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 has a rich and varied history. First documented as a Roman settlement, it was granted a Charter as a town on 22nd August 1300 by Edward I, developing into a major British port and shipbuilding centre that in its heyday rivalled London. There are Dutch houses from this maritime past, and fine examples of Georgian and Edwardian architecture. In the year 2000 we celebrated our 700th year, when the Queen visited and went to a pub for the first time!

Topsham postcards
A gallery of Mick Cooper's collection of postcards of old Topsham. This is a frames-based site. Use the back button of your browser to return to the Topsham website.
1280x1024 (monochrome / colour). 1024x768 (monochrome / colour). 800x600 (monochrome / colour).

The Steam Packet
An on-site gallery of the Steam Packet in its final days as a pub before its conversion to Route 2 cafe bar.

General links

  • Topsham Museum Devon Museums official site
  • GENUKI, Topsham Historical resources for Topsham and its genealogy.
  • Diary of Phyllis Bethel - wartime diary published in blog form: "From Wiesbaden Germany 1929 to Topsham, Devon, Great Britain 1953".
  • Exeter Memories This site has a deal of interesting material (for instance, history of Topsham's pubs and notable buildings - put Topsham into its internal search).
  • Topsham community page Brief history at the Devon Libraries Local Studies Service site.
  • Old Maps click the Maps link and enter "topsham" (without quotes) in the search box. This leads to a zoomable 1890 map.
  • Topsham 1841 Census From GENUKI, churchwarden's census of "a Portion of the Labouring Population".
  • Topsham Cinemas The long-defunct Cosy and Tivoli (from Clive Polden's West Country Cinemas gazetteer).
  • Topsham, Devon, through time Topsham at the Vision of Britain historical gazetteer.
  • Topsham School hosts a short history of the First School and the Parkfield Road site (both now redeveloped as residential) plus extracts from School logbooks
  • Topsham Quay At the SWMHS site, David Wheeler's recollections of Topsham around 1970 in its last days as a working cargo port.
  • Topsham railways Extremely nice history and photos at Alex Seal's Alextrack website.
  • Tryphena Sparks who after a romance with Thomas Hardy, married a Topsham publican and lived here until her death.
  • The Devil's Footprints (1) Summary account of this peculiar event in 1855.
  • The Devil's Footprints (2) Charles Hoy Fort's compilation of contemporary references.
  • The Bridge Inn's Royal Visit HM Queen Elizabeth II.


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