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“A little disappointed”
Review of Ilfracombe Museum

Ilfracombe Museum
Ranked #5 of 23 things to do in Ilfracombe
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A local independently-run museum with an eclectic flavour, Ilfracombe museum has eight rooms filled with treasures. We have natural history specimens from around the world and plenty to see about Ilfracombe's past. Come and experience a museum that is unique and family-friendly. Children can explore our insect, bat and spider specimens, have a go at a dinosaur quiz, or send Morse code messages. Try your hand at brass rubbing, or browse our great value gift shop. We also have extensive photographic and family history resources for Ilfracombe. Our museum is a perfect all-weather attraction and can be easily accessed by wheelchair. Pay parking in car park outside the museum. Children under 16 FREE, £5 for adults, £4.00 concessions. Annual season ticket £7.50
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed 29 June 2018 via mobile

Would have hoped a town museum would be more focused on the town than anything else. The first room (about the town) was interesting, just pretty uncohesive and there were a lot of things there with no explanation to the importance or relevance to the town.

There was then a room of African collections, which is a bit strange for a small museum in north Devon. Again, not much explaining the history of these items.

Very disappointed that whilst we were there, a meeting of sorts was being held in the last room (the one we were most interested in seeing) so we felt we couldn't go in there.

All in all, I think the museum could be improved by being more cohesive, perhaps following a timeline and even telling the story of who's collection it is? And definitely with more information on what the objects actually are.

1  Thank CatL1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ilfracombe M, Manager at Ilfracombe Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2018

I am sorry you felt a little disappointed by your visit to our museum.
I accept that the meeting taking place in one of the rooms may have been offputting - we are a small community museum and this was a local history group's coffee morning. You should have been told by the volunteer at reception that you could go in.

However, I feel your comments about our interpretation and layout are a little unfair.
Our new Ilfracombe gallery which you mention does have lots of interpretation boards on the walls explaining the relevance of the displays in the room.
The African collections you saw in the Palmer Room are a key part of our collection and again there are 2 boards explaining why they are in the museum. There is also a leaflet handed to every visitor giving the background history to the museum and explaining how the collection came together under our founder Mr Palmer.
An historical 'timeline' approach to displaying collections can be very useful, but we have taken the decision not to display objects in that way at Ilfracombe, but to group them in themes such as costume, Victorian collectors, maritime history.

I hope this helps to address some of your concerns and that you will return to visit us again.
Best wishes

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (410)
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"local history"
in 28 reviews
"wedding cake"
in 17 reviews
"morse code"
in 15 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 48 reviews
"brass rubbing"
in 11 reviews
"interesting things"
in 14 reviews
"radio station"
in 6 reviews
"rainy day"
in 21 reviews
"eclectic collection"
in 5 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 5 reviews
"little gem"
in 14 reviews
"on display"
in 9 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 12 reviews
"all ages"
in 13 reviews
"few hours"
in 9 reviews
"interesting place"
in 5 reviews
"north devon"
in 9 reviews

24 - 28 of 410 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2018

I read this place was quirky but that isn't the half of it. Where else can you find ship models, war memorabilia, stuffed puffins, old hairdryers, massive spiders (dead, don’t worry), a Victorian kitchen and a whole closetful of bats in formaldehyde? This place is fantastic. You could wander through multiple times and find different oddities each time. The gentleman at the desk had a wealth of local info and great stories. The £5 entry fee was well worth it, even if only for the stories I can tell my friends about this place. Loved it.

Thank Valderi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2018

Inexpensive, very interesting, and a pleasure to visit. It looks like a small, local museum, but it is teeming with well laid out curiosities, and you could spend hours here. The staff are welcoming and very willing to offer any information.

Thank Freddyminster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2018

The museum has absolutely loads to investigate and peruse. From local history to unusual curiosities, we could spend literally hours here. Its set back of the main Ilfracombe track, behind the Runnymede Gardens and next to the two chimneys of the theatre. Definitely worth a visit and as a family of all ages, we loved it.

Thank sc001186223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 June 2018

A return visit as last time I was with a group that just whizzed through the museum and didn't do it the justice it deserves!
I was allowed to take my Support Dog with me and was provided with a 'Talking Pen' that was suggested by the helpful Staff as an explanatary aid to some of the exhibits.
2 hours was still not enough to see everything. Exhibits about Lundy Island were of interest to me as I previously worked there. Everything of interest here from a 4 legged chicken to out of date wedding cake!

Thank artistanne100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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