Museum closes ahead of new extension project

Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

Posted on: 27 April 2018

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon will be closing its doors to the public next month, in preparation for work to begin on the new £1.8m Long Bridge Wing extension.

The last day of opening will be Monday 7 May, which will be your last chance to see the museum exhibitions before the transformation project begins. Final plans for the new extension will go before the council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday 8 May, with work due to start in June 2018. Contractors Herbert H Drew & Son have been selected to complete the work, which will take about a year to complete. Parts of the museum are expected to reopen this Autumn, with a full reopening expected in Summer 2019.

From Wednesday 9 May a temporary front of house will be available at the ‘Pop-up museum’, across the road in Bridge Chambers. This will be the base for the Tourist Information service, with postcards, some gifts and National Express tickets for sale (cash only). The Pop-Up museum is also the base for collecting stories and objects for the new Social History Gallery, so pop in and see how you can get involved.

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “After three years of planning and fund-raising, we are now reaching a very exciting phase of the museum extension project and building work is imminent. Although the museum will be closed for a while, it will be well worth the wait. The new extension will increase the floor space by 70%, so we will be better equipped to give Barnstaple, and indeed North Devon, the museum it deserves. I can’t wait to see building work begin!”

Museum Manager, Alison Mills, says: “Although work is about to begin on the new extension, it’s not too late to help! Your name can go down in history as a contributor to this important project – your donations can “buy a brick”, see your name on a floor tile in our entrance hall or appear on our wall of fame. There are also several packages available for corporate sponsors, with great benefits. Check out for more information or to make a donation online.”

During the closure, museum staff will be working hard on the new displays and planning exhibitions, projects and learning activities for the future. You can still contact the museum on 01271 346747 or and follow progress on the museum Facebook page.

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Posted in: Leisure