burton art gallery and museum
gallery highlights




Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 2QQ

Telephone: 01237 471455
Email: info@theburton.org

Admission is Free
Open Daily 10am - 4pm
Sundays 11am - 4pm

About us

The Burton Art Gallery and Museum aims to be recognised as one of the leading cultural venues within the South West. Synonymous with the most exemplary forms of its practice and attracting a wide range of audiences of all ages from the local and international communities alike it provides the opportunity to access and engage with artists, collections and exhibitions on all levels.

It does this by -

• Bringing into the region and initiating exhibitions of significance that enable visitors to see aspects of British and foreign material not represented within its permanent collections.

• Collecting, safeguarding and making accessible artefacts and artworks, with specific relation to local artists, local landscape or heritage and local interests.

• Putting education at the core of the organisation enabling all our visitors and users to engage with our collections and exhibitions for inspiration, learning, research and enjoyment.

History of the Burton

History of the Burton

The Burton Art Gallery and Museum was established in 31 October 1951, by Thomas Burton, a local businessman, and Hubert Coop, a successful artist. The gallery was opened to commemorate the untimely death of Burton’s daughter, Mary. In a letter to the Bideford Gazette in October 1949, Coop wrote;

‘It’s a happy chance that two old townsmen have come together to make a last effort to leave the town richer than they found it. The gallery should be a peaceful haven where one may take a quiet look at beautiful things; a gallery for the enjoyment, education and good of all, old and young, inhabitants and visitors, - everyone and as far as one can tell, of lasting credit to the living and those to come…’

Throughout Coop’s life he amassed a fine collection of paintings, porcelain and antiques, and because he felt that there was a special appreciation of the arts in Bideford, he left his collection to the town, provided that it would be ‘properly housed’. He was eventually instrumental in assisting Thomas Burton, Mayor, Alderman, Freeman of the Borough, and philanthropist, to build the Burton Art Gallery in memory of his daughter, Mary, who died in 1949. The Coop collection was truly ‘properly housed’ and it forms the basis of The Permanent Collection.

The Gallery architect was Frank Whiting, who also designed Coop’s home on Goats Hill, Northam, overlooking the river. Hubert Coop died in 1953 aged 80. In his obituary in the Bideford Gazette, January 1953, it was said: ’ His generosity in connection with the starting of the Burton Gallery will be a lasting reminder…’

In 1994 the gallery was significantly extended and refurbished increasing its capacity to approximately 4 times its original size. As such it now incorporates 3 exhibition spaces, a museum display space, a craft gallery, a retail shop area, an education space and a coffee shop.

In 2008 the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) service was brought within the provision of the BAG&M as one of the facilities it provides. In addition, the long serving curator retired, and new roles were created, including that of the Visual Arts Manager, the lead managerial role, and the Collections and Exhibitions Officer. The BAG&M now sits within the Culture and Leisure department at Torridge District Council, overseen by the Culture and Leisure Service Manager (C&L manager).

reception craft_gallery2 education_space

Our facilities

The Burton Art Gallery and Museum consists of;

- Bideford Museum Display Area,
- Temporary Exhibition Spaces,
- Craft Gallery,
- Gallery and Local Gift Shop,
- The Kingsley Room (Education Space)
- Tourist Information and
- Cafe du Parc

The Burton Art Gallery is fully wheelchair accessible.


Cafe du Parc

Traditional French fare is on the menu at the Burton’s popular café-bistro. Open throughout the year Café du Parc is the ideal place to meet with friends, relax eat and drink in artistic surroundings. Café du Parc can also be booked to provide catering for hire events at the Burton.

Cafe du Parc also runs a programme of concerts for diners to enjoy alongside their lunch. To find out more about the programme, pick up a Burton programme next time you visit the gallery,  or follow this link (click here).

For more info or to book a place on any of the Café du Parc events - Tel: 01237 429317


The Burton shop sells a wide range of quality merchandise linked to the exhibitions programme and permanent collection as well as souvenirs relating to Bideford.


Burton Gift Vouchers: Terms and Conditions

  1. Gift Vouchers will expire on the date marked on the Gift Voucher. Gift Vouchers presented after their expiry date will be treated as void and are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.
  2. Gift vouchers cannot be replaced if lost, stolen or damaged.
  3. You cannot use a Gift Certificate to purchase another Gift Certificate.
  4. The Burton Art Gallery and Museum / Torridge District Council reserves the right to refuse to accept a Gift Voucher which it deems to have been tampered with, duplicated, damaged or which otherwise is suspected to be affected from fraud.
  5. Gift Vouchers are issued by the Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2QQ.



