Before and after the Romans

The sail loft on the first floor of the Museum showcases Topsham’s early history with flints and illustrations of prehistory fragments from site and buildings.

The items excavated from Roman settlements around Topsham include glass, pottery, a quern stone, coins and personal ornaments.

Recent excavations on newer building sites revealed a fortlet and store houses in the town. Our collection includes items from these discoveries plus images and plans.

Coin found in a Topsham lane
Roman dagger and sheath
Quern stone

In medieval times, Topsham’s importance came from its role as the port for Exeter, with boat-building and trade bringing prosperity to the town. The creation of the canal by Exeter City was a bid to overcome the challenge of getting boats up to Exeter.

Cog model by Peter Grinyer