Torquay Museum is Devon’s oldest established Museum still operating, founded in 1845 and still owned and run by Torquay Museum Society. The Museum holds collections that are exceptional for a Museum of this size, with over 300,000 objects, some of which are of international importance.
The Museum is home to the second oldest anatomically modern human fossil in Europe, along with a large collection of stone tools and animal remains from the nearby Kents Cavern - one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe. The Museum is also home to an impressive Egyptology collection, including a 2,500 year old mummified boy, with an extremely rare Egyptian coffin, possibly belonging to the son of a king or queen. The Museum also houses Britain's only permanent Agatha Christie gallery.
The Museum also hosts an annual summer blockbuster exhibition, whose subjects range from The Titanic ship to props and costumes from some of Hollywood's most acclaimed sci-fi movies.
Other Museum collections include artefacts relating to natural history, palaeontology, archaeology, social history, ethnography, and a huge pictorial records collection and archives relating to the Torbay area as well as from across the world.
Museum, Archive, Association or society
Adult £5.50 Child aged 3 - 16 £3.50 Child aged under 3 Free Concessions* £4.10 Family (2 Adults and 2 Children) £16.90 Smaller Family (1 Adult and 2 Children) £11.60
- Museums Association
Services for visitors with mobility difficulties: all galleries of the museum are accessible by visitors with mobility problems. Access to the ground floor is by ramp, while a lift and stair lift will take you to the galleries. Toilets for people with disabilities are available on the ground and first floors.
Services for visitors with visual impairment: the Time Ark Gallery of natural history has many items that can be handled. These include tactile birds, fossils and a lion skin. Certain items in this gallery also have Braille labels. The Old Devon Farmhouse has many items that can be handled, including a human yoke, domestic utensils and cream pan, the rooms also have a soundtrack and smells to create an atmosphere of farm life, and at times this gallery also has storytellers. The Museum is always trying to add new services for people with visual impairments, contact the museum to find out about special events and new additions.
Parking: The Museum has one parking space that can be reserved, please contact us for details. A large car park can be found on the Terrace which is only fifty yards from the Museum, and there is on-street parking across the road from the Museum.
The registered Museum holds collections of natural history, palaeontology, archaeology, social history, ethnography, Torquay pottery, pictorial records, and archives, relating to the Torbay area, as well as from across the world. The collections are exceptional for a Museum of this size, over 300,000 specimens are held in the stores with about one percent on display.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Social History, Weapons and War, World Cultures
Key artists and exhibits
- The galleries include displays of Local Natural History, South Devon Archaeology and finds from Kents Cavern, Egyptology, the life of Agatha Christie, John Salter’s Topographical watercolours, the old Devon Farmhouse, Victoriana, Torquay pottery and World Adornment. The Museum has regular temporary exhibitions, and programmes of events for all ages.