Totnes Elizabethan House Museum (or TEHM because i freakin’ love acronyms) is a little gem in South Devon. The museum is set within a 16th century Merchant House, making it a really quaint personable museum (complete with its own herb garden out the back!) Understandably its collections are largely not prehistoric though there’s some Neolithic flint cores and axeheads for anyone interested (and
of course the one Bronze Age axehead which drew me there). Rather the TEHM focuses on the historical interest of Totnes itself, with much of it being Medieval or later since Totnes is an Anglo-Saxon town at heart, with a Norman castle at its centre. Various rooms of an Elizabethan house have been reconstructed including a bedroom and an impressive looking kitchen set-up, which smelled awesome!
There’s also a chance to dress up…
and a room on the top floor dedicated to Charles Babbage (a nineteenth century inventor from Devon), which provides a comprehensive overview of his achievements and ultimately rather tragic attempts to not secure funding and support for his projects (a feeling I sincerely hope I don’t have to relate to too often in my career!)
It’s only a small museum, but I really loved it. I’m not a Tudor nut, but from this museum I can definitely understand why people are. The staff and volunteers are so enthused and happy to chat and it’s just a really well-set-up museum. And positioned in the middle of the enviably pretty Totnes, it’s hard not to have a great time.