Find out about: Topsham Museum

About Us

Topsham Museum

Topsham Museum is housed in one of a group of late 17th century buildings overlooking the Exe Estuary. Following completion of a stunning new River gallery, the Museum was 'long-listed' for the Art Fund Prize in 2008.

Part of the Museum's focus is on Topsham's maritime history - one particular showpiece is the River Gallery, completed in 2007, featuring unique historic river craft. Visitors can also enjoy the furnished period rooms of the original house and the Sail Loft with its historical timeline of the town's general history. Other interesting exhibits include wildlife of the Exe Estuary, local trades and organisations and memorabilia of the film star Vivien Leigh.


Back to search results


  • Toilets On-Site

    Toilets On-Site

  • Wheelchair access

    Wheelchair Access

  • Cafe on-site

    Refreshments On-Site

  • Childrens activities

    Family friendly

  • Gift Shop

    Gift Shop

The beautiful riverside garden is open all year. During the season, home-made teas are served in the cafe or gardens. Visit our gift shop. Group visits of up to 15 can be arranged for guided tours between April and October by prior arrangement.

Exhibitions and Projects

  • Mapping Topsham

    Mapping Topsham

    02 Aug 14 to 30 Oct 14

  • Topsham   Maine, USA

    Topsham Maine, USA

    05 Jul 14 to 30 Oct 14

  • The Vigilant Story

    The Vigilant Story

    30 Mar 14 to 30 Oct 14

  • HMS Terror:  a Topsham Ship

    HMS Terror: a Topsham Ship

    30 Mar 14 to 30 Oct 14

Our Next Event

Heritage Day 2014

Heritage Day 2014

When: 11 September 2014
Where: Topsham Museum

To mark Heritage Day this year, the Museum will be open until 8 p.m., with teas served in the afternoon and light refreshments until 7.30 p.m.

Catch up with the two current exhibitions - the fascinating Mapping Topsham (a 21st century view of the town as seen by local residents) and Celebrating Topsham Maine.  Join in the special quiz!

At 6.30 p.m. there will be an illustrated talk - "Topsham & the Civil War - bloody fighting in the streets" by Museum Chairman, John Dunsford.

Admission is free.

Children welcome!

more events

Our Collections

The museum houses a comprehensive collection of artefacts, documents and photographs that tell the fascinating story of the port of Topsham and its links with the maritime trade.The main areas featured are:


The Sail Loft

Displays the history of Topsham from Prehistoric times: Shipbuilding, fishing and maritime trade, including ship models, shipwrights' tools, maps, photographs, paintings, documents etc. Other exhibits include a model of Topsham as it was in 1900.

The Sail Loft

The River Gallery

The Gallery holds a collection of historic Exe river boats. Four boats were saved after the closure of the Exeter Maritime Museum: the Cygnet, the Market Boat, "Ruby" (a salmon boat) and a Skiff.

The River Gallery

The House

Dates from the late 17th century and two rooms are furnished in that period. The kitchen of Miss Holman, the founder of the Museum, has been preserved. Memorabilia in the Vivien Leigh Room (her sister in law) includes the nightdress Vivien wore in the film "Gone with the Wind".

The House

The Underloft

The Underloft houses the popular Museum Tearoom, temporary exhibitions and the Museum Shop.

The Underloft

Local History Room

A comfortable study space for consulting our extensive public collection of local reference materials, including census indexes and details of over 100 Topsham family trees. It is also the venue for our seasonal exhibitions.

Local History Room
view next slide
1 2 3 4 5

Our Latest news

  • Lunchtime Lecture The Terror of Topsham from the heat of war to the polar cold

    24 September 2014

    Lunchtime Lecture, 11.30 a.m. on 24th September: The Terror of Topsham – From the more

  • Heritage Day 2014

    11 September 2014

    To mark Heritage Day, Topsham Museum will be opening for an extended period - 2-6 p.m.. , more

more news

Admission & Prices

During the 2014 season, the Museum will be open in the afternoons on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, (plus Tuesdays in August), 2pm-5pm from 31st March until 30th October.

Last admission 4.30pm.


Shop Online

Click the button above to add this museum to your MyMuseum wish list. Once added you can choose to save this for future visits or email the Museum details to a friend.

Topsham Museum

25 The Strand
Topsham, DEVON EX3 0AX