See and Do Category: Find out about the history of Totnes

Explore St Mary’s Church

National Churches Trust 'Explore Churches' presents St Mary’s - the jewel in the town of Totnes and is a must during your visit. From whatever viewpoint you look, whether from the many surrounding hills or from the river Dart which made Totnes such an important trading town, the church dominates and defines the town.

Timeless Totnes

From Saxon beginnings to today’s vibrant market town, Totnes has a national reputation for its diverse and lively community.

Totnes is a captivating town set on one of Britain’s most picturesque and historically significant waterways, the River Dart. Its cosmopolitan population generates an exciting range of cultural activities and fosters passionate exploration of new ideas. The locals pride themselves on being a little different.

High quality cafes and bistros, traditional inns, special places to stay, award-winning food markets and great attractions combine to make Totnes a wonderful place to visit anytime of the year.

Totnes retains a strong hold on its heritage. Framed by a beautiful rural Devon landscape, the town is full of character with many notable buildings and monuments. Explore the town’s rich history and charming architecture; lose yourself in its ancient passageways.

There’s no shortage of things to experience and do. Totnes is packed with interesting features, a fascinating past and a thriving selection of independent shops and businesses to seek out during your visit.

The Sharpham Trust

The Sharpham Trust connects people with nature and fosters mindfulness and well-being through retreats and courses, outdoor learning and the arts on a spectacular stretch of the River Dart in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 The Trust is an education and conservation charity, welcoming retreatants to and hosting ceremonies in Grade 1-listed Georgian villa Sharpham House, with its18th century walled garden and Capability Brown landscape.

The Estate is home to The Barn Retreat Centre, Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground and the famed Sharpham Wine & Cheese.

Totnes Fashion & Textiles Museum

Situated on Totnes High Street in a Grade 1 listed building with fine original Tudor plaster ceilings, the Totnes Fashion & Textile Museum is home to the Devonshire Collection of Period Costume, the largest private collection of its type in the UK. The annual exhibition can display only a small part of the collection, which holds tens of thousands of objects and items of clothing. The earliest date from about 1650, although most come from the 18th century to the present day. The collection has more than 100 storage boxes each holding multiple hats, and eight boxes simply storing shawls. There are legions of accessories, handbags and shoes, and clothes ranging from the sumptuous to the everyday. The museum is fortunate to have a team of committed volunteers and an experienced curator who will work with schools, colleges and other groups to tailor presentations as required, and bring out everything from corsetry to evening wear. While of particular interest to those studying textiles or fashion, the collection also provides a rich source of material for those interested in social history. This year's exhibition, 'High Days & Holidays'; travels through time. We can see the early visitors to spa towns such as Bath; the passengers who used the railways to reach the newly developed seaside resorts in the 19th century; and the ordinary people who can enjoy day trips in charabancs as the 20th century begins. Here are the wealthy travellers who develop a taste for yachts and cruising in the 1920s, and the exhibition comes up to date with a final focus on the experience of package holidays and mass tourism. Memories may be stirred by the more recent displays, for what can be more evocative than the clothes which characterised our earlier lives? Visitors can sympathise with the unknown laundresses who had to keep the fine fabrics immaculate, or speculate about what life must have been like for the people whose clothes have somehow survived, and are here for us to view. Open from Tuesday 16th May, and is open daily from 11am - 5pm, Tuesday to Friday (and some Saturdays from July) until the end of September Visits outside these opening times, including during October, can be arranged for groups by calling Julia Fox on (01803) 862857. Find us directly opposite the market square. We are open when the marionnettes are dancing.

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

The Totnes Rare Breeds Farm started life as a muddy field and a forest of brambles. After much vision and a tremendous amount of hard work, June 2002 saw the opening of the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm to the public. In January 2015 Samantha Adams took up the reins. With a fantastic team of volunteer helpers, the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm continues to be a very special place and a joy for all ages. Look forward to seeing you soon in this little slice of heaven within the Devon countryside!

English Heritage Castles of Devon

Castles of Devon - Experience a day out with a difference at the Castles of Devon. Totnes Castle Is a focal point of Totnes and stands as a mighty legacy to the power of the Normans. It is one of the best surviving examples of an early Norman motte and bailey castle. Berry Pomeroy Castle Tucked away in a deep wooded valley, and reputed to be one of the most haunted castles in England. Dartmouth Castle Discover the castle's colourful history including how it was besieged during the Civil War.