Our Collections

The Cookworthy Room

In 1670 Thomas Crispin built and endowed the Grammar School.

The Cookworthy Room is the old schoolroom, where generations of boys carved their initials into its wood panelled walls.

Here you will find a permanent exhibition illustrating how Kingsbridge and the surrounding villages have developed throughout the centuries.

Displays about the history of Kingsbridge in the Cookworthy Room

The Ilbert Room

‘Farming Matters’ is the current exhibition in this space, exploring the central importance of farming in the life of the South Hams. Farming has been a vital part of this area for hundreds of years and continues to shape the landscape today, changing with new practices and new demands.

Discover farming yesterday and today, and what might happen tomorrow …

A corner of the farming display featuring stories of local farmers

The Lorenz Room

The current exhibition here, ‘Don’t Stop the Music!’, celebrates local music making and musicians in the South Hams. Music of all sorts has been woven into the history of the area, and continues to flourish today.

The Duncombe Room

This room mounts a range of themed displays focused on the South Hams.

In 2019 our exhibition celebrated ‘All the Fun of the Fair’ and the theme continues, showing fifty years of our town’s Fair Week in its present form and its long history of carnivals and celebrations before 1969. The Royal Charter granting Kingsbridge Fair dates back to 1461, so there is plenty of material! Can you find yourself in one of our photographs?

There are also two computer kiosks where you can access images of current and previous exhibitions and our vast collection of historic local photographs.

'A Night at the BAFTAs' carnival costume, part of the display in the Duncombe Room

The Crispin Room

This is where our volunteers audit and photograph objects and prepare new collections. Check to see if the room is open – if there is something interesting going on, the notice at the bottom of the stairs will invite you to come up and look.

The Victorian Kitchen

The huge cast iron range came from the local foundry in Duke Street. Meals were cooked on it for up to 60 boarders as well as the Headmaster’s household. The kitchen, with its farmhouse table and built-in dresser, is equipped with the tools, pots, dishes, moulds and cutlery necessary for a large Victorian establishment.

Cooking pots on the range in the Victorian Kitchen

The Farm Gallery

This is in the walled garden behind the main building. It contains a wide range of farm machinery and equipment, from heavy equipment such as a cider press to hand tools.

The local engineering workshops built a range of farming equipment, including wagons to cope with the narrow lanes and steep hills of the South Hams.

We also have facilities for repairing and restoring the machinery.

Farm Gallery display showing hayrick and farm cart
 
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