Tiverton Museum, Devon

Last week I decided to have a few hours out, so I visited a Museum in the town close to where I live, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

20170818_125454.jpg

Situated in the town of Tiverton in Mid Devon, is the Tiverton Museum. The Museum is a place to learn all about the life and local history of Tiverton and the surrounding area. It’s much bigger than I expected and I spent a good few hours wandering through the halls that are filled with lots of interesting exhibits.

Devon Agricultural life

There’s a large number of displays dedicated to agriculture and farming life in Devon, from cider presses, to farming implements. The displays give the visitor an incredible overview of life in the industry before mechanisation. Visitors can learn about sowing crops, ploughing and even milling. Some of the farming artefacts date back to the 1800’s and some of the cider press items are even older.

20170818_13000320170818_13015120170818_125923

Doomsday Book and Archaeology

My favourite part of the museum was the Britton Gallery, which houses some archaeological displays (and you know how much I love archaeology!). It includes information about archaeological ages, some hand axes reputed to be around 400,000 years old, and there is also information about the Bolham Roman Fort, The bit I liked the most was reading about the Doomsday Book. A number of villages surrounding Tiverton are mentioned in the Doomsday Book, and it was fascinating to read more, especially as the village I live in, is one of the places mentioned! It seems that the area of Tiverton is very steeped in history if you look hard enough.

20170818_13070920170818_130604

Heathcoat Gallery

Anyone who knows Tiverton well will know all about the Heathcoat family and their factory. Part of the museum is set aside to inform visitors about the Heathcoats and it highlight’s the history of the family, and the work undertaken at the factory, including some of the machinery that would have been used in the past. There’s also a board telling visitors about the use of lace made at the factory; including lace that went on to make Princess Diana’s wedding veil.

20170818_13112920170818_131133

Through the Ages

There are a number of galleries that show Tiverton and surrounding areas through the ages. These include Kitchen and Laundry, Cottage Parlour, and the Upper and Lower Amory Galleries. There are so many great things to see in these galleries, including a prison door, local trade artefacts and Civic Life. My favourite was the WW1 and WW2 section. It included a number of war items including rations books, warden/fire guard and home guard insignias, and even an Anderson shelter (complete with an operational air-raid siren!).

20170818_13313420170818_13305520170818_133120

The Courtyard

Outside in the Courtyard there are more pieces of agricultural equipment. In a side gallery there’s a fantastic Silverton Fire Engine thought to date from around 1837. A second gallery contains an extensive display of farm wagons that belonged to a local farming family from Netherexe Barton. It’s wonderful that this local heritage has been preserved for people to see and learn from.

20170818_13354820170818_13350920170818_133651

The Tivvy Bumper

The final gallery is home to the Tivvy Bumper, a sparkling green and black locomotive that used to operate on local railway lines. The Tivvy Bumper is surrounded by and extensive collection of railway items, such as signals, and railway signs. There is also a board that tells the history of the railways and various railway stations in the Tiverton area. Information on various road transport and of course the Grand Western Canal is also present in the gallery.

20170818_13435220170818_134409

As well as all of the exhibits mentioned above the museum also has a Tourist Information Service and a great shop full of books, postcards, keyrings, magnets and some lovely Tiverton themed gifts. The staff were so friendly and welcoming and I really enjoyed my visit to Tiverton Museum. It’s an interesting and inspiring place that provides so much information about the history of Tiverton and surrounding areas, and I shall definitely go back to visit it again soon.

For more Information about Tiverton Museum, including opening times and where to find them, go to their website.

  • Have you been to visit Tiverton Museum? If so what was your favourite artefact or gallery?

 

Chrissie is an author who loves history, and enjoys travelling and days out exploring. www.chrissieparker.com

Untitled design

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s