Indentures from the 1800s

The newly installed Indentures are now available to view in the museum – these documents from the 1800s, beautifully handwritten at the time, give information about children as young as 9 who were taken into apprenticeships to learn a trade in the village.
There are many familiar names on the documents, some you may recognise – so do make it your first port of call when you come into the museum!
This project has been kindly supported by South West Museum Development with funding through Arts Council England


This project was running for 2 years from 2020-2022 . . . and is still worth a look!

To take part in the SET SAIL project, scroll down to see what has been added.

LILAC2020 – ‘Life in Lockdown’ Archive Collection – to be found towards the bottom of the page – and extended into 2021.

Born out of a need to work online during the closure of the Museum due to the Coronavirus pandemic 2020, SET SAIL is a chance to get involved with the museum in a digital way, in order to SET SAIL on a virtual voyage.

SET = Stay home, Engage, Together (Share, Entertain, Team up!)

SAIL = Story, Art/Artefacts, Info, Links (Surprise, Amaze, Inspire, Learn)

You can enjoy images and photos, read stories and poems, watch video clips, click on the links, find out more about our collections or have a go at one of the challenges.

And please do let us know what you have been enjoying about this new project. Please send your feedback to us by email at or find us on Facebook.

Old Boats Set Sail

CM.2010. .V Two Sailing boats moored on Combe Martin Beach
CM.2010.1.V Fishing Boats in Combe Martin Harbour circa Early 1900’s

These two images from our photographic collections show boats under sail moored up on Combe Martin beach in the early 1900’s. But where were the boats going? Where were they coming from? What were they trading? Who was involved?


‘The Earl of Rone’ festivities take place every year in the village.

Find out more here: Hunting of the Earl of Rone


Washday Blues


Any ideas what these might be? Or how they were used? Or when?… maybe you have used them or seen them used sometime?

Find out more here: Washday Blues


Summer, Strawberries and Combe Martin

So, what do you think is going on here? Can you work out where this photo was taken from? – what’s the view like?

Find out more here: Summer, strawberries and CM


Local residents, Jenny and Keith Newman sent in pictures to give a ‘then and now’ comparison, and to say that they still have wild strawberries growing at the top of their garden!


Coming Soon!

Links to video clips


Try this link for a video of the ‘Sail Loft Scribblers’ presenting some of their work

The book produced by the group ‘Scribbles from the Sail Loft’ is available to buy at the museum or online via Devon Museums group at:


Coming soon!

Rockpool creatures quick quiz


Marie Corelli, Victorian writer

Marie Corelli had links with Combe Martin. Some considered her quite controversial in her day – maybe you can find out why?

Find out more here: Combe Martin featured by in book by Victorian author Marie Corelli


Beside the Seaside


Great images of sunny beach days at Combe Martin! Perhaps you remember some days like these?

Find out more here: Oh we do like to be beside the seaside


Coming Soon!

Collections come in all shapes and sizes


STORIES REMEMBERED, by Hilary Beaumont. July 2020


I think some of the most interesting and common stories I heard whilst working in the museum in the early years were those relating to holiday visitors in the late 1800s and early 1900s… 



Coming Soon!

The world of work



Have a look at some old photos of the famous Combe Martin Carnival, some from the recent past some from a long time ago. The Carnival usually takes place during the first week of August, with all sorts of activities going on throughout the week, culminating in the Carnival parade.

Uncle Tom Cobley 1930’s

Find out more here: Combe Martin Carnival

Coming soon

Carnival events last year, 2019


Home entertainment from not so long ago


Find out more here: Home Entertainment not so long ago


STORIES REMEMBERED – by Hilary Beaumont, 2020

A tricky situation in the early days of the museum.

Enter two elderly ladies each bearing a large cloth covered parcel.

HB:  Good morning, ladies. How can I help you?