Opening times

Open Daily: 10.00 - 16.00

Sundays: 11.00 - 16.00

August Only:

Monday - Saturday: 10.00 - 17.00

Sundays: 11.00 - 16.00


Admission is free


Visit us

The Burton Art Gallery and Museum is located on Kingsley Road, Bideford, adjacent to Victoria Park.

Car parking facilities are available opposite The Burton (short stay) and 100 yards away in Riverbank car park (long stay).


Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon. EX39 2QQ

Google map

For Hire

The Kingsley Room at The Burton is an extremely flexible space, so whether you require a standing reception for 100, or a board meeting for 24 this could be the perfect setting for you.

Our bookings include everything from AGM's to award ceremonies, training courses to exhibitions, product launches to parties. However, descibed as Bideford's most tranquil meeting room, if you need to get away from it all, it doubles as the perfect creative hideaway.

Situated on the first floor of The Burton Art Gallery and Museum, the Kingsley Room isn't just the perfect place to run your next event. It's a place where years of art and creative expertise work in tandem.


The following charges are exclusive of VAT

Room Hire Day Rates

Charitable Organisations       £9.50 per hour*     £11.40 including VAT

Educational Organisations     £13.45 per hour     £16.14 including VAT

Commercial Use                    £18.95 per hour     £22.74 including VAT


Room Hire Evening Rates

Charitable Organisations        £18.95 per hour*   £22.74 including VAT

Educational Organisations     £26.45 per hour     £31.74 including VAT

Commercial Use                     £37.80 per hour     £45.36 including VAT


Evening Rates (Gallery)

Flat Rate of Hire                     £315.20**              £378.24 including VAT

*A Registered Charity number is required for charity rates to apply.

**A fully refundable damage deposit maybe required for hiring the Burton Exhibition or Display spaces and areas during exhibitions.

Additional Charges

A £5 (£6 including VAT) cleaning charge will be added if the room is not left as found.

Those organisations without their own insurance can purchase public liability insurance through the council, via the Room Hire Booking Form at an additional cost of £7.50.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout The Burton


The following equipment is included in room hire booking, however we do ask for 2 working days notice:

Projector Screen

Flip Chart and Pens

Slide Projector


DVD/TV Combination Unit

A data projector and laptop can be hired at an additional cost of £5 per session (£6 including VAT).


The Education Space has a kitchenette with urn, kettle, microwave, fridge and sink. Hirers are welcome to supply their own refreshments at no additional cost.

Basic supplies for self catering purposes can be provided in the room (Tea, Coffee, Milk, Sugar) for £5 (£6 including VAT) for up to 15 people per session. Hirers are asked to set up and clean away their refreshments.

Alternatively Catering can be provided by Café du Parc.

Buffet Menu for functions & events  at The Burton Art Gallery & Museum

Lunch buffet £6 per person:

Sandwich platter (selection of meat/vegetarian, white/brown bread), Selection of ‘Real’ crisps

Quiche platter (slices of vegetarian and quiche Loraine),

Fresh fruit platter (apple, melon, pineapple, kiwi etc)

Dessert platter (selection of home-made cakes, tarts and pastries)


Filter Coffee  - £8 per pot  (10 cups)

Tea - 50p per cup

Other hot and cold drinks as per Café menu


Current Hire Charges  (links to a PDF document)

Application to Hire Booking Form (links to a word document)

Click here for location and information on parking facilities.


For more information on venue hire and to check availability, contact our friendly Burton Team.

Volunteering at the Burton

Welcome to Volunteering at the Burton

If you'd like to volunteer at the Burton, then get in touch. A member of staff will be happy to discuss our volunteer opportunities.

Right now we'd like some help to enhance our audience and visitors expereince. By being a Burton Ambassador you can help us do this - download a role description here. We'd also like some help to deliver our Crafty Kids sessions every Monday morning - download a role description here.

So if either of these roles are something you're interested in then please do get in touch.

Isobel - Burton Ambassador

Interview with Isobel  – Burton Ambassador at the Burton.

