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Brixham Heritage Museum // Brixham

Brixham Heritage Museum
Photo: © Chris Talbot / CC BY-SA 3.0

A museum offering an interesting and varied collection of displays and archives, including maritime, archeological, domestic and medical.

Brixham Heritage Museum is located in Bolton Cross, in the old Brixham police station, and documents the area's rich historical past as well it's illustrious fishing and seafaring industry. It was awarded the Family Friendly Museum Award 2013.

Within the museum you'll also find the National Coastguard Museum which makes up a large part of the building and tells the story of the rise and fall of the local seaside community as well as photographs of local sea rescues and wrecks, and life saving equipment used throughout the ages. Other seafaring collections include the reconstruction of a fisherman's cottage from the 1900s, the Maritime Room with its model boats, fishing equipment and boat building tools.

There are also various local displays with a selection of old Brixham photographs from local schools in the early 19th and 20th centuries, uniforms and helmets from the Brixham Fire Service, an introduction to the formation of the Bone Caverns and the ice age animals and fossils.

A range of historical recreations include an original police sell from the 1900s, a House and Nursery typical of the middle class Victorian era with toys, dolls and clothes, and an arcade with three shop windows displaying a chemist, cobblers and grocers. There are also a number of items from World War 1 and 2 including gas masks, uniforms and other mementoes. Other popular sections include the Berry Head Barracks which tells the story of the soldiers and their families and various finds, and the William of Orange displays which explains the invasion by the Dutch Prince.

The museum first opened in 1957 in a different museum with an aim to preserve and promote the historical town and its people, and following early success it expanded into two neighbouring cottages. In the 1960s it was home to the National Fisheries Museum and in 1967 the council gave financial support to increase the museum's collections and activities. It was in 1976 when the Brixham Heritage Museum moved to its current location along with coastguard memorabilia which was previously held at the Training School in the 1980s. Further council funding was granted and allowed the museum to open the Maritime Gallery in 1990 and in 1997 it became home to over 100 record books from the Brixham Seamen's Orphan Boys Home.

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