Welcome to the Tavistock Museum Website

We are a town and community museum situated at the historic Court Gate in the centre of Tavistock.  Our exhibitions and stories will fascinate the whole family!


There’s plenty to discover at Tavistock Museum!

  • Explore the history of Tavistock’s once magnificent Medieval Abbey.
  • Find out why local hero Sir Francis Drake is now such a controversial figure.
  • Discover how the town lost its two railway stations.
  • Learn how the Tamar Valley and Tavistock came to form part of the Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.

Tavistock Museum has a wide range of books and DVDs available for you to buy online.

Tavistock Museum is run by a charitable trust and staffed by a dedicated team of volunteers. Could you spare some time to help out with our town and community museum? Find out how you could get involved!

What's Happening?

80th Commemoration of D Day - From Tavistock to Omaha Beach

In 1943, planning began for the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. Originally codenamed Operation Neptune, this invasion would be a crucial part of what came to be known as D-Day, with 5,000 ships and landing crafts involved. On 6th June 1944, more than 150,000 troops landed on five beaches in Normandy – the result of unprecedented cooperation between international armed forces. By 1944, over two million troops from over a dozen countries were in Britain in preparation for the invasion.

2024 marks 80 years since the D-Day landings commenced – a pivotal point of the War, which ultimately began the process through which victory was achieved by the allies. To mark the anniversary, our museum’s new exhibit explores Tavistock’s involvement in the historic invasion.

The Railways of Tavistock

Take a trip back to a time when Tavistock boasted not one, but two railway stations! The London and South Western line ran through Tavistock North station and the Great Western Railway line through Tavistock South.

These days, the North station buildings have been converted into holiday accommodation and the South station has gone completely. Even the access road has been replaced by another, which now leads to the town’s fire station, police station, clinics and public service buildings.

Our exhibit will allow you to explore this bygone era of rail travel.

Greetings From Tavistock - The Changing Face of the Town in Postcards

Postcards can provide a fascinating record of changes that occur over the years, such as features and buildings that have been added or removed.

Today, thanks partly to a craze in the early 1900s for sending and collecting postcards, many old examples survive in excellent condition, despite their age. Some became part of collections that were never posted. Others provide fascinating insights to the types of messages sent home to loved ones – anything from “I love you” to “the weather was very disagreeable indeed during my visit!”

Tavistock Museum holds an enviable collection of postcard images, several of which will be displayed as part of this exhibition.

Arabella Buckley - Victorian Science Writer

From 1893 to 1895 Arabella Buckley lived with her husband at Walreddon Manor near Tavistock. She had been secretary to the eminent geologist, Charles Lyell, and met many of the great scientists of the Victorian age including Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley and Alfred Wallace.

Arabella had no formal education but learnt about natural sciences and became one of Charles Darwin’s closest friends. Her best known books are The Fairy-Land of Science (1879), Winners In Life’s Race (1893) and Eyes and No Eyes (1903).

Come and find out more about Arabella and her life in our new exhibition.

How to Find Us

The front entrance to the museum is in Guildhall Square.  There is a small, short-term car park in the square and long-term parking options within walking distance.   Please note we only have disabled access to the ground floor welcome area, audio-visual room and museum shop.  The two main galleries are on the first floor of the building and accessible only by stairs.

Opening Times

11 am – 3 pm Tuesday – Saturday from March 30th to November 1st 2024.
All other times by prior arrangement only.

We welcome school visits – please contact us to arrange your trip!

Tavistock Museum, Court Gate, Guildhall Square, Tavistock, PL19 0AE
Visitors are kindly requested to make a donation towards our running costs in lieu of an admission fee.

Museum Objectives

For the public benefit, to advance the education of the public in the archaeological, religious, social, cultural, industrial and historic development of the town of Tavistock and its immediate vicinity and its relation to the wider history and heritage of the UK and South-West England, by setting up and maintenance of a museum and community heritage centre which provides a diverse programme of exhibitions, workshops and outreach events.