Volunteer Role: Burton Ambassador, currently invigilating the Modern Masters exhibition, answering audience questions and generally making sure visitors to the Burton have a good experience.

Age: 17
Interests: Fine Art, Contemporary Craft

What do you do?
I’m a student, currently studying Fine Art.

What first attracted you to volunteering at the Burton?
It’s a fantastic space that has brought many wonderful exhibitions to the North Devon area, many of which I visited. I’ve also attended a few events and realised that many were supported by volunteers and thought – that would be good, I could do that.

How much time do you spend volunteering?
I help with the community where ever I can. This includes local workshops, community projects and volunteering at a local primary school to help with art activities.

What are you enjoying most about being a volunteer at the Burton?
I am really enjoying being in such a creative environment. It is an amazing opportunity to familiarise myself with different artworks.

What’s the worst thing?
Nothing yet!

What’s the most important thing you bring to volunteering at the Burton?
I’m friendly, polite, and fairly outgoing – all of which helps me to fulfil my role as an ambassador and ensure the visitors have a positive experience.


General Overview
At the Burton we actively encourage and seek members of the community and students to become part of our team through volunteering. Volunteers are vital to us in achieving our vision and objectives. We aim to encourage, develop and support volunteer involvement in our service within all appropriate departments, programmes and activities. The Burton is committed to its volunteer programme as a way of encouraging people’s involvement in the museum, which supports and enriches our work and the overall experience of our visitors.

A volunteer is anyone who without recompense performs an activity at the direction of and on behalf of the Burton. Volunteers may be involved in a range of activities and will supplement the service provided. Volunteers bring new skills and perspectives to the organisation and can undertake activities that would not otherwise be carried out.

There are many different reasons for becoming a volunteer including; Social reasons, Meeting with people who share a similar interest, Satisfaction of knowing they have helped make the collections more accessible to the public, Interest in collections, local heritage, the arts, To develop or gain new skills, To put existing skills to good use, To gain a sense of achievement.

At the Burton we will strive to develop volunteer roles that promote and support the above reasons for volunteering. The main volunteers roles we offer are:

•    Burton Ambassador
•    Volunteer Guide /Enhanced Gallery Assistant
•    Volunteer Gallery Education Assistant
•    Volunteer Art Handling and Collections Care Assistant

For further information on volunteering at the Burton, please contact us for an informal discussion.


Staff and How to Contact Us

For general enquires relating to the Burton Art Gallery and Museum:
Email: info@theburton.org
Tel: 01237 471455

For enquires relating to Tourist Information on Bideford:
Email: info@theburton.org
Tel: 01237 477676

Miranda Clarke
Visual Arts Manager
Email: miranda@theburton.org

Warren Collum
Exhibitions and Collections Officer
Email: warren@theburton.org

Emily Paine
Gallery/Tourist Information Administrator 
Email: emily@theburton.org

Information Officers – can be contacted via the generic email and phone number above
Naomi Wilson
Ann-Marie Day (with Retail Responsibility)
Sarah Edwards
Kate McKinnel


For further information on the Friends of the Burton Art Gallery and Museum, click here.

Keep up to date with The Burton like us on Facebook 

Burton Art Gallery and Museum Policies and Plans

As an accredited museum and a public gallery, owned and managed by Torridge District Council, The Burton has a number of policies and plans it adheres to.

Such as policies specific to the Burton Art Gallery and Museum:

  • Forward Plan 2013-16
  • Burton Art Gallery and Museum Exhibitions Policy 2011-15
  • Acquisition and Disposal Policy 2011-15

The Burton also recognises and adheres to Torridge District Council Policies such as:

  • TDC Strategic Plan
  • TDC Culture and Leisure Strategy
  • Equal Opportunities and Diversity

Exhibition Policy

The exhibition programme is planned 12-18 months in advance offering a balance of exhibits addressing the interests of our audiences and visitors, including local heritage, community based exhibitions, open selections, exhibitions drawn from the permanent collection and touring exhibitions often including works by artists of national or international reputation.

Click here to download The Burton’s Exhibition Policy (PDF)

To aid the sourcing of new material and help provide a balanced programme the Burton welcomes exhibitions proposals from individual artists, curators and artist groups or societies. In the first instance it is advisable to read through the Exhibitions Policy to ensure proposals fit the criteria. Any queries can be followed up by an informal discussion with the Exhibitions and Collections Officer. Final exhibition proposals should be submitted for consideration to the Exhibitions and Collections Officer, who is responsible for curating the overall exhibitions programme.

