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 …


The Museum is now closed for the winter, and will re-open for the season (subject to any new regulations) on Monday 29th March 2021.

We hope to welcome you again in the spring.

Our Local Heritage Resource Centre remains closed to the public under current restrictions. The Museum office is staffed daily although hours do vary depending on staff availability, and we are happy to deal with queries by e-mail – hello@kingsbridgemuseum.org.uk    This may take slightly longer than normal during lockdown.

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



Looking for a small gift as a stocking filler? A knitted toy for a child? A local history book for a friend with a particular interest? The museum may be closed but our online shop is still open (see the shop page for details). We haven’t quite established a ‘click and collect’ system yet, but if you live locally and can collect your items please contact the museum directly (on 01548 853235 or preferably email hello@kingsbridgemuseum.org.uk) to order and arrange to pick them up.

And if you are shopping elsewhere online, remember that you can support the museum by buying through Easyfundraising. This means retailers make a donation to the Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum through your online purchases from over 4000 shops.

Follow the link to find out more and sign up!

Three young women spinning plates in the garden on a museum Family Day


Looking forward to 2021

Although many of our usual events didn’t happen this year, we are already working out a provisional programme for 2021. We hope to be able to welcome you back to our Family Days and other events next year – fingers crossed! – and we are looking at some extra musical events to tie in with our new exhibition for next season.

We will be sharing more photographs from our collection on the museum Facebook page over the winter, so please don’t forget to look us up occasionally until you are able to visit again in person.

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

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