Ilfracombe museum has amassed a collection of over 28,000 objects since it was founded in 1932. We include objects from around the world that many visitors are surprised to see in a small town museum!
We are particularly rich in natural science collections, and hold an important resource of First World War photographs and letters for Ilfracombe.
Ilfracombe Museum on eHive:
eHive is a web-based collection cataloguing system. Here you can view over 2500 of our objects, many of which are not on display. We are adding to this site all the time.
Ilfracombe Museum on ArtUk
Ilfracombe Museum’s paintings and sculpture have been added to the ArtUk national website, the home of all publicly owned art in the UK
Here is an overview of the scope of our collections
- Photographs, paintings, engravings and other pictures of the Ilfracombe area.
- Domestic social items – ceramics, glass, metalwork, wooden items, dolls, toys and costume.
- Agricultural items – mainly hand-tools.
- Cobbler’s, printer’s and other craftsmen’s tools and equipment.
- Clocks, watches, surveying instruments and other scientific equipment.
- Coins, tokens and medals.
- Maritime history items relating to Ilfracombe and elsewhere, including ship models.
- Militaria from the Civil War to World War Two, including antique firearms and edged weapons.
- A collection of World War Two press photographs.
- An important and rare town collection of around 400 framed photographs of First World War servicemen and women.
- Ethnographic items including collections from South America, Africa and Asia and the Far East.
- Archaeological material local and non-local, mainly worked flint from the North Devon area.
- Geological material, minerals and fossils local and non-local.
- Mounted British and non-British reptiles, birds and mammals (including old specimen game heads and some new educational displays of British species).
- An important collection of British Bats preserved in fluid and cabinets of British and non-British birds eggs.
- Cabinets of butterflies, moths, beetles, shells and other invertebrates British and non-British.
- Herbaria including pressed flowering plants, ferns and seaweed;
- Archives of books, documents and papers relating to the area of interest, mainly available for reference rather than display, including a collection of bound copies of Ilfracombe newspapers 1871 – 1953.