The North Devon Maritime Museum is located in the sea port and village of Appledore, which sits on the estuary of the River Taw and River Torridge. The museum is housed in a grade II listed Georgian building which has also been the home of several ship owners over the past 200 years. It details the rich shipbuilding and seafaring history that the area is famous for through various exhibitions, displays, photographs and paintings.
Spread across seven exhibitions rooms, it details the story of the WWII beach landing experiments, shipwrecks, and sail and steam vessels. The maritime section covers early history of North Devon including its Viking raid, medieval trade and shipping, the discovery of the North East Passage, 18th century smuggling and 19th century emigration. In the shipbuilding exhibition you will find locally built wooden ships, 19th century steel steam shops and modern day vessels, as well as detailing shipbuilding techniques and tools.
The wreck and rescue section takes a look at the history of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and many of the local wrecks. A popular exhibition is the World War II section that tells the story of top secret exhibitions that took place during the war along the North Devon coastline in preparation for the D Day landings. Schools often visit the museum for the old Coach House which has been converted to recreate a typical schoolroom from the Victorian era and Second World War, allowing children to experience what it was like to be taught during this time.