Shipping in the river Teign
(including Morgan Giles shipyard)
Teignmouth & Shaldon have a long maritime history of fishing and shipbuilding. Men spent the summer on the cod banks of Newfoundland while their women fished at home. Morgan Giles shipyard 1921-1968 built over 1,000 boats, from racing yachts to Admiralty vessels and luxury motor cruisers.
As visitors enter the Centre they will first notice the restored Victorian Bathing Machine. Past the old pier slot machines, the ground floor ‘Sea Gallery’ looks at Shaldon and Teignmouth’s ties to the sea.
The Sea Gallery features the remains of a 16th century Venetian vessel (the Church Rocks Wreck), which was originally found by young lad Simon Burton while diving off the beach at Teignmouth in 1975. This fascinating collection includes a cannon, a swivel gun, original ship’s timbers, and several cannonballs.
Pellew and Crowhurst
This gallery is home to the Admiral Pellew collection (the inspiration for C. S. Forester’s Hornblower character) and his flag from the Battle of Algiers (1816), when his fleet of English and Dutch ships defeated the Dey of Algiers, rescuing European fishermen from ransom and slavery.
celebrations of the Battle of Algiers – a George !! military re-enactment group parade their flag on the Den, Teignmouth, and fire muskets on the terrace of the Museum.
The story is also told of Donald Crowhurst’s ill-fated attempt at the 1968 Golden Globe Yacht Race when he mysteriously disappeared.
A fashionable seaside resort
Up the spiral ‘lighthouse’ stairs, is the ‘Shore Gallery’, which tells of the coming of the railway and the growth of the area as a seaside resort. Then onto the roof terrace to look over the rooftops of Teignmouth.
That’s the way to do it!
Families will be able to step back in time into a Victorian Bathing Machine, feel the weight of a cannon ball, play on original pier machines and have a go at being a puppeteer in a Punch n’ Judy booth.
The archives are run by a dedicated team of helpful and knowledgeable volunteers. Many members of the team have extensive experience in researching local history and are available to help answer your questions about Teignmouth and Shaldon.
- Original plans for many Morgan Giles vessels.
- An extensive local photographic archive dating back to mid 19th Century.
- A range of old maps and prints of the local area.
- Local family information but not census records; some baptism and burial records and trade directories.
- Local newspaper archives dating back to 1943 and a few earlier editions.
- Meteorological data from the late 19th Century onwards.
We are happy to help you with your research. A fee will be charged that contributes to the conservation and administration of the archives. Please see the Visiting us page for details.
Teignmouth Town Heritage Trail
The Trail was started in 2005 by the Teignmouth Folk Festival with boards at points of interest round the town for residents and visitors to read. This proved very popular, and it was extended to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year in 2012 and again in 2014. Taking advantage of new technology, the Trail now incorporates a website which can be accessed by Smartphone. There are also Audio Guides using microdot technology which allow users to access the trail information if they have sight problems. The Trail starts at the Museum and the Audio Guides are available there to pick up from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am. There is a deposit to be paid for taking the Audio Guides out of the Museum.