With drawers and cupboards full of curiosities, Ilfracombe Museum is a family-friendly treasure trove on the North Devon coast.
Encompassing over 28,000 items, the collections at Ilfracombe Museum originate from around the world and span natural history, archeology, photography, costume and more. Their eclectic origins can be traced back to the museum’s first curator, Mervyn Grove Palmer, who travelled South America in the 1900s and who has several species named after him.
Occupying the former laundry of the grand Ilfracombe Hotel, the museum first opened in 1932. Today, the rooms are filled with curiosities including pickled bats and a two-headed kitten, artefacts from Asia and North America, displays revealing Palmer’s collecting career and the realities of domestic life in the Victorian era.
Have a go at morse code and brass rubbing, discover the museum’s underground tunnel, and stop by the gift shop – there’s all this and more to do here.