Help Support the Museum for Christmas
Christmas is a time when communities come together and people choose to support their favourite charity to spread joy and hope. This year, Torquay Museum – one of the oldest local charities needs your help too and it is offering unique gifts in return. Twelve of the Museum's most treasured objects are offered for adoption 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, and it will come with yearly passes to the Museum and our guidebooks so you can visit your object or see our temporary exhibitions anytime you wish.
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!
With this in mind, we really need the community people to get behind the Museum and help us a little by adopting some of our most fabulous local objects.
The Twelve Objects of Christmas Adoption
Cockington Gold Ring
This late 16th-century gold finger-ring was found at Cockington Court, Torquay and it is believed to have belonged to Wilmotta, the wife of Sir George Cary. The inscription inside reads: "No treasure to a true friend."
Torquay Terracotta Figure of Richard Whittington, Lord Mayor of London
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.
Torquay Marble Plaque of Babbacombe Beach
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.
Hercule Poirot's Swan Cane
Kindly presented to Torquay Museum by David Suchet in July 2013 as a loan. This silver swan walking stick was used for over 20 years by David in his portrayal of Agatha Christie's Poirot.
Miss Marple's Costume and Knitting
This costume was worn by Joan Hickson who portrayed the role of Miss Marple in 12 TV productions (1984 - 1992) for which she received two BAFTA nominations.
Percy Fawcett's Theodolite Compass
This compass was discovered in 1933 near the camp of the Bacairy natives of Mato Grosso. Was it lost by Fawcett on his expedition in 1920?
Psamtek's Royal Coffin
This beautiful New Kingdom coffin was made for a small boy, probably of royal birth. It is one of the finest in a regional museum in the UK.
KC4 - Britain's First Modern Human
Around 41,000 years ago, modern humans (Homo sapiens) sought shelter in the entrance of Kent’s Cavern. At least one never left it. This fragment of upper jawbone, now known as KC4, is the oldest Homo sapiens fragment ever found in Britain.
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.
Cave Wolf Skull
This spectacular skull belonged to the now-extinct European cave wolf and was found in Kent’s Cavern. These wolves were a little larger than modern European wolves, an adaptation for hunting the Ice Age mega fauna for which it was in competition with hyenas and humans.
Iron Age Milber Duck
This bronze figurine of a duck was found at Milber Down, Hill Fort near Newton Abbot and it dates to the early first century AD. The Milber Down figurines are unique finds for the Iron Age Britain.
Waddeton Court Figure of Charity
This figure, along with 15 others, occupied a position on the wall of the dining hall of Waddeton Court, Stoke Gabriel, Devonshire.