The Museum of Somerset
The Museum of Somerset
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Housed in Taunton’s historic castle, the Museum of Somerset tells the county's fascinating story from prehistoric times to the present day. Within the 12th century castle walls you’ll find contemporary gallery spaces and great family visitor facilities, all situated within the town centre. With an amazing nine themed galleries, each with its own distinctive character, there’s something for everyone to discover. Our ‘must see’ exhibits include a 200 million year old Plesiosaur fossil (a type of marine reptile); the impressive Low Ham Roman mosaic; the Frome Hoard and a stunning Bronze Age Gold Torc. The museum also houses The Somerset Military Museum.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Peakster
    93 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Museum
    We visited this museum on a Saturday. It is situated in the castle. Entry is free and the lady that greeted us explained where an what everything was. There is an old almshouse in the courtyard they was reconstructed from two almshouses when they were demolished on St James Street. There is an exhibition on currently about the life and work of Ivy Millicent James which was very interesting and the artist was an active suffragette. There were lots of Edwardian clothes to try on and have your photo taken in. Moving on to the main part of the museum there was a history of Somerset including an almost intact Roman Mosaic which was uncovered locally. There is a room dedicated to the history of the Duke of Monmouth and his battle with Perkin Warbeck over the throne of England. (Hence the name of one of the Wetherspoons in Taunton is the Perkin Warbeck). There are lots of things for children’s of all ages to do. There is a gift shop and a courtyard café. Well worth a visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Busy B
    Bridgwater, United Kingdom15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting, bright, modern museum.
    We were totally surprised to find a very modern, interesting, well laid out museum. Light and airy. Good explanation of the transformation of this part of the coast from sea to farmed land and how tools and settlements were formed. Why there are so many fossils in the area. Also about the churches and cathedrals. Helpful, friendly, enthusiastic staff. I’m not one to normally go to museums, but this was definitely worth it…..and free! Cafe. Good position to the town centre. Attractive setting.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Minniecat59
    Taunton, United Kingdom22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A life in illustration
    A day out with my 3 year old granddaughter to see the Axel Sheffler exhibition. She loved the petting animals in the courtyard, then then mask making session in the education centre. We had lunch in the museum cafe which was excellent value at under £30 for 3 adults and a child.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 8, 2023
  • mrsflight
    East Grinstead, United Kingdom235 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting museum
    A very interesting museum with lots to see. Visited during school holidays so it was really busy, so id recommended going during term time of you'd prefer a quieter experience. Spent the morning here and very much enjoyed it.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 31, 2023
  • Lucy I
    32 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Another good visit here - good kids activities
    Spent a good couple of hours here. The children enjoyed the book bingo trail and the craft activity, which was really well organised with plenty of glue, scissors etc available. The Axel Scheffler exhibition was interesting and was nice to have the dressing up and books available too. We visit regularly for the children’s activities and they never disappoint
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 31, 2023
  • lb10
    22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful setting and great events
    We visited while on holiday near by after seeing the Alex Scheffler exhibit was on. My kids love the books he does with JD! It was a beautiful place, so much to see and learn and the staff were fab! We met The Gruffalo which was very sweet and then saw the exhibit, the down for crafts and back up the museum. Was all very well done, clean and staff were lovely.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 2, 2023
  • Paul T
    Loughborough, United Kingdom18 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Museum Visit
    Decided to visit as we wanted something child friendly and we were close to Taunton on holiday. Finding the Axel Scheffler exhibition was on was a great bonus. Kids got to meet the Gruffalo and some owls in the courtyard before we went into the museum itself. The exhibition was good to see up close some of the original illustrations from the many books the kids love that he has illustrated. This isn't a permanent exhibit though so check what is on at the time of your visit. The rest of the museum was well laid out and had some interesting exhibits, they had set out a trail for the kids so they were kept busy whilst the adults looked in more detail. The team were all friendly and helpful. We spent about 2-3 hours in total which was enough to see everything
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 6, 2023
  • Sarah B
    Teignmouth, United Kingdom468 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit. Good for a rainy day trip.
    The Museum of Somerset is housed in Taunton Castle, an interesting building with a long history. The museum is well presented, well lit and organised in logical sequence. It has some fascinating local artefacts. The staff were very helpful and on the day I visited entry was free.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written January 23, 2024
  • morlandmonk
    Devon, United Kingdom233 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A gem of a museum and it’s free!
    This is a fascinating museum, really well layered out, and in a brilliant building. The route through takes you from pre history to modern day and it has some really interesting items to explore. The cafe is well worth a visit, really friendly staff, nice food, and if you are gluten free then you have to try their cakes! All this and it is free!
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 17, 2024
  • Ruth W
    Taunton, United Kingdom12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A real gem of a museum.
    Have visited many times. It's bright and modern. Has many fascinating things to see, the staff are always welcoming and it's extremely child friendly. There are several areas where they can dress up, colour in or experiment with things. There's a great little cafe and gift shop. The museum also hosts many interesting events throughout the year.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 10, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles931 reviews
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Mr Fluffy
49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
My partner and I went to the museum.
As I wanted to show him the Canoe my great grandad George Wall dug up in the peat moor many years ago.
The museum was displaying it by hanging in the middle of the room.
It was very special to see.
The museum was bright,clean and tidy.
The staff were lovely.
We were in the museum looking at all the displays for 4 hours it was amazing everything was so laid out and so interesting.
Well worth a day out.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChrisSouthampton
Southampton212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Visited this museum to visit the Tristram Hillier exhibition, which is an excellent exhibition of a little known British artist who lived in Somerset. Only there until mid April. But the rest of the museum is devoted to the history of Somerset, both recent and since the dawn of time! Worth a visit. Free entry, but make a donation.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Big_Jeff_Leo
St Helens, UK22,648 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The Museum is housed in Taunton’s 12th century castle. The museum hosts a collection of toys and dolls, sculpture, natural history, fossils, fine silver, remains of pottery, and it also contains a collection of archaeological items, including the magnificent mosaic found at the Low Ham Roman Villa. Also included is the Somerset Military Museum where visitors are enabled to follow the fortunes of the Somerset Light Infantry as they carried out their campaigns across the world. This exhibit is a very well laid out section that is easily followed in chronological order. Also included is the impressive " Frome Hoard", a hoard of 52,503 Roman coins found in April 2010 by metal detectorist. There is a small shop and a cafe on site but the best thing of all is that it is absolutely free to enter!.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jon c
Bridgwater, UK90 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Family
As a family we really enjoyed our afternoon here, very good range of local information and articles from throughout the ages. Light airy building which adds to the experience. Good parking nearby and plenty of eating establishments close by. Will return for sure!
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Minniecat59
Taunton, UK22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
A day out with my 3 year old granddaughter to see the Axel Sheffler exhibition. She loved the petting animals in the courtyard, then then mask making session in the education centre. We had lunch in the museum cafe which was excellent value at under £30 for 3 adults and a child.
Written August 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

