The Museum of Somerset

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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.

FREE ENTRY.

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
museumofsomerset@somerset.gov.uk
01823 255088

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

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).

Admission charges

Free

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.

Collection details

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

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Henry VII - The First Royal Portrait

  • 17 October 2017 — 6 January 2018

An extraordinary image of the Tudor king in Taunton Castle where he faced the rebel leader, Perkin Warbeck

Colours of Exile

  • 21 October 2017 — 3 March 2018

The art of Hans Schwarz. Vibrant paintings of places and people by the Austrian artist who made his home in London and West Somerset

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Discover Taunton

  • 24 June — 30 September 2017 *on now

A guided walking tour exploring the often surprising history of our county town.
Wednesdays at 14.00 and Saturdays at 11.00

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£3.50 per person. Booking advisable.

SANHS Archaeology Day

  • 30 September 2017 10:30am-4pm

Mike Aston's Young Archaeologists and SANHS Archaeology Day. Handle artefacts, take part in an indoor dig and make your own Bronze Age brooch. With Phil Harding.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Terrible Tales and Ghostly Goings On

  • 5 October 2017 7:30-8:30pm
  • 30 November 2017 6:30-7:30pm

Tour of the museum in the dark, exploring some of the castle's more gruesome history!. Pre-book only. Entry fee includes a drink on arrival.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£10.00 per person

Talk and Tea

  • 13 October 2017 2:30-3:30pm

Somerset Ghost Stories. Explore the supernatural history of the county.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5.00. Booking Advisable.

Mick Aston and Somerset Archaeology

  • 19 October 2017 7:30-8:30pm

A Mick Aston Memorial Lecture by Bob Croft, County Archaeologist. Booking Advisable.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£9.50 per person. Booking Advisable.

Royal Family Fun

  • 21 — 28 October 2017

Enjoy our new Castle Trail, and a 'Royal Selfie' photo opportunity! Part of the Henry VII exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£1.00 per child

Taunton Carnival Mask/Hat Making

  • 21 October 2017 10:30am-2pm

This year's theme is 'colour' inspired by our Hans Schwarz exhibition. All materials provided. There will be prizes for the best masks and hats produced on the day. Judging will be at 2.pm.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Hallowe'en

  • 31 October 2017 5:30-8:30pm

Explore the museum in the dark on the spookiest night of the year. Family activities and craft. Bring your torch and dress up if you dare!

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3.00 per person or £10.00 family ticket.

Taunton Literary Festival Talk

  • 4 November 2017 6:30-7:30pm

'Being David Archer' with actor Tim Bentinck. Tickets available from Brendon Books in Taunton.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Tickets £10.00 from Brendon Books 01823 337742

Friends of the Museum of Somerset Annual Lecture

  • 8 November 2017 7:30-8:30pm

'The Civil War' lecture by Professor Ronald Hutton, who discusses how and why the war broke out, and its impact on soldiers and civilians.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£12.00. Booking Advisable.

Game of Thrones: Henry VII and the Perkin Warbeck Rebellion

  • 14 November 2017 7:30-8:45pm

Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust, tells the dramatic story of Perkin Warbeck's rebellion against Henry VII and how it ended in humiliation at Taunton Castle in 1497.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£9.50. Booking Advisable.

Images of Majesty

  • 24 November 2017 7:30-8:30pm

An art history lecture by Richard Kay, picture specialist at Lawrence's Auctioneers, surveying portraits of every British ruler since 1485.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£8.00. Booking Advisable

The Museum of Somerset
Taunton Castle
Castle Green
Taunton
Somerset
TA1 4AA
England

Website

https://museumofsomerset.org.uk/

E-mail

museumofsomerset@somerset.gov.uk

Telephone

01823 255088

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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