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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Biology Collection
The museum houses several biology collections of considerable scientific interest. Most notable among these are the lepidoptera and the herbaria of land and marine plants. Mosses and fungi are also represented from collections of Parfitt, Elmes, Humphreys and Griffiths. The museum's butterfly and moth collection is extremely important.

Most species of British birds are represented, with 500 mounted specimens and a large collection of eggs. There are also mounted fish, an assortment of shells from Britain and abroad, the Beattie collection of corals and a small number of big game heads. There is also a small collection of zoological microscopical slides.
The Parfitt collection of Devon plants. The Griffiths collection of seaweeds. The butterfly and moth collection is one of the most important collections in a regional museum and includes foreign as well as native species. It comprises 70,000 specimens, gathered over the last 150 years and includes the Ashe collection of beetles, the Gough collection from Europe and Trinidad, and the Earl collection of entomological watercolours.
Date range of collection
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations
Associated Places
Associated Times

Location Details

Torquay Museum
529 Babbacombe Road Torquay TQ1 1HG
Open Map
01803 293 975
01803 294 186 
Building Information
The museum building was purpose-built in 1874, and opened in 1876; and is a grade II listed building. The architect was William Harvey Jnr. It is a fine example of Venetian-Gothic architecture featuring terra-cotta figures designed by John Philip, creator of London's Albert Memorial; and a glass lantern roof which illuminates the upper galleries.
Collections Overview
This is Devon's oldest museum. It is a local history museum for Torquay and its locality which also holds other important collections, particularly in the natural sciences.
Display Overview
There are wide-ranging displays about the geological, natural, archaeological and local history of the area and further afield; about Agatha Christie; and the Devon regiments.
Star Objects
Human jaw bone from Kent's Cavern; Egyptian coffin
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)

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