Totnes Elizabethan House Museum ~ Totnes
What will you want to see? Our amazing medieval kitchen? Our resident ghost? Our spiral staircase made from a ship’s mast? Or is it Totnes’ illustrious son, Charles Babbage, who invented the first mechanical computer, whatever your interest in history is the Totnes Museum is a fascinating place to spend of few hours of your time.
Have you seen our Ghost?
The are rumours that the museum might be haunted!
A recent article in the Totnes Times gave examples of experiences that people who had been to the Museum had witnessed, which include those who have been brushed up against by our invisible cat, to the rather imposing, well dressed spirit in the fore hall…
Are you brave enough to step over the threshold?
Charles Babbage ~
At the top of the museum we have a room dedicated to Charles Babbage, who was, without doubt, a most outstanding and prolific inventor and the most illustrious son of Totnes. Behind every great man there is a great woman, and Ada Lovelace is one of the very best, there is a feeling that Babbage would not have achieved all he did without the support and input of Ada.
His most important invention, designed in the 1820s and named the ‘Difference Engine’; imagined as a massive machine, intended to calculate accurate figures. Unfortunately the Government of the day would not grant Babbage sufficient money to build it. Finally it was built by the Science Museum in London – in time for the bicentenary of his birth, in 1991. It worked precisely as he had predicted! In the 1830s he designed his ‘Analytical Engine’ which was the true precursor of the modern computer; it was multi-functional and designed to use punched cards, as were used on early electronic computers.