North Devon pottery, the Abbotsham Hoard, artefacts from Bideford’s glove factory and a model of Bideford Bridge are just a few of the items permanently on display on the first floor at The Burton at Bideford

Painting collections

The Burton at Bideford’s painting collections include works by Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards, E. Aubrey Hunt, Mark Fisher RA, Sir John Lavery RA, Sir George Clause RA, Arthur Friedenson, William McTaggart, Hubert Coop and Sheila Hutchinson, which are displayed annually as part of the exhibition programme.

The RJ Lloyd Ceramics Collection

Predominantly north Devon slipware, the RJ Lloyd Collection is an ideal introduction to the history and heritage of ceramics in this area. The collection is an interesting mix, reflecting the collector’s fascination for English pottery, and contains over 500 pieces. Many of these are made by local craftsmen, including the Fishley family of Fremington. More recent pieces include pots by Philip Leach, Michael Cardew, Clive Bowen and Harry Juniper.

RJ Lloyd started collecting north Devon slipware in the 1950s, recognising the ceramics are things of beauty with honey-glossed glazes, engraved drawings and poems. From the 1740s, harvest jugs bore drawings of tall ships in full sails, mermaids, stars, compasses and coats of arms and had wonderful names, such as widebottoms, gulleymouths and pinchguts.

Search & View RJ Lloyd Collection

Napoleonic model ships

French prisoners of war, who may have been craftsmen during the Napoleonic Wars before joining the French Navy, made these model ships from mutton bones riveted with copper wire onto a wooden hull. The bone would have been salvaged from their bins and worked with nails sharpened into little chisels, and the rigging is made from threads drawn from their shirts.

Calling card cases

In the 18th and 19th centuries, gentry never visited their friends or neighbours without first presenting a card bearing their name and address. In order to keep these cards neat, little cases were made to hold them. Some cases opened like a book, with a small pencil in the centrefold, an ivory notepad on one side, and a concertina-like section to hold 5 or 6 cards. Other cases were oblong, hollow and had a flip top lid, while some opened from the side with a spring button or clip.

Our collection consists of around 800 cases, donated by Mr McTaggart-Short, a businessman from Cardiff, who loved Bideford. Some are made of silver with embossed designs; others are of ivory and mother-of-pearl, wood or tortoiseshell.

Tea caddies

The Burton at Bideford has nine stunning examples of tea caddies from the 18th century that are part of our Hubert Coop collection.

Between the 18th and 19th centuries, when tea was a rarity and very expensive, it was locked into caddies and only the lady of the house would possess a key. Some caddies are made of ivory with silver decoration, or tortoiseshell, both exotic and fashionable in those days. Some have two-lidded compartments for different varieties of tea, and are usually lined with zinc.

Clay pipes

The Burton at Bideford has a collection of 12 pipes, and several boxes of pipe paraphernalia.

Sir Walter Raleigh first introduced tobacco to Britain in Elizabethan times; it expensive and smoking quickly became fashionable. The cost of tobacco meant only small quantities were smoked and the first clay pipes were very small with short stems.

Later on, as more tobacco was imported into Britain and became cheaper to buy, pipe bowls became larger, and stems longer so that the hot smoke cooled down a little before reaching the smoker’s mouth.

Displays in the permanent collections have been generously supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of The Burton.