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

  • 50 Years of the Topsham Society

    50 Years of the Topsham Society

    01 Apr 15 to 30 Jun 15

  • Crossing the Exe

    Crossing the Exe

    01 Jun 15 to 31 Oct 15

Our Next Event

Re visiting Exeter's Roman Baths

Re visiting Exeter's Roman Baths

When: 09 June 2015
Where: Topsham Museum, Underloft

The first lecture of the year was held on Tuesday 28th April and was a sell-out!  We were so sorry that everyone couldn't be accommodated and so we are very pleased to announce that Topsham resident, Professor Valerie Maxfield, has kindly offered to run her fascinating lecture again on Tuesday 9th June at 7 p.m. (doors open 6.30 p.m.). 

The lecture is entitled:  “Re-visiting Exeter’s Roman Baths – current plans to display the legionary baths”.

It is ten years since Professor Maxfield spoke to us about the Roman baths (and is it really 40 years since we watched the progress of the excavations?) and many will have read recent reports in the newspaper about the plans to open them up for display – and puzzled as to how this could be achieved.

Coffee will be available before the Lecture itself and soup and crusty bread will be on sale afterwards for those who would like to stay on for lunch.

Lectures are always very popular so arrive early to ensure a seat!


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

  • New Jigsaw for sale: England's Rose

    19 May 2015

    A challenge for jigsaw enthusiasts! Now on sale in the Museum shop and online. £ more

  • Gallipoli Centenary

    25 April 2015

    The eight month campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey was one of the bloodiest of 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