Lee Moor Museum

Lee Moor Museum - South Devon Railway

By: John Brodribb
Added: 12 March 2016

The Lee Moor Museum is at Buckfastleigh station, home of the South Devon Railway. The museum houses a number of important objects from the former Lee Moor Tramway, which connected the china clay workings at Lee Moor with Plymouth.

The Lee Moor Tramway was a development of the Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway, which was an extensive system built to the “Dartmoor gauge” of 4’6” (1,372mm). Modern standard gauge railways use 4’8½“ (1,485mm). The tramways were horse drawn from the start, although the Lee Moor section adopted steam locomotive working for part of the route in 1899. The Lee Moor tramway famously crossed the Great Western Railway’s main line at Laira, where horses pulled trains of clay wagons across it until just after the end of the second world war.

The Lee Moor Museum contains one of the two steam locomotives, Lee Moor No 2, and also one of the wagons used to carry china clay. Although almost all of these were scrapped when the system finally closed in 1960, this one had been involved in an accident and was thrown off the track. The wreckage survived to be rebuilt several years later.

Now a part of the SDR Trust Museum, it is planned that the Lee Moor Museum will be open on gala and special event Sundays throughout the season, weather permitting. The next occasion on which you will be able to view the museum is Easter Sunday, 27 March. There is no charge to look around the museum, and we look forward to seeing you.