The Museum of Somerset
The Museum of Somerset
An under-floor Plesiosaur, the largest collection of Roman coins ever discovered in Britain and a chilling recreation of the infamous Bloody Assizes – you’ll find them all at the Museum of Somerset!
Set in the heart of Taunton, the Museum of Somerset lies within the historic 12th Century Taunton Castle.
This must-see visitor attraction tells the county's story from prehistoric times to the present day, using real objects, interactive games, eye-catching film projections and the words and voices of Somerset people, past and present.
The museum houses many of Somerset’s great archaeological treasures such as the Frome Hoard; the largest collection of Roman coins ever discovered in Britain in a single container, and the 4th Century Low Ham mosaic; the oldest object in Britain to tell a complete story - the tragic love story of Dido and Aeneas. The museum also houses the Somerset Military Museum.
As well as the permanent galleries, the museum offers regularly changing temporary exhibitions and activities such as family drop-in sessions and ‘talk and tea’ with a curator. There is also a programme of special events, including evening talks, music and outdoor theatre.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, and Bank Holiday Mondays: 10:00am to 5:00pm
The Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton, TA1 4AA
Museum, Castle or defences, Gallery, Historic house or home
10.00am - 5.00pm (Last entry 4.30pm)
Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays
The museum is open on Good Friday and Easter Bank Holiday Monday (closed Easter Sunday).
Amongst the treasures on display for the first time is the Frome Hoard, the largest collection of Roman coins ever discovered in a single container in Britain, and which was saved for the nation following a national fundraising appeal.
A shrunken head from South America and Judge Jeffreys' medical bill are a few of the many other exhibits to be discovered in the museum.
Archaeology, Archives, Natural Sciences, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, World Cultures, Fine Art, Weapons and War, Coins and Medals, Science and Technology, Social History, Medicine, Personalities, Religion
Somerset Remembers The First World War
- 26 July 2014 — 3 January 2015 *on now
‘Somerset Remembers the First World War’ opens on Saturday 26 July and tells the story of how the county was affected by the events of 1914 - 1918 and how people have remembered the war, and those lost in it.
The exhibition details the fascinating accounts of the lives and experiences of Somerset men, women and children, with objects, photographs and costumes for visitors to enjoy.
‘Somerset Remembers’ includes sections on the outbreak of war, local efforts to support troops at the front, wartime agriculture, the county regiments and the legacy of the war. It also features artwork by Somerset artist Jon England.
Thousands of Somerset men served in the armed forces during the First World War and over 8000 of them would never return home. The exhibition brings their stories to life and shows how Somerset was transformed by war.
Visitors to the exhibition can contribute to an evolving memorial in the gallery, enjoy object handling or take part in a guided tour around Taunton’s First World War-related sites.
- Family friendly
- 26 July 2014 — 3 January 2015 *on now
A six-month exhibition will be held at The Museum of Somerset in 2014. Built around the stories and experiences of Somerset people during the First World War, it will go beyond the military aspects of the conflict to explore the wider impact on the county.
Building on the newly-digitised collection of First World War photographs and records produced as part of the project, there will also be three touring exhibitions which will tour a variety of venues across Somerset and North Somerset. There will also be a temporary exhibition at Weston-super-Mare Museum.
Particular emphasis will be put on two themes: the ways in which the war changed people’s lives, and how Somerset people have remembered the war and those lost in it.
The exhibition will include a variety of storylines which will explore the way Somerset was affected by the First World War, including:
Thousands of Somerset men joined all arms of the services during the war and over 8000 were killed. The exhibition will bring their stories to life.
Fighting the war
The exhibition will focus on the county’s regiments and their role in the conflict.
Somerset women made many important things during the war including soldiers’ puttees, shells and airplanes. The exhibition will reveal their role and responsibilities during the war.
Agriculture and food
The exhibition will look at how the war changed farming and the Somerset countryside.
Many of the nation’s most famous war memorials were made in Somerset. The exhibition will explore how Somerset people have remembered the war and those lost in it.
Please note dates are approximate at this stage so please check dates, prices and booking details before visiting.
Somerset Remembers Community Archive
- 19 June 2014 — 1 April 2015 *on now
As part of the lottery-funded Somerset Remembers project, we have developed an Online Community Archive where people can share the First World War photographs, letters, research and stories.
We are hoping people will get involved with the archive and help to create a major historical resource for future generations.
It is important to understand that everyone in the Somerset community can play a part in this project. Please encourage your visitors, colleagues, friends and family to use the archive.
Do you have pictures, letters, diaries, or war records from a family member who was involved? Did a relative serve with the Somerset Light Infantry? Have you reaserched Somerset's county regiments? Is there a Red Cross nurse in the family? Or have you been researching a Somerset location to mark the centenary?
You can contribute to the project or read the fascinating accounts of Somerset men and women by visiting:
The Somerset Remembers project is being led by Somerset Heritage Service and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
To find out more about the Somerset Remembers project visit the blog: www.somersetremembers.wordpress.com
- Any age