Main Gallery

As well as the reception desk and shop here waits our wonderful collection of butterflies, moths and fossils and the fantastic Combe Martin clock

The Victorian passion for collecting has left its mark on Ilfracombe museum. When we opened in 1932, local people brought in their own collections of insects, taxidermy and curiosities to be displayed. Carefully open the specimen drawers – no stops! – to find fossils, insects, butterflies, pressed seaweed, birds’ eggs, shells and old wedding cake. Don’t miss the two-headed kitten!

In the 19thcentury  cabinet, made locally by Shapland and Petter, are a variety of artefacts from Asia, North America and the classical world, reflecting the tastes and travels of Ilfracombe’s residents. You’ll also find a collection of weapons from India, next to delicate and beautiful oriental leaf and silk paintings.