Totnes Elizabethan House Museum
70 Fore Street
The Totnes Elizabethan House Museum collection is contained in a magnificent Tudor house, built in 1575. There are 13 rooms on three floors covering over 5000 years of history from Totnes and District.
It features a room dedicated to Victorian computer inventor Charles Babbage, a superb parlour/bedroom and a Tudor Kitchen. There are displays depicting the adventures of William Wills, the first man to cross Australia between North and South, and a hands-on Victorian Nursery. In addition there is a Courtyard and Tudor herb garden to explore.
The museum is also home to an Archive (Study Centre) containing maps, wills, deeds and other historical documents to assist researchers and family history devotees. The entire record of the local newspaper, Totnes Times, since 1860 is available on microfiche and there are printing and photocopying facilities available.
The Study Centre is also an outpost of the Devon Records Office.
Museum, Historic house or home
21 March-31 October
Mon-Fri 1030-1700 Last entry 1630
Sat by appt
Open Bank holidays
In Saxon times Totnes was a minting Burgh, a fortified town which produced its own coinage. The Museum houses a collection of coins minted in Totnes during the Saxon period, which are currently on display in the Archaeology Gallery. This collection is accompanied by a Civil War hoard, and a hoard of coins minted during the reign of Edward I.
The Babbage Room:
Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first computer, was born in Totnes and studied at the Totnes Grammar School. The museum houses an exhibition detailing the work that Charles Babbage conducted, as well as describing the advancement in the field of computers and technology.
The Elizabethan Bedroom:
This gallery is dedicated to demonstrating how Elizabethans would have lived, as well as containing some beautiful examples of Elizabethan furniture. This room is even more remarkable for its garderobe (toilet), a feature which would have been particularly rare during this period.
The Study Centre:
The Study Centre is a service point for the Devon Record Office and houses an extensive collection of documents, photographs and books about Totnes and its surrounding area. The archival collections include copies of the Totnes Times, dating from 1860 to the present day. The centre is available to researchers, and the staff are also willing to research postal enquiries relating to Family and Local History.
This gallery compares food and cookery throughout the Elizabethan and Victorian periods, and the displays include some good examples of cookery equipment.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Land Transport, Medicine, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History
Key artists and exhibits
- Charles Babbage
- Saxon coins
- Civil war coins
- Edward I coins
- Elizabethan furniture and garderobe (toilet)
Listen to local folk band &lsquo
perform some of their favourite songs as you soak up the atmosphere in one of the city&rsquo
s most historic properties. Standard admission applies but there is no need to book. This is a Plymouth History Festival 2013 event.,
- Family friendly
Standard admission applies.