Topsham Museum

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, featuring unique historic river craft. Visitors can also enjoy the furnished period rooms of the original merchants 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.

Visit website

  • 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 in 1900 and the "Terror", built here.

  • The River Gallery

    The Gallery holds a collection of historic Exe river boats. Four boats were saved by the Museum following the closure of the Exeter Maritime Museum: the famous Cygnet (pictured), the Market Boat, "Ruby" (a salmon boat) and a Skiff.

  • The House

    The merchants house dates from the late 17th century and two rooms on the first floor are furnished in that period. The newly refurbished bedroom has authentic wallpaper produced from wooden tilet blocks. The kitchen of Miss Holman, the founder of the Museum, has been preserved.

  • The Underloft

    The Underloft houses the popular Museum Tearoom, temporary exhibitions and the Museum Shop, which sells unusual and interesting gifts,cards, books on local subjects and items exclusive to Topsham. Teas available either here or in the beautiful garden on fine days.

  • 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 files on nearly 150 Topsham families. It is also the venue for our seasonal exhibitions.

Admission & prices

We are now closed for the winter. Our volunteers, however, are still working behind the scenes doing research and conservation work.

The Museum will re-open on 30th March 2019, afternoons on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, (plus Tuesdays in August), 2pm-5pm.

Last admission 4.30pm.


The Museum is run entirely by nearly 200 dedicated local volunteers and so we rely on your kind donations to ensure that the Museum and its collections remain in Topsham for generations to come.

Find us

From Topsham Station, walk down Holman Way to 'Route 2' cafe by mini roundabout, take 2nd exit - Strand. 300 yards along on left you will find the Museum. Buses: 57 & T - walk down Fore Street to 'Route 2' cafe. Parking: Holman Way or the Quay.

Museum news

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  • Toilets On-Site
  • Wheelchair access
  • Cafe on-site
  • Childrens activities
  • 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.

There are always a number of special exhibitions spread through the year.

A lift from the River Gallery provides disabled access to the updated Sail Loft (the history of Topsham Museum). We have wheelchair access in the Underloft/Tearoom and River Gallery but the merchant's house rooms on the first floor are unfortunately only accessible by stairs.

Local, Family History and WW1 collections are on open-shelf access for visitors and researchers on the ground floor.

Cream Teas and home-made cakes are served from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and there is a shop selling a wide range of interesting memorabilia, local history publications and high quality gifts.

Group visits may be made outside opening times by prior arrangement.

We are in an old, Listed Building which, regretfully, means that three rooms in the Merchant's House cannot be accessed by wheelchair users. Please download/read the notes on access for elderly or disabled visitors from Our Downloads on the Home Page.

25, Strand

T: 01392 873244

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Topsham Museum

25, Strand
Topsham, DEVON EX3 0AX