Topsham is an attractive town on the Exe estuary, Devon, in England's Westcountry. Now part of Exeter, it nevertheless maintains a distinctive identity. Loved by its locals, and savoured by those who visit, Topsham offers river walks; wildlife; a Saturday morning market; many characterful shops, restaurants and inns; and quiet space to sit and watch the sailing boats go by. But while present-day Topsham is undoubtedly picturesque and has a rich historical heritage, it always has been a working town. Despite no longer being one of the great trading ports of Britain, it continues to have a very strong business and commercial life, with traditional maritime trades continuing alongside the modern and computerised. The site aims to support and encourage the current and future community, so that the history which awaits us may be just as interesting and rewarding.

Topsham - looking north from Quay

Important notice

I'm sorry to announce that the updating of the Topsham site is likely to be discontinued in the near future. At this instant, I'm uncertain whether to take the site down or try to find someone to take custody of it for the town. My chief concern, for the general benefit of Topsham, is that the useful and long-running domain doesn't lapse and get into the hands of a 'splogger' (as did) or domain speculator.

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Ray Girvan died on Tuesday 30 June 2015, three years after his diagnosis of cancer.  It was his wish that this site should not become commercialised, but should be retained for community use.  Ray asked if I might facilitate this.  I have done so by taking over the domain name and will now consider how best to manage the site to reflect his wishes.  In the meantime there will be no activity on the site.

Eliot Wright

Childhood friends sought

A French lady called Mireille (surname then David) is trying to contact the Smith family she knew in Parkfield around 1980. If this rings any bells with anyone and you're OK with getting in touch, I can forward details:

Open for business

A brief run-down of current news of local amenities and shops:

Topsham Library - now Community Hub and Topsham Library, run in association between Devon Libraries staff and the new owners, Estuary League of Friends - is now re-open after renovations. See Community Hub and Topsham Library for details of its new facilities.

Estuary Magazine - the current editorial notes that e-mails appear to have been gone astray because many people are still trying an old supanet address used by the previous editor. If this is the address you have, please update your bookmarks! The editorial address is, and the advertising address

RISE - "nice things for lovely people" - is a new giftware shop, selling toys, cards, novelties, homeware, and other distinctive gifts. Visit them at 8 Fore Street (the yellow door, two doors along from Shauls).

CASA - run by Queenstreet Carpets & Furnishings - is opening on Friday 1st May at the Old Gaol, Topsham (the former site of Brights of Nettlebed). It will be showcasing the firm's range of furniture, upholstery, beds and giftware - but not carpets. See

Topsham Society - address change

The Topsham Society has a new web address:

Please amend your bookmarks.

The objectives of the Society are:
  • To promote high standards of planning and architecture in Topsham.
  • To inform the public of the geography, history, natural history and architecture of Topsham.
  • To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Topsham.

Bowling Green Marsh Hide

News from RSPB Devon:
"We’re pleased to say that the new hide down at Bowling Green Marsh is open and ready for business! We hope you’ll come and make the most of this exciting new facility and with winter fast approaching (sorry!) there will be more and more birds arriving. We’ve already had a visit from an avocet and there’s osprey here now, so come along and see what you can see.


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