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Adopt an Object

The Museum’s remit is to collect and preserve the natural and human heritage of Torbay. Our core funding has been static for many years but our costs continue to rise and looking after and engaging people with the 400 million years of Torbay’s extraordinary past is becoming more and more of a challenge. Our insurance bill for one year alone is £12,000! One way to support the Museum is to adopt an object for a year. 

No matter what your interests there is something for you to adopt for yourself or give as a gift for a loved one. The adoption costs £50 and it will come with a yearly pass to the Museum and our guidebook so you can visit your object or see our temporary exhibitions anytime you wish. We will also put a label with your name next to your chosen object. 

We have selected some of the Museum's most treasured objects but if you have a specific object on display in mind, maybe one that means something to you, please get in touch as nearly every object can be adopted. 

Torquay Museum

How to Adopt?

Adopting an object is very simple!

1. Email [email protected] to let us know which object you're interested in. 

2. After processing your donation of £50, we will send you your annual ticket and a guidebook (or you can collect both at the Museum).

3. We will make a label with your name on it and place it near your chosen object. 

4. That's it! You have supported the Museum and adopted an object for a year.   






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A Selection of Objects for Adoption

Cockington Gold Ring

Objects for adoption can be found in almost all of our galleries starting with the entrance hall which has some amazing treasures in it. For a truly romantic object, you can adopt one of the gold late 16th-century posy rings found at Cockington, believed to have belonged to Wilmotta, the wife of Sir George Cary. The inscription inside reads “no treasure to a true friend”. 

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Torquay Marble Plaque of Babbacombe Beach

If the local geology is more of to your interest why not adopt our famous marble plaque of Babbacome Beach, which is also in the entrance hall.

The inlaid marble picture came to the Museum in the 1930s from Mrs. Blackler. Blackler's took over Woodley's Royal Marble works and it is possible this extraordinary item was made there around the middle of the 19th century. 

The quality of the marble inlay work is the rival of anything produced in Britain or Italy in that period and it was probably made to show off the skill of the craftsmen working at that time. 

These marble pictures may have been the ultimate tourist souvenirs for the super-rich Victorians who visited Torbay.



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KC4 - Britain's First Modern Human

The Museum’s unparalleled collections from the Ice Age are also there. You can adopt a hyaena skull which is in our Time Art Gallery or our most famous exhibit, KC4 a jawbone fragment of Britain’s first anatomically modern human in our Ancestors Gallery.




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Torquay Terracotta Figure of Michelangelo

This figure is part of a range of statuettes of figures and animals produced in the last quarter of the 19th century by the Torquay Terra Cotta Company.












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Psamtek's Royal Coffin

Psamtek's royal coffin as it is now known, is displayed in the centre of our Explorers Gallery. It was given to the Museum by Lady Leeds, daughter of Paris Singer, and it once resided in Oldway Mansion in Paignton. We don't know exactly how Lady Leeds acquired the coffin and mummified boy, but we know she was a fundraiser for the Egypt Exploration Society and cruised the Nile while holidaying at Alexandria in Egypt in the 1920s.

This beautiful New Kingdom coffin was made for a small boy, probably of royal birth. The Museum is incredibly lucky to have what is probably the finest Ancient Egyptian coffin in a regional museum in Britain, it would not be out of place in the Louvre in Paris or the British Museum. 







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Hercule Poirot's Swan Cane

Of course we couldn’t leave out Torquay’s most famous daughter Agatha Christie. This silver swan walking stick with a shaft of black hardwood was used by David Suchet for over 20 years in his portrayal of Poirot in the ITV adaptations of the Belgian sleuth, the first episode being broadcasted in 1989. It was kindly loaned to the Museum by David Suchet in July 2013 and is now on display in the gallery.








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Frank Browning's Adelie Penguin

This very special penguin was sent back to Torquay by one of the crew of Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition (1910-1912), Frank Browning. Browning sent the penguin back in February 1911 as a skin cured with arsenic to a Mr. Binmore of Lyncombe Cottage, Torquay. It is believed that this is the only mounted specimen of an Adélie penguin to have survived from the Terra Nova Expedition.












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Support Torquay Museum

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising free donations for Torquay Museum with easyfundraising? Find out how!  

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