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 …

Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum header with drawing of museum building


Opening Hours 2024
(25 March – 1 November)

Monday – Friday
10.30am – 3.30pm

Saturday & Sunday

Last admission 30 mins before closing

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 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

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.

These ladies are the finalists for the position of Kingsbridge Fair Queen in 1969, which is the year Fair Week was re-launched in its current form.

Left to right: Yvonne Head, Donella Brooking, Susan French, Helen Beavil, Rosemary Lee, and Janet Smallman (who was chosen as Fair Queen).

Did you know that the Museum has a collection of over 30,000 images which are available to purchase?  Click HERE to access further details.

Visit us…

Click HERE for details

Donate to us…

Click HERE for details


Our new exhibition – ‘Six Weeks To Go’ – is about life in the South Hams during World War II as American troops evacuated whole villages (both people and cattle!) – including Slapton and Blackawton – to enable the troops to partake in D-Day preparations.  In the Lorenz Room.


We are currently looking for assistance stewarding on FRIDAY MORNINGS. Please contact the Museum if you can offer some help with this.

Click HERE for role profile for MUSEUM STEWARDS.

Click HERE for role profile for DOCUMENTATION VOLUNTEERS.


The exciting and interesting photographic exhibition on local shipwrecks, fishermen, salty sea-dogs, the coast and the dangers that lurk there, lifeboats and the men who rescued imperilled sailors and travellers – ‘On The Rocks’ – is on display in the Duncombe Room.

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