The Museum of Dartmoor Life’s museum’s original collection, which was transferred from a private museum, soon outgrew the space available and in 1983 sufficient grants and donations (£50,000 in total) had been raised to renovate the three-storey mill building. This entailed re-roofing the building and completely gutting the interior. As far as possible, the original architecture and construction was replicated,
In 2005 the museum closed for 12 months for extensive renovation and modernisation. This project cost some £700,000 and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with additional support from Okehampton Town Council, West Devon Borough Council, Devon County Council, the Okehampton United Charity and the Dartmoor National Park Authority. The improvements included new electrics and heating throughout the building, partial air-conditioning, a lift and modifications to facilitate access, a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery and new interpretive displays.
In recent years the museum has enjoyed an excellent reputation as a focal point for community activities, events and exhibitions. It provides a meaningful visitor experience and enjoys positive reviews from internal and external visitors. Volunteers have always been the lifeblood of the organisation and the museum’s current volunteers provide a range of services and disciplines to maintain the day to day operation.
Since 2014 the museum has undertaken the role of providing tourist information for North Dartmoor and the local area.