2013 Exhibition

Another part of the exhibition focused on the history of fishing in Budleigh Salterton, with a display of photos showing various members of well known fishing families from the area.

The 2013 exhibition was titled ‘Sea, Salt and Sponges’.

The history of saltmaking in the Budleigh area was one part of 'Sea, Salt and Sponges.'


It included the weird and tragic story which inspired this model of Hugo the medieval saltmaker created by Otterton sculptor Angie Harlock-Wilkinson.

The major part of ‘Sea, Salt and Sponges’ exhibition concentrated on the life of former Budleigh Salterton resident Henry John Carter FRS (1813-1895), pictured right, celebrating the bicentenary of his birth.  Born in the town, Carter distinguished himself as a physician and a geologist but is best known for his research into marine sponges, becoming internationally known for his expertise in this area following his retirement to Budleigh in 1862.  The exhibition covered the environmental importance of sponges, with illustrations showing how they have helped scientific progress in areas as diverse as architecture, telecommunications and cancer-fighting drugs.   

H J Carter blue plaque

The blue plaque on H.J. Carter’s former home in Budleigh Salterton.

Henry John Carter FRS

The Daisy Sponge, one of the marine sponges named after H.J. Carter as Coelocarteria singaporensis.

Daisy sponge

What they said about ‘Sea, Salt and Sponges’:

‘My wife and I arrived 25 minutes before your museum was due to close, so we only had time to go through the Henry Carter exhibition.  I was impressed by the breadth of his achievements, and the fact that you had documented them so well.  What an amazing man.  I suppose I was also impressed that an FRS should be honoured in this way, and find it unlikely that my home town (Knaresborough in Yorkshire) will do the same for me!  We thought that your museum is understated and charming, much like Budleigh Salterton itself.  We hope to return one day to look round the rest of the museum.’

Professor C. Neil Hunter FRS, Krebs Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield.   22 July 2013

The exhibition was supported by a grant from the Norman Family Charitable Trust:  www.nfct.org

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