Tavistock is a busy market town in West Devon. A former abbey and Medieval stannary town it was in the 19th century largely owned by the Dukes of Bedford who in the mid -19th century reinvested some of their vast royalties from the copper mining back into the town. This paid for fine public buildings such as the Town Hall, Guildhall, and Pannier Market, also the many impressive villas and neat rows of model worker’s cottages. Just outside of the town is the site of Great Devon Consols Mine which was at one time the largest copper mine in Europe. Tavistock was the inland terminus of the Tavistock Canal, an early 19th century waterway which linked the town to the copper port of Morwellham Quay on the River Tamar.
The museum is located in the centre of the town and occupies two rooms above the historic Court Gate. It has a ground-level interpretation room with audio-visual equipment to shown films of the World |Heritage site, and local mining related topics. It has a collection of minerals from local mines as well as a small collection of mining memorabilia.