The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Devon grew out of the Devon and Exeter Institution that was founded in 1813 to promote the general diffusion of science, literature and art to the public and to display the history of the county of Devon and the city of Exeter. Officially opened in its current home as the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in 1869, it is the largest museum and art gallery in Exeter. The museum holds collections in an array of subjects, including zoology, anthropology, fine art, archaeology and geology.
Housed in a Gothic Revival building, the museum added extensions in the late 19th century and underwent a major renovation in the early 2000s. Exhibitions today include a world cultures gallery with displays on Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, as well as displays from the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. The Ancient Worlds exhibit features items from Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and the Roman Empire. Unique to the museum is Sladen’s Study, a room that sits unchanged from 1910 and displays the largest collection of starfish and sea urchins outside of London’s Natural History Museum.
The museum sits just 100 meters away from Exeter’s main train station on Queen Street, while St. David’s Station is a 15-minute walk away. Most city buses in Exeter stop on High Street or Queen Street near the museum. Visitors may enter through the Queen Street entrance or go through the garden entrance that links the museum to Rougemont and Northernhay Gardens, the Phoenix Arts Center and Gandy Street. A variety of tours are available covering different areas of the museum; check the website to confirm what is on.