Easter at The Museum of Somerset

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There is a wealth of family activities on offer at the Museum of Somerset this Easter.

From Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 March you can Celebrate the Arrival of Spring with drop-in family activities. Sessions run from 10.30-13.00 and 14.00-15.30. Activities are aimed at children of ages 3-11 years and cost £1 per child.

On Saturday 31 March we have FREE Roman themed Family Fun activities as part of  the BBC Civilisation Festival. Drop-in anytime from 11.00-13.00 or 14.00-15.30.

From Tuesday 3 to Thursday 5 April there are drop-in family activities with an Easter theme. Sessions run from 10.30-13.00 and 14.00-15.30. Activities cost £1 per child.

Throughout the local school holiday period you can have a go at our Easter Egg Trail around the museum. £1 per child.

Don’t forget that the Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories exhibition will be open throughout the holidays and beyond.

The museum will be open on both Good Friday and Easter Monday from 10am until 5pm (last entry 4.30pm).

We look forward to seeing you!


A Tudor Christmas on 28th and 29th December

Thursday 28 and Friday 29 December, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Celebrating our prestigious exhibition ‘Henry VII: The First Royal Portrait,’ ‘A Tudor Christmas’ explores Tudor life through music, drama, costume and crafts.

There will be a dramatic retelling of Henry VII’s links to Taunton Castle and a traditional Tudor musician, as well as an opportunity to find out about the differences between Christmas celebrations for the rich and poor

Children can dress-up for ‘Royal Selfies’ and follow the Castle Trail around the Museum.

Free event, with a small charge of £1 for the craft activities and the Castle trail.


This event has something for all ages, so ideal to bring along the whole family.

The Remnants of an Army Returns to the Somerset Military Museum

The Remnants of an Army by Lady Elizbeth Butler returned to the Somerset Military Museum this September. The painting belongs to the Tate Gallery and was recalled to Tate Britain in 2015 where it featured in Artist and Empire, a major exhibition of art associated with the British Empire from the 16th century to the present day. The exhibition, including the painting, later travelled to the National Gallery of Singapore.

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Elizabeth Butler (1846-1933) achieved fame for her realistic depictions of war and its consequences. The Remnants of an Army is one of her best-known works.

The painting shows the moment in 1842 when Dr William Brydon arrived outside the fortress town of Jellalabad during the 1st Afghan War. He brought the terrible news that 17,000 British soldiers and camp followers had been massacred. They had been making their way back from Kabul to India. But they were attacked along the route despite a promise of safe passage from Akbar Khan, the Afghan tribal leader.  Dr Brydon was one of very few survivors.

Soldiers of the 13th Light Infantry, the regiment which would later become the Somerset Light Infantry were then besieged in the fortress town of Jellalabad. After five months they broke out and defeated the Afghans in one of the most famous military operations of the Victorian age.

Find Out More

Join Curator of Military History Sam Astill for a Talk and Tea exploring the painting at The Museum of Somerset at 2.30 pm on 10 November (£5.)

Dino Day Sunday 22nd October

Dino Day 2017[4] Join us for some Dino fun on Sunday 22nd October.  This has become one of our favourite events, with lots of fun for all dino lovers.

You can enjoy crafts and activities, dress up and even disco dance with a dinosaur!

The whole museum will be open with a chance to meet our expert and enjoy our cuddly dino trail.

The museum is open from 10am until 5pm, and the cost which includes all the activities is £3 per person (age 3+) or £10 for a family.  There is no need to book – just turn up.


Summer of Fun Activities for Saturday 2nd September

Join us on Saturday 2nd September for our last day of summer holiday pick and mix activities.

Rhyme Around the World  Multi-sensory exhibition £2pp or £2.20 incl gift Aid (2+)

Trails  – all day Choose from different trails  £1

Pirate dressing up – all day – free


10.00-12.00   Romans – make a mosaic, tell the time in Roman numerals £1

12.30-1.30  Coin Striking – learn how to strike a Celtic Coin  £1

2.00-4.00 Ice Age – make a hairy mammoth, make a cave lion puppet  £1







Discover Taunton Town Tours

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind buildings you pass every day? If so, The Museum of Somerset’s latest town tour might provide some answers.

‘Discover Taunton’ is a guided walking tour exploring the often-surprising history of Somerset’s county town.

Touching on religion, education, science, technology, health and leisure, the tour reveals a thread of experimentation, rebellion and non-conformity which, some might say, is still the character of the West Country. Along the way, you will meet the inventor who inspired Mary Shelly’s vision of Frankenstein, the middle-aged spinster who led Taunton’s own Pilgrim Fathers to seek freedom in the New World and the sixteen-year-old who was thought to be too old to be a teacher. You will also discover how, for much of the last 500 years, the town was a hotbed of religious radicalism!

‘Discover Taunton’ tours are led by volunteers from The Museum of Somerset who also researched the tour’s content with the support of archivists from the South West Heritage Trust. This is the fourth year that the tours have run, each year with a different theme, and over that time they have become more and more popular.

Susie Simmons, Visitor Services Manager at The Museum of Somerset, said “the new tour follows on from last year’s very successful ‘Hidden Taunton’ tours in revealing some of Taunton’s lesser-known stories. This year’s tour really demonstrates the adventurous, pioneering spirit of Somerset people through the years.”

The ‘Discover Taunton’ tour departs from The Museum of Somerset every Saturday at 11.00 am and Wednesday at 2.00 pm from now until the end of September. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and finishes at Taunton Visitor Centre.

The tours cost £3.50 per person. Advance booking is highly recommended. You can reserve your place by phoning 01823 255088.

Family fun hydrographic event on Thursday 1st June


Want to learn how to navigate the oceans? Join the fun and learn about hydrography and why it is so important.

 The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office would like to invite you to join them to try out a range of maritime activities in celebration of World Hydrography Day. You can meet their expert mariners, plot your own voyage on a chart or get involved in using navigation software.

 Open to all, this event at The Museum of Somerset is free to attend and suitable for all ages.


Stonehenge: Old Stones, New Ideas. Talk in aid of the Friends of the Museum postponed to Wednesday 3rd May 2017 at 7.30pm

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Unfortunately this talk has had to be re-scheduled.  We will ring everyone who has bought tickets to see if they can make the new date.  Refunds will be given for those not able to make Wednesday 3rd May.

Join us to find out more from one of England’s best known archaeologists as he shares his passion and knowledge about Stonehenge.Tickets are available from the museum on 01823 255088 or http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/themuseumofsomerset

A Fragile Beauty: Art on the Blackdown Hills 1909 to 1925

An exhibition of works by the Camden Town Group

Opens Saturday 25 March

An exhibition of works by the Camden Town Group opens at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton on Saturday 25 March. ‘A Fragile Beauty: Art on the Blackdown Hills 1909 to 1925’ captures the beauty of this Somerset and Devon borderland in a period when the First World War was changing English society forever.

The Camden Town Group initially painted contemporary urban life, but later they were drawn to the countryside, especially the Blackdown Hills. Read more


Spencer Gore’s ‘Applehayes’ on kind loan from the Ulster Museum