Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM), Exeter
Get your culture fix at Exeter's largest museum and art gallery, a family-friendly mix of fascinating collections, modern art and forward-thinking exhibitions.
Not your average regional museum, RAMM is, erm, rammed with much you’d expect from a London museum but without the overwhelm. Two floors of discovery await, with a huge range of collections, ranging from geology to arts and culture, with *checks leaflet* over 8,000 diverse objects on display.
Named for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (there’s a statue of the man himself on the stair well), this impressive Victorian building is just off Exeter’s High Street, conveniently close to Exeter Central train station.
For a taster of what’s in store, take a moment when you arrive to check out the spectacular two-storey high display case full of interesting curios, intended to be reminiscent of the ‘wonder-cabinets’ of the Renaissance. It sums up the place well: a mix of antique and modern, an intriguing blend of old wooden glass-sided display cases worthy of a Victorian collector and contemporary art galleries, adorned with modern art and regularly changing exhibitions.
Planning a trip with whipper-snappers? Top of your must-see list is the Case Histories gallery to clock an eyeful of the full-size specimen of a stuffed African bull elephant and a giraffe, affectionately known as Gerald. You can also wonder at the Egyptian mummy of Shep-en-Mut, laid to rest in a beautiful coffin and cartonnage.
Not enough taxidermy for them? Head to the In Fine Feather gallery where perches an array of stuffed birds, made all the more lifelike with a backing soundtrack of a dawn chorus.
You’ll also discover a world-renowned shell gallery, Devon’s geological history from 400 million years ago to the present day, along with an excellent cafe and a small and thoughtfully curated museum shop rammed with unique gifts and goodies made by local artists, along with gift cards, jewellery, books and educational toys.
Although child-friendly, the gallery layout creates an adult-friendly air of calm, enhanced by the current Covid-safe one-way system (you currently enter via the garden entrance at the back), screens and sanitising stations. It all adds up to a Devon must-see. Get it on your go-to list, pronto. Re-opening post lockdown – Tues 18 May 2021.
Monday: Closed Mondays
Tuesday: 10am – 5pm
Wednesday: 10am – 5pm
Thursday: 10am – 5pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
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