Welcome to the Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum

Come inside the Old Grammar School and discover the story of Kingsbridge and the South Hams.

In our galleries you will find both permanent displays and special exhibitions showing how the people of the area have lived, worked and played over many generations.

A highlight of your visit may be viewing our collection of photographs from the 1870s to the present day – or a visit to our Local Heritage Resource Centre for personal research and access to our archives and local records.

Whatever your interest there’s something for all the family in this lively local museum, rain or shine …


August 2020

We are pleased to say that we are preparing to trial re-opening the museum in September. The Local Heritage Resource Centre will also be re-opening for researchers by appointment. Please watch this space or our social media pages for more detailed information about opening hours and new procedures.

Until then the museum and Local Heritage Resource Centre remain closed to the public. The museum office is open although hours may vary, and any research or other queries can be answered by either email or telephone.

About the Museum

The Museum was opened in 1972 in the old Kingsbridge Grammar School buildings. Mrs Evelyn Northcott persuaded English China Clays Ltd to rescue the derelict building and found a museum to collect and record the social history of the area.

The Museum was named after William Cookworthy (1705 – 1780), who was born in Kingsbridge and who developed the first true hard-paste porcelain (“china”).

About the Collections

Click HERE to view the rooms in which our Collections are housed.

About the Photo Archive

Click HERE to view some examples of our extensive collection of historical photographs of the local area.

Who we are:

The Museum is run by a small committee and just one full-time paid administrator. We also have a team of committed volunteers and stewards, without whom the Museum could not function.

Click HERE to find out how YOU could help.

Museum Facilities

  • Displays of artefacts from the early history of Kingsbridge through to the present day

  • A gallery of agricultural machinery and tools
  • A collection of over 30,000 photographs dating from the 1870s through to the present day
  • Costumes from the 19th and 20th centuries
  • A viewing gallery giving a virtual tour of the Museum
  • A beautiful walled garden
  • A resource centre for personal research with many local documents
  • Microfilm copies of local newspapers from 1855 to the present

Latest News & Events


23 MARCH – 31 OCTOBER 2020

This season’s new exhibition explores and celebrates farming in the South Hams both in the past and today. Farming has been an essential part of life in this area for hundreds of years, and continues to shape the landscape every day. We look forward to showing it all to our visitors when the museum re-opens, but please read on for a preview …


Watch this space!

Due to government advice on the coronavirus outbreak, all our museum events for this season are under review.

Our summer events have been POSTPONED. We hope to organise alternative dates later in the year, depending on further guidance. Any new arrangements will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Join us…

Become a FRIEND and join our mailing list to keep up to date with all the great things happening at Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum. Receive the latest news, special offers and advance notice of events straight to your inbox.

Click HERE to download and print the Friends’ form.

And don’t worry, we treat your contact details with the greatest respect and will NEVER pass them to third parties.

Visit us…

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Donate to us…

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