Step back in time with our reconstruction of an 1860s Devon farmhouse. The period rooms contain hundreds of artefacts from the Museum's outstanding Devon rural life collection, complete with sounds and at Christmas also with smells.
This collection was bequeathed to the Museum by Charles Hay Laycock, who combined memories from his childhood with ones of older generations to write his book "The Old Devon Farmhouse" where he illustrated in great detail a mid-Victorian farmhouse. These descriptions were so accurate that four interior rooms - the front kitchen, the parlour, the back kitchen, the dairy and cheese room as well as a Linhay (a shed for storing farming equipment) - have been recreated from them in this gallery.
The current gallery was completed in 2001 and during lockdown has undergone a considerable renovation. The gallery is a treasure trove of rare and sometimes uniquely Devonian objects many of which predate the industrial revolution. As well as the research done by Laycock the collection was also the subject of a book The Old Devon Farmhouse by Peter Brears published in 1998.