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Latest News and Events             

Processions: Two Banners, One Voice

June 04, 2018

Somerset Rural Life Museum and Somerset Art Works are delighted to present a new exhibition marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act. The Act gave the first British women the right to vote. Processions: Two Banners, One Voice opens at the Museum on 16 June. It will display a rare original suffrage banner created by the Weston-super-Mare branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies alongside a contemporary banner created by students from Strode College in Street.

Cheese and Charabancs: Historic Holidays in Devon and Somerset

May 20, 2018

With summer holidays on the horizon the South West Heritage Trust is staging pop-up exhibitions in Weston-super-Mare and Barnstaple to explore the West Country’s enduring appeal for holiday makers. Using historic collections from within the archives at Devon and Somerset Heritage Centres the exhibition offers an opportunity to discover more about holidays of the past.

The Sidmouth Collection

April 22, 2018

A nationally important collection held at the Devon Heritage Centre is undergoing extensive conservation to make it fully available to researchers. The political papers of former Prime Minister, Henry Addington 1st Viscount Sidmouth, consist of around 9,000 items including letters written by George III, William Pitt the Younger, Horatio Nelson, the Prince Regent and William Wilberforce.

Living History Day

April 12, 2018

Performance group The Little Victory Ball join Somerset Rural Life Museum for a First World War Living History Day. Through performance, activities and exhibitions the Living History Day will depict Somerset’s experience of the First World War.

Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories

February 27, 2018

Discover the life and works of one of Britain’s best-loved storytellers and the author of the inspirational hit of stage and screen War Horse at this new family exhibition. The exhibition comes to the museum from Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books,which is custodian of the Michael Morpurgo archive. Opens 17 March to 7 July.

Somerset Archives and Local Studies Closed Period

January 01, 2020

Our annual Closed Period provides an opportunity to undertake larger projects that we would not have the time or space to tackle during our normal opening hours. All the projects help improve the services we offer.

Click the link below to see some of the work we were doing during the last two weeks of January.

Devon Archives and Local Studies Closed Period

January 01, 2020

Our annual closure period provides us with an opportunity to undertake larger projects that we would not have the time or space to tackle during our normal opening hours, all of which help to enhance the service which we provide to the public. 


Click the link below for a summary of some of the work we undertook during this year’s closure period.

BBC Civilisations Festival Events

February 09, 2018

This week the BBC launched Civilisations an epic new series spanning 31 countries on six continents, and covering more than 500 works of art. Alongside, the Civilisations Festival will see museums across the UK putting on special events. Our Festival events will discover art, architecture and house history so why not get involved? 

The World Before Yesterday: The Photography of Stanley Kenyon

February 06, 2018

A remarkable collection of 60,000 photographs that document Somerset over 40 years has been saved in a race against time. A selection of the photographs are on display at The Museum of Somerset from Saturday 17 February.

Learn to Read Old Handwriting - CANCELLED

February 02, 2018

***Due to unforeseen circumstances this course has been cancelled.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.  Further courses will be advertised in the future***  

The Devon Archives and Local Studies service will again be running its popular beginners’ course in palaeography this spring.  The course, which is taught by Dr.John Booker, a retired archivist with more than forty years’ experience as a palaeography tutor, aims to equip participants with the skills to tackle the reading and interpretation of a range of types of document from the seventeenth century onwards.  No previous experience is required, although some familiarity with documents will obviously be helpful.

How to Read Old Handwriting

February 02, 2018

This is a course for people interested in learning how to read the old handwriting to be found in archival documents.  The course, to be held at the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton, will focus on English documents from the 16th to the 18th centuries.  It will be held on Wednesday 28 February from 9.30am to 4.00pm.

The course is suitable for people starting to use original documents held in record offices for family, house and local history research.

The cost of the course is £20 per person (£10 concessions).  Booking is essential as space is limited.  To book your place please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre on 01823 278805 or email

Archives for Family History

February 02, 2018

This is course for people wanting to find out more about family history.   The course, to be held at the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton, will focus on how to use and interpret key archive sources for family history.  The 2-day course will run on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 April, 9.30 am to 4.00 pm.


The course is designed to help researchers feel confident about visiting an archive and exploring the documents they will find there.  Topics covered will include document handling, census and church records, the records of the poor law and the workhouse, reading old handwriting and understanding common Latin phrases.


