Museum of Dartmoor Life

The museum is currently closed and will open on 18th March 2024

We are proud recipients of the Silver Award in the Best Small Visitor Attraction category for 2023 to 2024 at the 14th Devon Tourism Awards held on 16th November at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay. The night witnessed the gathering of Devon’s tourism elite, celebrating resilience, innovation and excellence in the face of a challenging few years.

The Museum of Dartmoor Life is a gateway to the rich history of Dartmoor. Situated in a cobbled courtyard in Okehampton, the museum exhibits a vast collection of objects spanning 5,000 years of life on Dartmoor from the Bronze Age through to the mid-20th Century. We also provide The Visitor Information Point for Okehampton.

explore our collection


Dartmoor’s protected landscape is abundant with wildlife on its granite tors, peat bogs, ancient woodlands, sweeping moorland and wildflower meadows.

Prehistoric Dartmoor

If only stones could talk! Humans have made Dartmoor home for 10,000 years, and its archaeology tells their stories.

Living on Dartmoor

From the Bronze age onwards Dartmoor has been a busy place. Both locals and invaders have helped shape life as it is today.

Working on Dartmoor

Starting with the first hunter gatherers and followed by millennia of farming, mining and the wool industry, Dartmoor has always been a working landscape.

Myths & Legends

Oral traditions explain how people perceive the world, they transmit customs and values and also can help shape behaviour.

Transport & Travel

People have always traversed the moor, with packhorses carrying goods on the Jobbers Road, locals carrying their dead along the coffin trails and railways bringing opportunities.

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Silver Award at Devon Tourism Awards

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that our museum has been awarded the Silver Award in the Best Small Visitor Attraction category for 2023 to 2024 during the Devon Tourism Awards ceremony held on November 16th. Debbie Pritchard and Jan Goffey, both trustees, graciously accepted the award on behalf of the museum.

This prestigious recognition is a testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved, particularly our Museum Manager, Kristy Turner and dedicated volunteers whose contributions have been instrumental in earning this recognition.

The Devon Tourism Awards stand as a commendation of excellence within the tourism industry in Devon. This initiative seeks to showcase the best attractions, accommodations, events, and services that collectively enhance Devon’s attraction as a tourist destination.

Covering various categories, the awards entail a meticulous judging process, incorporating expert assessments, mystery visits, and customer feedback. The success of our museum in clinching this Silver award is a collective achievement reflecting our commitment to providing an exceptional and memorable experience for our visitors.




dartmoor stories

Pennies from Heaven

In a glass case on the top floor of the Museum of Dartmoor Life is a small wooden collecting box...
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Okehampton Historical Notes

Digitised by Jan Goffey, a Museum Trustee Original Book typed by Dr Edward Herbert Young (1862-1932). He lived at Darley...
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GL Wardle – A fascinating character from Okehampton’s Past

The gentleman pictured is indeed the Honourable Gwyllym Lloyd WARDLE, Esquire.  MP for Okehampton 1807 – 1812 n.b. Gwyllym is...
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First mention of Okehampton Circa 970 AD

Image of Leofric Missal : Bodleian Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Vol 1 pg 109 History of Okehampton by...
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The Importance of Almshouses

Do you know there are fifteen almshouses in Okehampton? Where are they, what are they, and why are they so...
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The Peat Industry on Dartmoor

Peat has been exploited on Dartmoor for centuries, both for domestic use and as a commercial product. In the 19th...
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Dartmoor Wool Walk

A group of strangers gathered outside the Princetown tourist information centre on a misty Sunday morning. They had one thing...
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Squeeze Boxes on Dartmoor

Squeeze boxes are a type of traditional musical instrument that is found on Dartmoor. They are made of wood and...
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The Military on Dartmoor

The first real involvement of the military on Dartmoor in (relatively) recent times was to guard prisoners of war in...
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Colouring Wool on Dartmoor

The history of dyeing wool on Dartmoor is a long and fascinating one. For centuries, the people of Dartmoor have...
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High Days and Holidays

Nothing transformed the leisure activities of the Victorians more than the railways. The wealthy had always travelled but train trips...
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When The Train Came To Town

‘The completion of the railway to Okehampton gives to tourists and to excursionists the opportunity of visiting a most picturesque...
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What Came First – Trike or Bike?

Someone asked me the other day, what came first, tricycles or bicycles? They were looking at the lovely Victorian child’s...
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Oral histories

Oral histories create a rich world of storytelling around our collections. Interviews are sometimes the only source that is available...
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If the shoe fits

Many interesting items are donated to the Museum of Dartmoor Life and each has a story to tell. This small...
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Dartmoor Blizzard 1963

Christmas Day 1962 saw temperatures plummet and the first snowfall, but it was on the evening of 29th December that...
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A car trip down memory lane

If you visit our lovely museum, on the ground floor you will find an amazing old car, a Bullnose Morris,...
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A blast from the past

Have you ever wondered how a museum is born? Well if you visit the Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton...
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Where did you get that hat

We have a really interesting mining section. We look at the tools used and the ore mined but it’s the...
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Time Travelling Curator

The Museum has collaborated with Entertainingly Different and Artaura Productions to create five short films, each focused on a different...
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