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 …


We are delighted to announce that the museum and shop are now open again, and will be opening Monday-Friday, 10.30a.m. – 2.30 p.m. until Friday 30th October when we close for the winter.

Due to COVID-19 visitor numbers are restricted and there is a designated route around the museum. Everyone is required to observe social distancing and sanitising guidelines, and to wear a mask unless exempt.

Our Local Heritage Resource Centre is now open to researchers by appointment only, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment.

Please check out our additional Covid-19 pre-visit guidance HERE, or contact us if you have any other queries or requirements.

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

Double doors and entrance to the museum, c. 2010
  • 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

Farm workers in front of a hayrick, resting with their tools, orange tractor in the foreground


23 MARCH – 30 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 …


Special quiz for half-term

Although we have had to remove some of our activities, quizzes and trails are still available for younger visitors at a small charge. There is a duck quiz for the very young, a mouse quiz and a new trail to find Bo-Peep’s sheep which is linked to our farming exhibition. There will be a special Wizard Duck quiz during half term week (26th-30th October), with a choice of wizard duck for a prize – like the one in our picture.

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…

Click HERE for details

Donate to us…

Click HERE for details

Accredited Museum logo
Facebook logo
Trip Advisor logo
Twitter logo
'We're Good to Go' Visit England kitemark