North Devon by its People and Communities
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Below is a list of 12 collections compiled by Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon for Explore North Devon. They contain mainly scanned images of photographs, documents, pictures, objects, and sound or video clips, some or all of which have been used in our stories. Select a collection name or logo to browse or search its items.


This collection contains images and sound clips, the latter being the responses of a range of people to the landscapes of North Devon's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). These take the form of music, poems and general narratives. The pictures are supplied by courtesy of the North Devon AONB and may not be reproduced, copied, loaned or otherwise utilised without prior written consent of the North Devon AONB Manager.

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Burma Star Association

The Association's aim is to relieve need, hardship or distress among men and women who served in HM and Allied Forces or the Nursing Services in the Burma Campaign of the 1939-45 war. This is a collection of images of the Campaign and reminiscences of Devon people who took part.

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Church Carvings, Leaf Masks and Stained Glass Windows

We have assembled a selection of photographs of church carvings, leaf masks and stained glass windows throughout Devon. These include carvings and masks of the Green Man, who in Celtic mythology is a god of spring and summer who disappears and returns year after year. He can be recognised as a face, often grotesque, with foliage sprouting from his mouth, nose, eyes or ears.

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Devon Military

Browse through a collection of photographs of Devon servicemen at or preparing for war.

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Images of Barnstaple and the Surrounding Area

These pictures were collated and digitised as part of the North Devon on Disk project

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North Devon Pottery Collection

The museum is home to the largest public collection of North Devon Art Pottery. Building on the established tradition of sgraffito decoration, the three potters Brannam, Lauder and Baron produced some very distinctive work. Over 800 images are available for browsing by selecting this collection.

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Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple

A small collection iof images of the Queen's Theatre Barnstaple and the John Gay Players

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Rock Collection

William Frederick Rock was Barnstaple's greatest benefactor. It is hard for us to understand the character of a man like Rock. From relatively humble beginnings he built a fortune through hard work, and then spent most of it on good causes in his home town and elsewhere. Rock Brothers made their name creating letter papers decorated with topographical vignettes. The engraved steel plates were then reused in books and booklets. Many of them are shown in this collection. Compiled for exhibition held at the Museum in 2002

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Shapland and Petter

Shapland and Petter produced quality furniture from its inception by Henry Shapland in 1854 to its closure in 2009. It was the biggest employer in Barnstaple for over 150 years. Shapland and Petter furniture has become increasingly sought after by collectors. This collection contains over 6,600 images of Shapland and Petter's furniture, taken from their catalogues.

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The lives of John and Ellen Cawsey

The lives of John and Ellen Cawsey illustrate aspects of life in mid-nineteenth century industrial Barnstaple. John Cawsey, his wife, and his brothers must have been well known to the police, the magistrates, and the people of Barnstaple, for their many misdemeanours (often publicised by the North Devon Journal

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Thomas E. Spencer Photographic Collection

A wide collection of slides taken in Devon, throughout the British Isles and abroad, between 1960 and 1980, featuring buildings, archaeology and streets.

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Whiddon Valley

Sat on the edge of Barnstaple, the Whiddon Valley estate is a mix of both town and country. This collection shows scenes of the development of this Housing Estate.

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