1932, the original curator was Mervyn Grove Palmer who started it all following his explorations in South America collecting butterflies for the British Museum.

The whole family will be intrigued by the variety of displays. Peer into drawers and peek into cupboards; wander through the rooms and uncover the Museum’s hidden treasures.

The museum is much easier to visit than to describe. A cross between an Edwardian collector's study and your Granny's attic. Objects you have read about and some you remember from days gone by. Lots of Archives to research including World War one family history photos. Gravestone index and census information.

The Maritime Room contains a sea water tank in the summer with crabs,shrimps and anenomes. The ship to shore radio station is popular with children and grandfathers who can still remember their morse code. There are paintings of Ilfracombe over the last 200 years and a variety of model ships including the Titanic.

The Palmer Room is dedicated to the museum's founder M. G. Palmer and contains items from Africa & South America. Including an 18' python and crocodiles.


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