keith h
Chesham, UK1,173 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
I visited this museum on a wet day that fell during our 2 weeks holiday in Somerset. No one really wants a wet day whilst on holiday but on this occasion I'm not too sorry it happened otherwise I would have missed this really excellent museum.
It is housed in Taunton Castle pretty much in the town centre. There is also a military museum attached but I did not have time to see that.
The exhibits are housed in 9 different galleries & show the visitor the history of Somerset beginning from millions of years ago up until the present day.
Very impressed with the whole layout , lighting & content : The Monmouth Rebellion section was particularly interesting.
Highlights for me were the stunning floor mosaic found at Low Ham Roman Villa & the circular room containing quotes from & about Somerset people which are written all over the walls & ceiling.
The cafe appeared to be very popular with seating in the attractive Castle courtyard as well as indoors.
Written October 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

andy19767
Newstead, UK91 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
My wife and I visited the Museum Of Somerset on 10/03/2020 and did not know what to expect.

The Hellier exhibition was exceptional and it was an artist that I did not know.

The Military exhibition was informative and well presented.

When we went to the other section the displays were in a weird order and you had to keep crossing the hall to get to the next display. When we got to the mosaic there was no information about the dig or the history of Somerset and Roman and felt what information that was there could have been more.

There was very limited information regarding the castle and the English civil war.

It was a good place but felt it could have been more informative
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Havechairwilltravel
Somerset, United Kingdom167 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Arranged to meet friends here for lunch and was not disappointed, good choice, great, fresh food, friendly service and a lovely experience! Chatting to one of the staff it turns out the restaurant is now run by the same people who do the cafes in French Weir and behind Debenhams - and it shows - it's lovely! Between us we tried toasted sandwiches, soup and a couple of the cakes which were all fab.

Wheelchair accessibility
The tables are on gravel which isn't ideal for wheelchairs but otherwise all great. The staff are happy to bring food out to the tables and are friendly and attentive. Toilets in the museum are fully accessible - as is the museum although we didn't go round on this particular occasion.
Written August 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us feedback - we're really pleased to see that you enjoyed your visit to the cafe and hope to welcome you back to the Museum soon!
Written November 1, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

fredfan
Taunton, UK54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
We had a wonderful time at the museum - the exhibition of artwork from children's books was stunning and as enjoyable for adults as for children. The main galleries tell the story of Somerset's long history in an accessible and engaging way and the museum's amazing collection was beautifully presented. But what we liked best were the staff; everyone from the people at the desk to the coffee shop staff went out of their way to be helpful and friendly. Our waiter even put a Halloween mask on our American guest's latte so she would feel at home! Such a brilliant place to spend an afternoon - and loads of interesting activities going on.
Written October 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sue Gordon
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
My husband and I visited the Castle Museum today and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We arrived and were greeted by very helpful and caring staff and spent a good couple of hours viewing the many exhibits that we beautifully laid out and very informative. We particularly enjoyed the Martin Brown exhibition, which was a surprise bonus. We concluded our visit with a very nice snack in the Museum Cafe. Thank you for a very enjoyable visit.
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us some feedback - we're delighted to hear that you had such an enjoyable visit
Written November 1, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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