Local Museums

If you’re looking for a guaranteed way to cheer up a rainy day, our local museums really are treasure troves.

This article was written on 28 September 2020
and is a 4 minute read

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They’re a hit with children and adults alike and filled to the brim with interesting finds. Explore the well-curated exhibits to learn more about our region through the ages. Most local towns have small museums, but here are a few of our favourites.

Due to current COVID restrictions, please confirm whether your chosen museum is open before making the journey to visit. We’ve indicated which are open at time of writing. Some may not be opening in 2020 and others may require you to book a time slot.

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life.

(Open at time of writing).

A wonderful, eclectic mix of exhibits reflecting life in Mid Devon throughout the ages, giving a local context to periods in history from ancient Roman relics through to war time. There’s a focus on the area’s agricultural heritage, as well as the famous ‘Tivvy Bumper’, a beautiful old steam train on whose footplate you can stand and pretend to be the driver! (Image credit: Tiverton Museum).

Tiverton Museum

Artefacts at the Tiverton Museum

Tivvy Bumper

The Tivvy Bumper

Topsham Museum.

(Closed at time of writing).

Find Topsham Museum in an original 17th Century merchant’s house overlooking the Exe Estuary. Much of it focuses on Topsham’s rich maritime history and it’s vital role as a trade port and a ship-building area. There are also exhibits about the people of Topsham and Exe Estuary wildlife, all curated by very knowledgeable volunteers.

The Museum of Somerset, Taunton.

(Closed at time of writing).

Housed in Taunton’s 12th century castle, the museum hosts a wide collection of artefacts such as toys, fossils, silver, pottery, natural history, military history and a magnificent Roman mosaic found at the Low Ham Roman Villa. The museum is laid out in chronological order. Don’t miss the “Frome Hoard”, a hoard of more than 50,000 Roman coins found in April 2010 by a metal detectorist!

Allhallows Museum of Lace and Local Antiquities, Honiton

(Closed at time of writing, but museum gift shop open on Tuesdays and Saturdays 10am to 2pm).

A small and very informative museum celebrating Honiton Lace from the 16th through to the 20th century. Ask the friendly staff about the history of lace-making in the area and examine the bones, fossils and other artefacts. You might even be treated to a lace making demonstration. (Image Credit: Allhallows Museum).

Honiton Museum

Allhallows Museum

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.

(Closed at time of writing but re-opening Saturday 24 October ).

The RAMM is one of the UK’s finest regional museums, housing world class collections. Exhibits tell the story of Exeter and Devon from the prehistoric to the present. Split over 16 different galleries, items relating to zoology, anthropology, fine art, local and overseas archaeology, and geology are all on offer here. The butterfly display is particularly noteworthy and the stuffed animals provide an interesting reflection on the changing values of those that would seek to preserve wildlife. The museum is very popular with families and has plenty to fire up curious minds.

Little Girl Examines an Exhibit at Exeter Museum

Axminster Heritage Centre.

(Open Tues, Thurs and Sat at time of writing).

Axminster is, of course, famous for its carpets. At the Heritage Centre, you can learn about early carpet making and the hidden history of the town. It’s a well laid out display, showing that there’s more to Axminster than you think!

Displays at Axminster Heritage Centre

Displays at Axminster Heritage Centre

 

If you enjoy a visit any local museums that we haven’t listed here, let us know so that we can recommend it to other guests staying at our Devon holiday park. Any details we provide in our blogs are correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing, but do check attraction websites for up to date information.