Wells and Mendip Museum

Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Wells & Mendip Museum is the home of Wells City Archives.

The Society was founded in 1888 to encourage the practical study of natural history, archaeology and kindred subjects in Wells and the surrounding countryside.

H.E. Balch was one of the first members of WNHAS and through his enthusiasm Wells Museum was established in 1894. Remaining as Honorary Curator for sixty years, Herbert Balch and his friends became authorities on local sites and subjects, inspiring generations of Wellensians to Search and Learn.

The first museum collections were housed in the old school room over the west cloister of the Cathedral. In 1928, William Wyndham purchased No.8 Cathedral Green and a charitable trust was set up to run the Museum, having three of its six managers nominated by the Society. The Museum was moved from the Cathedral cloister to its present home in 1932.

The important collections preserved and displayed in Wells Museum, and the local and scientific literature housed in the Museum Library, reflect the wide range of the Society’s activities. In 1907 members of the Society also set up the country’s oldest organisation to explore and research caves.

As a result, Mendips’ underground systems became an early focus for the new science of speleology in Britain. Mendip, with its interesting geology, natural history, and rich archaeology, is the setting for the Society’s work. Members of the Society take part in local archaeological excavations and carry out research on historical and environmental subjects.

Society members are able to use the facilities of the Museum without charge.

There is a programme of winter lectures and a series of summer walks and excursions to places of interest in the region. A report on the Society’s activities is published, free to members, at least every two years.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Between Easter and October, opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, and 1:30 pm until 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Admission charges

£3.00 adult, £1.00 child or student, £6.00 family single entry ticket.
Or £7.50 adult and £12 family Friends Ticket.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Decorative and Applied Art, Medicine, Social History

Wells and Mendip Museum
8 Cathedral Green







01749 673477

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.