TOPSHAM, Devon

Topsham is a unique town on the Exe estuary, Devon, just three miles from Exeter in England's West country. Loved by its locals, and savoured by those who visit. Topsham offers breathtaking river walks, independent shops, antiques and galleries, restaurants and pubs, or just a beautiful space to stop on your bike ride and watch the boats go by with a pint.

Come for a day, a week or a lifetime.

Scroll down and see what's happening in our vibrant, creative and bustling town in Devon.

Topsham

Matthews Hall

Matthews Hall now has its own website: www.matthewshalltopsham.co.uk

Follow the link for general information and hall booking details.

Exeter Memories has a good historical article - The Rex/Tivoli - Topsham - describing the hall from its origins as a cinema.

A number of enquirers have asked about the origin of the name. The hall is named after its donor and builder, James Woodrow Matthews. A brief biography:

James Woodrow Matthews, J.P., started his career in Topsham as a clerk in the office of one of the old sailing ship insuring clubs in the building [Grove House, then residence and business premises of John Holman] in which, having bought the property, he spent the last few years of his life. He was for many years with Messrs. W Lamplough & Co., Insurance Brokers, and was manager for them until, in 1901, he founded Matthews, Wrightson & Co. in conjunction with Mr Harry Wrightson and his brother Mr R.G. Wrightson. The firm became a private limited company in 1911, when Mr Matthews was appointed as chairman, and he held that position until his retirement in 1924. He was an annual subscriber to Lloyd's from 1901 to 1916, when he became an underwriting member. He underwrote marine in the syndicate of Mr Eustace R. Pulbrook [Sir Eustace Pulbrook, 1881-1953, Chairman of Lloyds] and non-marine, motor and employers' liability under the agency of Messrs. Matthews, Wrightson & Co. Ltd. He was one of the founders of the Corporation of Insurance Brokers, and was later its treasurer and a member of the council, finally being elected a vice-president. He was a prominent Freemason, a member of its Grand Lodge. He died at Grove House on July 30 1934 aged 83.
- from Times obituary, July 31, 1934 (thanks to Michael G Matthews for the enquiry that led to filling in the details).

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