The cost of the course is £48 per person (£24 concessions).  Booking is essential as space is limited.  To book your place please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre on 01823 278805 or email   

Resources for Local History

February 02, 2018

A day course looking at archival and printed resources available at the Somerset Heritage Centre and online for research local history, looking at land, buildings, people, and social history.

The course will be held at the Somerset Heritage Centre on Tuesday 20 March, 9.30 am to 4.00 pm.

The cost of the course is £20 per person (£10 concessions).  Booking is essential as space is limited.  To book your place please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre on 01823 278805 or email  

Common Phrases in Latin and English: How to Understand Parish Registers and Other Documents

February 02, 2018

This half-day course looks at phrases often found in documents used for family, house and local history research.  It includes dating, Roman numerals, deeds, parish registers and probate records.  It will be held at the Somerset Heritage Centre on Wednesday 16 May from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.

The cost of the course is £20 per person (£10 concessions).  Booking is essential as space is limited.  To book your place please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre on 01823 278805 or email  

Iron Age Archaeological Discovery

January 22, 2018

An important historical find has been made in Somerset when a Langport dog walker found a well-preserved human skull. The skull was found along the banks of the River Sowy in March 2017. Analysis has now revealed it belonged to a woman aged 45 or older during the late Iron Age (380-190BC) - several centuries before the first Roman invasion of Britain. 

Echoes of War: The Somerset Countryside 1914–1918

January 02, 2018

A new exhibition at Somerset Rural Life Museum explores the many ways in which rural Somerset was affected by the events of the First World War. Using objects, archive documents and photographs, the exhibition reveals how the First World War profoundly changed the county’s rural communities. Visitors can discover more about life on the home front and the ways in which Somerset people supported the war effort.

Christmas Events

November 15, 2017

Visit our Museums in Taunton and Glastonbury for something different this Christmas. 

From Santa's grotto and children's trails to festive music and a Christmas lunch there's something for all the family.

Quantock Hills Landscape Partnership

November 03, 2017

A £1.9 million grant to Quantock Hills ‘Reimagining the Manor’ Scheme has been given initial support by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme, it was announced today. The scheme, developed by the Quantock Hills AONB Team in partnership with South West Heritage Trust, Friends of Quantock and others, aims to inspire the local communities to learn from the centuries of landscape development on the Quantock Hills and undertake a wide range of projects providing resilience and protection of the landscape into the future. 

Explore Your Archives

October 19, 2017

Join us for some special events taking place for this year's Explore Your Archives campaign,  Saturday 18 November to Sunday 26 November.


This national campaign is coordinated by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association.  It aims to encourage everyone to explore the fantastic variety of archives and record centres across the country. Take a look at our events and get involved online too. 

Yeovil Hoard Acquired for Somerset

October 01, 2017

A hoard of 3,339 Roman coins discovered in Yeovil in March 2013 has been saved for Somerset and is now on public display. A special event is being held at Yeovil Library on Saturday 14 October with the hoard on permanent display at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton.

MUSE: Makers in Museums

September 25, 2017

MUSE: Makers in Museums is a project that is supporting eight artists to make new work in response to the unique collections to be found in smaller community museums in Somerset and Devon. The partnership project is led by the South West Heritage Trust and supported by The Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The artists have been blogging about their experiences and are showing their works locally. 

The Remnants of an Army Returns to the Somerset Military Museum

September 25, 2017

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.

Museum Given Rare Reminder of the First World War in Somerset

September 25, 2017

A rare collection box in the form of a First World War nurse has been given to Somerset’s Museum Service. The collection box was originally used at the former Taunton and Somerset Hospital in East Reach, Taunton, and in more recent years has been cared for by the League of Friends of Musgrove Park Hospital.

Seminar: Agendas for Change

September 24, 2017

Many local authorities and other organisations face increasing pressures in delivering local heritage services, particularly services relating to archives, museums and the historic environment. In a time of rapid change this seminar provides an opportunity to hear about some of the new approaches being adopted in the South West and some of the important lessons being learnt. 

Somerset Rural Life Museum Announces Autumn Programme

September 04, 2017

Following a £2.4 million redevelopment, Somerset Rural Life Museum re-opened earlier this year with a fresh new look and a line-up of wonderful events offering real-life experiences inspired by rural traditions. The autumn programme has been announced and includes seasonal celebrations, workshops, courses, talks and exhibitions.  The programme offers visitors a chance to discover more about Somerset’s heritage including its landscape, food and farming and rural crafts.

