Temporary Exhibition Gallery

photograph of temporary exhibition gallery

We hold a range of lively programme of temporary exhibitions at the museum, varying from exhibitions put on by the museum as well as those put together by local artists and groups.  Details of our current exhibitions can be found on the Events page.

Any individuals and small groups who are interested in holding exhibitions here should contact the Curator on 01884 256295 or

Mid Devon Today in the Dicken Gallery

Mid Devon Today showcases some of the work that the museum does with the local community. We want to reflect Mid Devon today - if you are part of a group and would like to use this space to share what you do with the community, or if you have an idea for a project that could involve the museum then please contact the Curator on For information on which group is currently featured, please see our Events page.

Agricultural Hall

Agricultural gallery with waggon

Farming was (and is!) of great importance to the Mid Devon District. This gallery features many horse drawn and hand tools that were used until mechanisation.

Wool Trade Gallery

A collection of newly acquired rare colth seals is on display in the Wool Trade Gallery.
Britton Gallery

Roman samian ware bowl

Our small archaeological display contains some beautiful objects, including hand axes made 400,000 years ago found in the Lowman Valley, which was an important east to west route for pre-historic peoples settling and clearing the land. The photograph shows the Bolham bowl - a samian ware bowl fond at the Roman fort at nearby Bolham.


We also have some mediaeval items on show, including  a few of the many fragments of German and Belgian pottery brought back as part of the wool trade.


Kitchen and Laundry

Kitchen laundry gallery with mangle

This gallery inspires many comments from visitors along the lines of 'my mother/grandmother had one of those' or even 'I had one of those'!

Heathcoat Gallery

photograph of the lace factory circa 1900

John Heathcoat was a nineteenth-century inventor, industrialist, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Following an attack by Luddites on his Loughborough factory, Heathcoat moved his lace making process to Tiverton. At a time when factory conditions were usually very poor, his care for his staff inspired 500 men, women and children to walk fromLoughborough to Tiverton to form the nucleus of his new workforce.  

All the royal wedding veils, since Queen Victoria to Princess Diana, have been made in Tiverton.

Cottage Parlour

mantelpiece in cottage parlour gallery
This fireplace is from a mid-nineteenth century house in Chapel Street.
One aspect of John Heathcoat's philanthropy was the provision of good worker housing. Whilst this was by no means unique at this time it was provided in Tiverton right up until the 1990s.
Upper Amory Gallery

a cobbler's shoe last

The Upper Amory Gallery contains items relating to clocks and clockmakers, local trades and industries, public health and well known people of the District.

Lower Amory Gallery

Air raid shelter

Here we look at World War Two, toys, fashion, leisure and shopping.




On sunny days take a seat in our courtyard and look at our collection of ploughs and agricultural equipment, some made locally. We also have a selection of games for families to enjoy in school holidays (weather permitting).


Silverton horse drawn fire engine

This small gallery houses the horse-drawn Silverton Fire Engine. Dating from 1837 this machine was in use in Silverton until the late 1940s before it was acquired for display in the Plymouth Museum. It returned home to Mid Devon in 1999.


Devon ship waggon

This gallery is named after three local brothers, Fred, Ken and Ralph Alford whose family farm was at Netherexe Barton near Thorverton.


The Alfords were great supporters of the museum and together assembled many of the farm waggons on display.

Authers Gallery

Tivvy Bumper steam engine

Dominating the gallery is our largest object, the former Great Western Railway locomotive No. 1442 a.k.a. The Tivvy Bumper.