Address: Tiverton and Mid Devon Museum Trust, Beck's Square, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6PJ
Telephone: 01884 256295
Website: Tiverton Museum
Admission times: Monday to Friday 10.30am-4.30pm; Saturdays 10.00am-1.00pm; closed Christmas and January
Tiverton Museum is a real asset for the people of Mid Devon, giving them a sense of the place in which they are living and helping to give them a feeling of belonging by showing objects, photographs and archives about the history and development of Mid Devon.
The Overshot Waterwheel from Coombeland Farm, Cove at the museum.
The social history collections cover local agriculture, domestic life, industry, and transport in the Mid Devon and South Exmoor areas. The remarkable range of artefacts includes the beautifully restored 'Tivvy Bumper' - a Great Western Railway 0-4-2T steam locomotive that once ran on the Exe and Culm Valley lines before Dr. Beeching's axe - and a collection of farm waggons and carts of national importance including three rare Devon ‘ship’ waggons.
The 'Tivvy Bumper' steam locomotive
There is a fine collection of local clocks, domestic and agricultural equipment and a large collection of archives, local Devon and Somerset newspapers and several thousand photographs. Indeed, there is something to keep an entire family delighted by their visit, as well as resources for researches of local or family history. Every part of the collection is now accessible to the disabled with a lift and easy ramps for wheelchair access, together with Braille panels and sound points.
The 'Wagon Gallery' at the museum
One gallery focuses on John Heathcoat whose arrival in Tiverton in 1816 brought new prosperity to the area. Not only is there evidence of his extraordinary ingenuity in developing new processes for the making of textiles, there is also fascinating information on the man himself, his family and the contribution that they made to Tiverton and Mid Devon in the past two centuries.
The 'Agricultural Gallery'
The on-line learning resource Virtual Victorians has been voted one of the ten best educational museum websites in the country. The Museum Education Service offers a wide range of resources for both formal education and lifelong learning; there are handling collections for schools and special activities and events during school holidays.
The Museum is a Service Point for the Devon Records Office and can, with notice, give access to the county's extensive records. Volunteers are on hand on Mondays (2.00-4.30pm) and Wednesdays (10.30am - 4.30pm) to give family history researchers help and advice; prior booking is strongly recommended.