A visitors guide to Topsham Museum

A visitors guide to Topsham Museum - Topsham Museum

Added: 08 April 2019

The front door of the house opens to the side of the building like most of the neighbouring merchant houses in the Strand, rather than directly onto the street. In a display case in the hall is the Follett sash with the description of its bloody history together with a Topsham made clock and other artefacts.

To the right of the hall is the newly furnished front room dedicated to Dorothy Holman, the Museum’s founder. Furniture from her drawing room reflects the lifestyle of an Edwardian family and includes a portrait of Sophie Holman (her Father was a Mayor of Exeter) as well as other Holman memorabilia.

A late 18th century tide clock, made locally by Richard Trevor, stands in this room and shows times of high water at Topsham Bar. It was used by merchants to calculate when cargo-laden vessels could reach the Quay.

Also displayed is the night dress worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. Vivien’s first husband (before she married Laurence Olivier) was Leigh Holman, a brother of Dorothy Holman. The sisters-in-law maintained contact after the marriage to Leigh Holman was dissolved and Vivien’s daughter donated the nightdress, photographs and other memorabilia to her Aunt Dorothy’s museum.

Across the hall is a room showing changing exhibitions each year. It also houses the local history collection with information about Topsham streets, trades and families and a library of local and reference books for visitors interest.