The museum was first opened in 1967 as a way of collecting together information about Budleigh, and is one of few museums to have a thatched roof. Typical of a 'marine cottage' Fairlynch was built in about 1811 for ship owner Matthew Lee Yeates. The house is Grade II listed and has a double-wing staircase which is unusual for a house of this size. It has a lovely decorative garden considered to be a Budleigh showpiece.
Fairlynch is particularly excellent if you want to learn more about Budleigh and the surrounding area, with exhibits on geology, local history and regular themed exhibits on events relating to the area. It also has a dedicated library with family records if you want to explore your own genealogy.
The museum collection has around 4,000 items, which include everything from examples of local Honiton Lace and lacemaking equipment, a costume collection dating from the 1700s, antique dolls, displays on the history of fishing in Budleigh (fish is still sold on the beach when the skull and crossbones flag is flying!) and Budleigh's smuggling past, fossils and minerals from the nearby cliffs. You can also see Roman artefacts dug up from the surrounding area, as well as prints and photographs that detail Budleigh’s past.
This year Fairlynch is hosting a special exhibit commemorating 100 years since the outbreak of World War One. The ‘Great War at Fairlynch’ exhibition includes features on the part played by Budleigh residents and soldiers from East Budleigh, Otterton, Colaton Raleigh and Newton Poppleford, shown through a collection of letters, photographs and other records from the period.
Fairlynch is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm to 4.30pm, and is closed on Mondays. Open from April to Sunday 28th September, and again in October half-term. We certainly recommend that you visit the Museum whilst staying in Budleigh. Click here for more information on Fairlynch.