Topsham Museum

Topsham Museum
25 The Strand
Topsham, Exeter




01392 873244

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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.

Topsham's position as a sheltered harbour enabled it to thrive as a port, a centre for fishing and shipbuilding. In a largely forgotten period the Exe was thronged with sailing vessels and its shipyards were major employers in the town and the trade at its height rivalled that of London.

The Museum incorporates pleasant gardens and a tearoom.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

31 March - 30 October
Sun Mon Wed Thu Sat (and Tuesday through August) 14.00-17.00

Group visits at other times by prior arrangement.

Closed: 31 October - 31 March

Admission charges


Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Natural Sciences, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities, Social History, Land Transport, Maritime

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

June 1944: Torbay at War

  • 6 June — 1 November 2014 *on now

June 1944 Torbay at War: 70th Anniversary of D-Day Exhibition, Weapons, Top Secret documents, uniforms and rarely seen wartime photographs from the Museum's extensive collections, bring to life the impact of Waprld War II on life in Torbay.

Visitors can handle a real Sten gun and try on an American GI's helmet. Enter a Morrison shelter and find out what it might have been like during an air raid. Listen to first hand audio accounts of the affects of WWII on local people., The exhibition tells the stories of Torbay's preparations for the D-Day landings, the American soldiers based in this area and how Torbay suffered during the German bombing raids. ,