Find out more at: A tricky situation in the early days of the museum




LILAC2020 a digital collection for the future, created in 2020   

‘Life in Lockdown’ Archive Collection 2020


MARCH 2020

Dotty Rainbow, created by Jess, aged 15


Link to Combe Martin beach 360

Originally posted on Facebook last year by Kingfisher Multimedia (thanks Neil) . . may be worth a look again to remind ourselves what a wonderful place Combe Martin really is!
Do have a play with the picture… and see the place in different ways in this world of the ‘new normal’…


APRIL 2020


Stunning sunsets over Combe Martin Bay.

The sun had come round just far enough to be over the headland in the West.


Missing the Sail Loft? – Here’s a couple of pics to remind you!


Hot Chicks, created by Jan Jones


Haven’t seen the ground floor gallery at the museum for a while? – perhaps you could have a look around this pic and see just how many people you can count? There are quite a few!


Poem, by local writer – Stunning Supermoon, April 2020

Stunning Supermoon


Rock On! Beach finds at Combe Martin, eroded from rocks on the path heading out towards Lester Point.


Poem, by local writer – Radiant glow, bright blue halo

Radiant glow


MAY 2020


Beautiful Borders, created by Margaret Coward


V.E. Day Celebrations

Friday 8th May 2020 marked 75 years on from the celebrations that took place across the UK to celebrate Victory in Europe Day towards the end of World War 2. With restrictions in place this year, people were not able to celebrate in the way they had planned, though some socially distanced celebrations did take place in streets and gardens up and down the country, as well as in Combe Martin itself. Commemorations were also held outside at churches, museums, town halls etc.


Short dittie:

VE Day bunting, Impromptu party in street, Pink gin in tea pot!

Wonderful Windows, created by Jan Jones


Earl of Rone festival


With celebrations much quieter this year, a few photos from the archive to remember this exciting weekend of festivities that takes place in the village every year at the end of May

Museum gallery display from back in 2010. Perhaps you remember it looking like this?



The Earl of Rone collage creation, as made in 2019 by local children using scrap material, and museum window


Poem, by local writer – Woodland Walk

Woodland walk


‘Child in Lockdown’, created by Roisin, aged 10



Cliff top walk photos – do you know these views? Can you work out where they were taken from? Calm skies that day.


JUNE 2020

Nautical Novelties, to be used as fundraisers for the museum, created by Shirley and Colin Willoughby



‘Art Through Quarantine’ – video clip. Some classic art to think about during the restrictions of lockdown


World Oceans Day June 8th

Video clip with . . some of the reasons WHY we need to look after our oceans. Just click the link and relax into an underwater world…



Volunteers keeping busy – Jan’s knitted sea creatures



And Tina Gray sent in pictures of the aprons she has been making




Sunset Sunday, 14th June 2020. Photos by Tamasine Addie


Linda’s ‘Lockdown Chicken’! Created by Linda Hughes


A Story from the Future? – video clip




‘Lovely Lilacs’, created by Kit Addie


Poem by local resident, Science & Politics

Science & Politics


Veg patch

Busy in the garden in June! Great work by Margaret.


JULY 2020

Coming Soon!

Pebble perfection!

Birdy Birdy tweet tweet


Sea She See – sent in by a creative Devon artist saying “this is what I have been doing recently to keep me calm”.
Work created by artist and art teacher Caroline Wightman.
Have a look at the video clip . . and enjoy!




Coming soon!

Carnival events

Pile-a-pebble – then and now



Winter Robin

Robin sang sweetly


MARCH 2021

Crafty Lady creations! – Spring into Life at Easter time.

As sent in by our talented team of Crafty Ladies who run the children’s craft sessions at the museum.

Find out more about who made what here: Easter crafts montage


APRIL 2021

And as a response to the Crafty Ladies Spring and Easter Crafts, the children of Combe Martin Primary School sent in these pics of items they had made.  These amazing ideas from Class 5 were sent in by staff at the school after their focus for the week had been about gratitude – so Easter cards, Easter boxes and Easter bunting were made to give to families near and far.