Dartmouth Museum

Welcome to the home of Dartmouth’s fascinating history.

The Dartmouth Museum

Dartmouth’s small but fascinating museum

Dartmouth Museum is a small but fascinating museum which occupies part of the historic Butterwalk, a terrace of rich merchants’ houses built around 1640. Designed to national museum standards, it displays an extensive collection of artefacts, models, paintings and photographs relating to Dartmouth and the surrounding district. The collection is, as you would expect, wide-ranging, but there is special attention to the maritime history of the town and its social and physical development. The maritime connection is seen in a fine collection of ship models, some in bottles, in the King’s Room. Elsewhere there are exhibits, as tapestry and video film, of the town’s contribution to D-Day in 1944.

Three remarkable sons of Dartmouth are remembered: Thomas Newcomen, whose first practical steam engine ushered in the Industrial Revolution that changed the world; William Henley, a polymath ironmonger whose remarkable collection is displayed in a re-created Victorian study and Theodore Veale, the VC holder who showed outstanding and repeated bravery in rescuing a wounded officer at the Battle of the Somme.

The Museum welcomes all visitors, whatever their reasons for coming. The dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer stewards are there to help with suggestions and answers to queries if necessary referring them back to our experts behind the scenes who can access our extensive archives. The Museum caters to children, whether they are at school parties or with parents. They can be placed in the stocks or search for answers to questionnaires or look through the microscopes, and even open the drawers below the displays to find other items. The Museum seeks to entertain and educate all visitors, young or old, whatever their interest.

Exhibitis & Collections

Just some of the fascinating and exciting Exhibitions  & Collections in our historic museum.

The Mayflower Exhibition

Dartmouth Museum’s latest Exhibition tells the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims on their perilous journey to the New World, and Dartmouth’s role in their voyage.

The Kings Room

It was in this magnificent room that King Charles II was entertained to lunch by the town in July 1671, when storms forced him to seek shelter in Dartmouth.

The Holdsworth Room

This room is themed on the social and physical development of the town from its beginnings as two groups of dwellings connected by a causeway across the creek…

New Mayflower Exhibition

Welcome to the New Mayflower Exhibition

Dartmouth Museum now has a new Exhibition bringing to life the adventurous and disturbing story of the Mayflower Pilgrim Separatists and their suffering before settling in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

It features a unique locally built; 12-foot replica model of their ship, the Mayflower, open on one side to reveal the interior and contents; an audiovisual 20-minute presentation of the story; descriptive panels exploring the many facets of the story, and an atmospheric display cabinet and carpenter’s cabin. A large new painting depicting Dartmouth and life in the town in 1620, and several other relevant paintings and drawings add background and colour.