Proposals must include;

  • Exhibition Proposal, no more than 2 sides of A4, that outlines the content of the exhibition including; themes, artists included, type of audience aimed at, practical considerations such as equipment, lighting, temperature, amount of wall, floor space requirements, description of works - size, media, retail price or insurance price as appropriate, and takes into consideration and demonstrate how the exhibition and artworks within support the aims of the Exhibitions Programme
  • Artist Statement – no more than 2 sides of A4 per artist, outlining the practice of the artist, current research themes and interests.
  • Artist and/or Curator’s CV – no more than 2 sides of A4 per artist/curator, including group and solo shows, current and forthcoming projects, awards, prizes, scholarships, publications, website links etc and gallery represented by.
  • Maximum of 10 Images – preferable in digital format, no bigger than 2 MB, Jpeg or Tiff files on a CD, preferably of artworks to be included within the exhibition although previous work influential to the exhibition is also of interest. Each image supplied must be accompanied by image credits including; Artist Name, Title, Media, Date and Size.
  • Catalogues/Publications/Reviews – no more than 5 x A4 sheets or 4 catalogues/publications or written reviews.
  • Contact Details – full contact details, phone numbers (landline and mobile), postal address and website links.

All materials supplied must be clearly labelled with senders name and materials will only be returned if an appropriate SAE is supplied. Proposals should be sent to the Exhibition and Collections Officer c/o The Burton Art Gallery and Museum.

Proposals will be reviewed on an on going basis, at least twice a year. As such there is no deadline for submissions, but adequate time must be allowed for the review process (6 months). Only successful artists will be contacted, with a request for further material and or a discussion of the submission. Such a request will not guarantee an offer of an exhibition. Receipt of proposals will only be acknowledged if the applicant contacts the Burton directly.

The exhibition programme is reviewed by the Burton Art Gallery and Museum’s staff on a regular basis, who assumes the final responsibility for ensuring the Exhibitions Programme meets the criteria as set out in the Exhibitions Policy.

Craft Gallery

The primary focus of the Craft Gallery is to support the main exhibitions programme and the Burton’s overall identity in terms of artistic excellence and quality of craftsmanship displayed/represented. The Craft Gallery exhibition programme follows the strategic aims and requirements as listed within the main exhibition section (4), with the following exceptions.

To accompany the main display of works in the Craft Gallery, a series of a maximum of10 and minimum of 6 showcases, will be programmed. The showcases will be made up of artists already represented by the Burton giving them a chance to display new works or a larger body of works or emerging artists the Burton is building a relationship with a view to representation.

All works exhibited in the Craft Gallery will be for sale on a commission basis. The Craft Gallery shall represent up to 50 artists at any time covering media, with priority to South West makers, but not exclusive to.

Please see the Exhibitions Policy for full details.


Acquisition and Disposal Policy (A&D Policy)

This policy sets out the principles that will provide the governing bodies and staff of the Burton with a framework for the scrupulous and ethical acquisition and disposal of the Burton’s collections, using clear procedures and decision-making processes common to UK museums in the Accreditation Scheme.

Implementing the policy will enable the Burton to demonstrate the public benefit in its actions relating to the acquisition and disposal of collections. It provides a basis for open and transparent decision-making and an informed dialogue between governing bodies, donors, funding bodies and other stakeholders.

This policy applies to:

  • material which the museum owns or to which it intends to acquire legal title
  • material which the museum owns and has accessioned into the collection or intends to own and accession into the collection.

Click here to download the Acquisition and Disposal Policy (PDF)

The A&D policy confirms the position of Torridge District Council as the owner of the Burton’s collection and sets out the principle that collections should not normally be regarded as financially negotiable assets (MA Code of Ethics, 2008, paragraph 6.13), and that financially motivated disposal could damaging public confidence in the Burton and Torridge District Council..

The A&D policy is based on that of the Phase 2 Registration Guidelines and the 2004 edition of the Accreditation Standard, updated in 2008. It outlines the scope of the collections remit, the main responsibility for the Exhibitions and Collections programme sits with the Exhibitions and Collections Officer. The Exhibitions Policy should be read in conjunction with the Acquisitions and Disposals Policy as both refer to the Burton’s permanent collections.

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