Find out about: 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.
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
02 Aug 14 to 30 Oct 14
Topsham Maine, USA
05 Jul 14 to 30 Oct 14
The Vigilant Story
30 Mar 14 to 30 Oct 14
HMS Terror: a Topsham Ship
30 Mar 14 to 30 Oct 14
Our Next Event
Lunchtime Lecture Programme 2014
When: 30 April 2014 to 29 October 2014
Where: Topsham Museum, Underloft
The Lunchtime Lecture series programme:
April 30th The Art of the Devon Garden: a feast for the eyes and ears. Speaker: Todd Gray, Historian & Author
May 28th Topsham and the Civil War: bloody fighting in the streets. Speaker: John Dunsford, Local Historian
June 25th: Topsham...to.... Topsham: over the sea to Maine. Speaker: Margaret Wilson, Local Historian
July 30th: Gavrillo Princip - the assassin who started the First World War Speaker: Peter Villiers, Devon Author
No Lecture in August
September 24th: The Terror of Topsham: a warship for the New World Speaker: David Clement, Maritime Historian
October 29th: Cess Pits, Cemeteries and Sewers - being an archaeologist Speaker: Dr Peter Marsden, Archaeologist
Lectures begin at 11.30 but we advise arriving in good time as the lectures are very popular and space is limited.
Soup and crusty bread available for lunch after the lectures.
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 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.
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 Underloft houses the popular Museum Tearoom, temporary exhibitions and the Museum Shop.
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 he...read more
Town Fayre Coffee Morning
19 August 2014
10-12 noon on 19th August in the lovely Museum Gardens. Enjoy a coffee, buy cakes and book...read more
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.
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25 The Strand
Topsham, DEVON EX3 0AX