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Kirkham House

kirkham house paignton

Delight in old fashioned charm at Kirkham House Near Paignton

Nestled in the suburbs of Paignton, listed Kirkham House provides a wonderful family trip out. With origins dating back to the 1600s, it boasts charming period architecture and decorative interiors to admire.

Kirkham House is part of the colleciton of properties managed by English Heritage.

Here’s everything you need to know about a visit to enjoy idyllic charm at this old property:

kirkham house

Getting There

Kirkham House is located on Kirkham Street, just off Cecil Road in Paignton.

Paignton railway station is 0.5 mile away

Opening Times

The house is open 6 days a week from February to November:

  • Wednesday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm
  • Plus Mondays: April – October

Please note that since April 2023, it has been closed for renovation and expects to open again in 2024.

Ticket Prices

Entry to Kirkham House is free.

The Historic House

The house stands as a testament to centuries of history and architectural evolution. This Grade II listed building, dating back to the late 15th century, has witnessed the ebb and flow of time, surviving wars, societal changes, and urban development. Today, Kirkham House stands not only as a relic of the past but also as a symbol of preservation and cultural heritage.

The origins of this old home trace back to the late medieval period, with its construction dating to around 1490. Its architectural style is quintessentially Tudor, characterized by half-timbered facades and intricate woodwork. Originally serving as a residence, the house has undergone various transformations over the centuries, adapting to the needs and tastes of different eras.

kirkham house table

The History of Kirkham House

One of the striking features of Kirkham House is its timber-framed construction, a technique popular in medieval England. The timber framework creates a visual spectacle, with exposed beams forming geometric patterns that add to the building’s aesthetic charm. Visitors can marvel at the craftsmanship of the past as they explore the intricacies of the woodwork, which has stood the test of time.

Over the years, it has served a variety of purposes, reflecting the changing needs of the community. From a residence in the late 15th century to a farmhouse in the 18th century, the building adapted to different roles. By the 20th century, Kirkham House faced the threat of demolition as urban development encroached on its surroundings. Fortunately, a concerted effort by local preservationists and historical enthusiasts led to its Grade II listing in 1975, safeguarding it from potential destruction.

Highlights of the visit

Today, Kirkham House serves as a museum, inviting visitors to step back in time and explore the rich history of Paignton and its inhabitants. The museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, from household items and furniture to tools and documents, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of those who called Kirkham House home over the centuries.

One of the highlights of a visit is the opportunity to experience the ambiance of different historical periods. As visitors wander through the carefully restored rooms, they can imagine the conversations that took place in the parlors, the meals prepared in the kitchens, and the warmth of the hearths that provided comfort during colder seasons. The museum’s curators have painstakingly recreated the atmosphere of each era, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the past.

bed in kirkham house

Community Involvement

The dedication to historical accuracy extends to the museum’s educational programs, which cater to visitors of all ages. School groups often visit Kirkham House, where they participate in interactive activities that bring history to life. Whether it’s dressing in period clothing, trying their hand at traditional crafts, or engaging in historical games, students leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the past.

Beyond its role as a museum, Kirkham House contributes to the local community’s cultural vibrancy. Special events, such as historical reenactments, lectures, and workshops, are held throughout the year. These events not only attract locals but also draw visitors from afar, creating a sense of connection and shared appreciation for the town’s heritage

kirkham house interior

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time should I plan for my visit to Kirkham House? Allow 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the amount of detail you wish to explore

Are dogs allowed? – Only assistance dogs are allowed in the house

Is it accessible for wheelchairs? – Yes, Kirkham House is accessible to visitors with disabilities. The museum has wheelchair ramps and accessible toilets to ensure that everyone can enjoy their visit comfortably.

Other attractions near Kirkham House

When you have been to the house, some of the other attractions in and around Paignton include:

  • Paignton Pier – Traditional Victorian pier with amusement arcades, food kiosks and family entertainment. Lovely views across the bay.
  • Torquay Museum – Diverse collections related to local geology, archaeology, history and ethnography. Extensive reference library onsite.
  • Torre Abbey – Historic abbey founded in 1196, now an art gallery and museum set in beautiful grounds. Fascinating history.
  • Kents Cavern – Extensive ancient caves containing important prehistoric remains and archaeological finds. Guided tours available.
  • Cockington Village – Quaint village near Torquay with thatched cottages, craft shops and tea rooms. Scenic walks through the estate.
  • Babbacombe Model Village – Charming model village recreating 1940s England in miniature. Incredible attention to detail throughout.
  • Berry Head National Nature Reserve – Dramatic coastline with Napoleonic fort, stunning cliffs and diverse wildlife. Perfect for scenic walks.
  • Occombe Farm – Traditional farm where visitors can feed and interact with chickens, goats, pigs and more. Nature trails through the woods.

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