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.


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  • Toilets On-Site

    Toilets On-Site

  • Wheelchair access

    Wheelchair Access

  • Cafe on-site

    Refreshments On-Site

  • Childrens activities

    Family friendly

  • Gift Shop

    Gift Shop

Our beautiful riverside garden is open all year. During the season, home-made teas are served in the cafe or gardens. Do 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

  • Exhibitions 2015

    Exhibitions 2015

    01 Apr 15 to 31 Oct 15

  • The Woollen Cloth Trail

    The Woollen Cloth Trail

    31 Mar 15 to 31 Oct 15

  • Crossing the Exe

    Crossing the Exe

    01 Jun 15 to 31 Oct 15

  • Wild About Topsham

    Wild About Topsham

    01 Jul 15 to 31 Oct 15

Our Next Event

Lunchtime Lecture Programme 2015

Lunchtime Lecture Programme 2015

When: 28 April 2015 to 27 October 2015
Where: Topsham Museum, Underloft

The popular Topsham Museum Lunchtime Lecture programme begins this year on April 28th.  Please note that Lectures will now take place on TUESDAYS. Doors will open at 10.45 a.m. and coffee will be available beforehand.

2015 Programme: 

Tuesday 28th April   Re-visiting Exeter's Roman Baths: recent plans to display the legionary baths  Speaker: Professor Valerie Maxfield, Archaelogist

Tuesday 26th May   The Newlyn School and other art colonies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries  Speaker: Professor Sam Smiles, Art Historian

Tuesday 30th June   Crossing the Exe -Topsham's Ferry & River Exe Bridges Speakers: Anna Adcock & Mark Dant, Topsham Museum

Tuesday 28th July   The Nature of the Exe  RSPB speaker


Tuesday 29th September   Charitable Activities in Exeter during the First World War  Speaker: Dr Richard Batten, Historian

Tuesday 27th October   Lighting the Darkness: exploriing RAMM's magic lantern slide collection  Speaker: Jenny Durrant, Royal Albert Museum

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 famous Cygnet, the Market Boat, "Ruby" (a salmon boat) and a Skiff.

The River Gallery

The House

Dates from the late 17th century - 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, selling unusual and interesting gifts, books on local subjects and Topsham items.

The Underloft

Local History Room

A comfortable study space for visitors to consult our extensive public collection of local reference materials, census indexes, local research projects, digitised information and details of nearly 150 Topsham families. It is also the venue for our seasonal exhibitions

Local History Room
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Our Latest news

  • Dolphins Out of School Club

    14 August 2015

    On Friday 14th August we are pleased to welcome the Dolphins Out-of-School Club to more

  • Joint Event with Topsham Youth Activities

    07 August 2015

    An Art Workshop at the Museum designed for 10-15 year olds. The theme will be Portraits, more

more news

Admission & Prices

During the 2015season, the Museum will be open in the afternoons on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, (plus Tuesdays in August), 2pm-5pm from 1st April until 30th October.

Last admission 4.30pm.


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Topsham Museum

25 The Strand
Topsham, DEVON EX3 0AX