Topsham Museum

Topsham Museum
25 The Strand
Topsham, Exeter




01392 873244

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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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 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 and new display about HMS Terror, a Topsham built ship lost in the Artic. Other interesting exhibits include wildlife of the Exe Estuary, local trades and organisations and a small collection of 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

1 April to 31 October
Sun Mon Wed Thu Sat (and Tuesday through August) 14.00-17.00

Group visits at other times by prior arrangement.

Closed: 1 November 2015 to 26 March 2016

Admission charges


Collection details

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

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Lunchtime Lecture Programme 2015

  • 28 April — 27 October 2015

The popular Topsham Museum Lunchtime Lecture programme begins this year on April 28th. Please note that Lectures will now take place on TUESDAYS. Doors will open at 10.45 a.m. and coffee will be available beforehand.

2015 Programme: Tuesday 28th April Re-visiting Exeter's Roman Baths: recent plans to display the legionary baths Speaker: Professor Valerie Maxfield, Archaelogist, Tuesday 26th May The Newlyn School and other art colonies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries Speaker: Professor Sam Smiles, Art Historian, Tuesday 30th June Crossing the Exe -Topsham's Ferry & River Exe Bridges Speakers: Anna Adcock & Mark Dant, Topsham Museum, Tuesday 28th July The Nature of the Exe RSPB speaker, NO LECTURE IN AUGUST, Tuesday 29th September Charitable Activities in Exeter during the First World War Speaker: Dr Richard Batten, Historian, Tuesday 27th October Lighting the Darkness: exploriing RAMM's magic lantern slide collection Speaker: Jenny Durrant, Royal Albert Museum,

Re visiting Exeter's Roman Baths

  • 28 April 2015 10:45am-12:30pm

The first lecture of the year on Tuesday 28th April will be given by Topsham resident, Professor Valerie Maxfield, 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 for lunch.