Taunton’s criminal history is the theme for a new season of historic walking tours being offered by the museum.
People will be able to learn about the history of crime and punishment in Taunton and discover some for the remarkable stories connected with sites and buildings in the county town.
The tours will start at the museum, the site of the Bloody Assizes which followed the Monmouth Rebellion. Other places of interest include Wilton Gaol and the ‘Nook’, a lock-up built to house petty criminals.
The tours are being led by museum volunteers who have carried out extensive research at the Somerset Heritage Centre using historic documents and local newspapers.
Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust, said, ‘Criminal history provides us with a glimpse into the lives of people who wouldn’t otherwise have entered the historical record. These tours will highlight Taunton’s rich – and sometimes chilling – history and will be a great addition to the Museum of Somerset’s summer programme’.
The tours will last about an hour and a half, and cover a little over a mile.
Tours will take place every Tuesday at 2pm and every Saturday at 11am in August and September and cost £3 per person.
To book a place or for more information please call the museum on 01823 255088.
Festival of Archaeology (Saturday 11th July – Sunday 26th July)
As part of the Festival for Archaeology we have some archaeological themed events running this July. All of these events are FREE with no need to book.
Tuesday 21 July
14:00 – 14:30
Object Handling with an archaeology theme
Saturday 25 July
10.00 – 13.00
Finds Surgery – Bring along your finds to be identified and recorded by our expert
Saturday 25 July,
11.00 – 13.00 & 14.00 – 15.30
Family Fun – Archaeology and doing day! Reconstruct a pot, strike a coin and get stuck in with some hands-on activities.
To see what other Festival of Archaeology events are taking place locally please visit www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk
Charlie de Wet, Chair of the Huguenots of Spitalfields will be giving a talk at the museum at 7.30pm on Wednesday 1st July. Tickets cost £8
The talk will explore Huguenot history, and their talents which transformed England. Highlighting characters including Jacque Fontaine, the Coutaulds, the Portals and the amazing weavers. They were the first refugees, and one in six of us has Huguenot ancestory.
Book by calling the museum on 01823 255088 or on line at http://www.themuseumofsomerset.ticketsource.co.uk
The Museum will be open 10am until 5pm on Father’s Day, with fun activities suitable for all the family. All the activities will be on an adventure theme, celebrating the famous explorer John Hanning-Speke who discovered the source of the Nile. There is no need to book in advance just turn up on the day. Entrance is £3 adults and £1 for children age 3+.
There will be the chance to see items from the collections which are not usually on display, including a pair of dumb bells that belonged to the Antarctic explorer Captain Scott.
Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust, will be sharing his knowledge of John Hanning Speke with gallery talks at 12.30 and 2.30.
“We’re looking forward to a great adventure-filled day. The source of the Nile remained unknown for thousands of years, and the story of how the mystery was solved is amazing. We have items on display, kindly lent by the Speke family, which relate to Speke’s exploring. We’re really looking forward to having a day when visitors can discover more about this great man who set out on his journey from Taunton railway station!”
For those who want to treat Dad, the café will also be open. If the weather is nice the museum courtyard is a stunning location for lunch, or a big slice of cake!