In 2020 Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life will be celebrating its 60th birthday.
The museum was established by a small, dedicated, group of local people who wanted to tell the story of Mid Devon, and collect everyday items that were once so common, then falling out of use. As the collections grew in size, the museum moved around the town, finally settling into an old National School building dating to 1841. Today, Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is a treasure trove of fascinating objects and quirky artefacts that weave incredible stories about the people who lived here.
The museum’s galleries show everything from lace making to laundry, bicycles to brewing and carts to costume. Explore an earlier time when the wool trade was the local industry and most of Tiverton’s population was involved in some way. We have a rare collection of cloth seals on display which were attached to locally made cloth which was sold in The Netherlands.
The cloth seals have been found by metal detectorists and returned to Tiverton. Discover the fascinating story of the establishment of the Heathcoat lace factory when John Heathcoat arrived in Tiverton in 1816 together with a number of his workers and their families who had walked all the way from Loughborough! Enjoy a trip down memory lane in our kitchen and laundry gallery with 1940s cookers and a twin tub; get nostalgic over old toys and games; and see our horse drawn farming equipment which includes a collection of rustic Devon farm carts and wagons. Sit in a World War Two Anderson shelter and hear an evacuee’s experience. Don’t miss our transport gallery; hop on board the footplate of the Tivvy Bumper steam engine (GWR locomotive 1442), put on a driver’s cap and pull the whistle! The engine worked the local branch line which was lost in the Beeching cuts of the 1960s and is displayed with a large collection of local station name plates and other railwayana. All of this and much more reveals what makes Mid Devon so special.
Everyone will enjoy their visit to the museum – whether it’s exploring something new or reminiscing over something from the past. The busy events programme includes temporary exhibitions, workshops, walks, talks and much more.
The museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users; a lift is available and seating available around the building. There is an audio (T) loop in reception.
The town’s Tourist Information Service is housed in the museum and provides information on what to do and where to stay locally. The Information service also manages the free coach parking bookings for Tiverton.
The museum is easy to find in the centre of Tiverton; the entrance is on Beck’s Square, next to the short stay car park, just a few minutes’ walk from the bus station and the long stay car park.
Opening Hours etc:
The museum is open (January to Christmas): Monday to Friday 10:30 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. We are open on Bank Holidays.
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life, Beck’s Square, Tiverton EX16 6PJ
Tel: 01884 256295
The Tourist Information Service is open
October – March:
Monday to Saturday: 10:00 – 3:00
April – September:
Monday to Saturday: 9:30 – 3:30