Pebbles the Apartment is almost opposite Fairlynch Museum and Arts Centre, a unique thatched museum depicting the local history of Budleigh Salterton and surrounding area. This free-to-visit museum is home to a wealth of resources on the town and the area, and also holds special events throughout the Spring and Summer, making it a 'must-see' if you’re staying at Pebbles the Apartment or just visiting Budleigh for the day. Fairlynch is open from April to September and currently has a special exhibition ‘the Great War at Fairlynch’ for 2014.
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 centenary tribute to the actor and comedian Reg Varney. The exhibition is called 'Our Little Clown' which is the title to his autobiography published in 1990. Reg Varney spent his final years living in Budleigh and the exhibition includes many personal items loaned to the museum by his family including a number of his paintings.
Fairlynch is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm to 4.30pm, and is closed on Mondays (except Bank Holidays). 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.