Places To See

Somerset Museums


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Museums in Somerset

So much to Explore!

It is not only the museums of Somerset and Exmoor – and they come in every shape and size from the tiny Blake Museum in Bridgwater to the spacious Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury – that can tell a story from the past. You can stand in a field in the village of Westonzoyland and remember ‘all those who, doing the right as they gave it, fell in the Battle of Sedgemoor 6th July 1685.’ This was the last planned battle on English soil and led to the infamous Bloody Assizes presided over by Judge Jeffreys. Many Somerset villages lost men to the battle or the reprisals as they did in far greater numbers to the two World Wars. There were a few, however, who lost no one at all and these are known as the Thankful Villages.
Somerset’s woollen industry was once one of the largest in England and responsible for the legacy of fine churches. Coal mining on the Mendips was another source of wealth and there were 80 collieries around Radstock as late as 1901. Quarrying was important and the Brendon Hills were mined for iron ore. With such natural riches it is not surprising a number of grand houses were built.
Somerset has so much history it’s no wonder there is an abundance of museums helping you to understand it all and to step back in time! From Haynes Motor Museum to the many town museums such as Chard (the birthplace of modern flight) or the TV and Radio and Toy museum at Montacute – the county can cater for a range of tastes, ages and interests.
The impressive Fleet Air Arm museum at RNAS Yeovilton offers an insight into the exploitation of the skies.  Here you can climb on board Concorde or visit the deck of an aircraft carrier and there are dozens of much older planes to see.

Taunton is the home of the Museum of Somerset which provides a superb modern venue in an ancient setting with a variety of exhibitions, events and interactive activities for children. It tells the county’s story from prehistoric times to the present day and has such treasures as the Frome Hoard, the Banwell bear and the Low Ham mosaic.

If you are after something a little more unusual, the boat museum at Watchet or the museum or prehistory at Cheddar Caves will always entertain and fascinate.  

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