Weston Museum Re-opens

August 23, 2017

The South West Heritage Trust is delighted to welcome the reopening of Weston Museum in Weston-super-Mare. The museum houses a collection of wonderful range and is now also an important new attraction for Weston and North Somerset. The Trust's curatorial and exhibition teams have been working with the museum ahead of the reopening taking place on Saturday 26 August 2017. 

Avalon Marshes Wins Award

August 23, 2017

Comedian Bill Bailey was back in his native Somerset to present a special award for environmental work, this week. The Avalon Marshes on the Somerset levels has been named the "Best Environmental Project" in the National Lottery Awards 2017, winning a public vote. The South West Heritage Trust is amongst the project partners who were delighted to receive the award. 

Conserving Maps, Conserving History

August 22, 2017

On the afternoon of Monday 11 September there will be an unprecedented opportunity to view a wide range of treasured maps, plans, charts and other documents from the collections of the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service and the National Meteorological Archive, and to be introduced to the ways in which the two archives collaborate, especially on the conservation of these immensely valuable documents.

Advanced Palaeography Coursen at Devon Heritage Centre

August 21, 2017

John Booker is planning to run an advanced palaeography course this autumn to mark the recent publication of his book, Devon Deciphered.  The content will appeal to those who have already completed an elementary course and wish to acquire a better knowledge of formulaic medieval Latin, covering documents dating between 1450 - 1700.

Return of the King

August 16, 2017

The Museum of Somerset is bringing an artwork of outstanding national significance to the county this autumn. Working with the National Portrait Gallery in London, the museum will display an extraordinary portrait of King Henry VII dated 1505. It is the first image of an English monarch painted from life and the earliest portrait in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.

From Ilfracombe to China - A Talk Followed by a Traditional Devonshire Cream Tea

August 20, 2017

Discover how a North Devon man survived life in a Second World War prisoner-of-war camp in China.  Lewis Burfitt from Ilfracombe kept a detailed diary recording his experiences, which is now cared for at the North Devon Record Office.

Booking is essential as numbers are limited.  Tickets are £5 per person.  Please contact Gary Knaggs at the North Devon Record Office to book a place.  Tel: 01271 318795 or email

The Wyndhams: A West Country Dynasty

July 24, 2017

On Saturday 9 September Silverton Village Hall will play host to an exhibition highlighting some of the treasures from the collection of the Wyndham family, one of the West Country's leading landed dynasties.  Organised jointly by the South West Heritage Trust and the Silverton Local History Society, the exhibition will include maps, manor court records, and a range of other documents spanning the 12th to the 20th century, which tell the story of the Wyndhams, the places they owned, and the people who worked for them.  There will also be activities for children and adults.  


Entry is free with donations for the work of the South West Heritage Trust and Silverton Local History Society gratefully received.

Rhyme Around the World

July 10, 2017

This colourful, multi-sensory exhibition invites The Museum of Somerset's young visitors to step straight into their favourite nursery rhymes with plenty of opportunities for play and active learning. It comes to the museum from Seven Stories, the National Home of Children’s Books, and is open throughout the summer holidays from Saturday 22 July to Saturday 7 October.

Every has a Story: Preserving Your Family Documents at Home - A Talk Followed by a Traditional Devonshire Cream Tea

July 09, 2017

A hands-on opportunity to see how to care for the family documents and photographs that you have at home.  Find out how documents can deteriorate and the practical steps that you can take to ensure a longer life for your precious items.

A handbook of helpful information and a selection of archival quality packaging materials will be available for purchase.  

Booking is essential as numbers are limited.  Tickets are £5 per person.  Please contact Gary Knaggs at the North Devon Record Office to book a place.  Tel: 01271 318795 or email

Pathways to the Past - back by popular demand!

July 09, 2017

People in Somerset and Devon can discover four centuries of maps at free one-day exhibitions taking place in Exeter and Taunton, during July and August.  The exhibitions were held in Exeter and Wells in June, and were a huge success.  Due to requests that the maps be on show again, we are delighted to host the exhibitions at the Somerset Heritage Centre and the Devon Heritage Centre, to allow even more people to view and enjoy our fantastic collections.

Know Your Place West of England - Putting Somerset on the Map

April 06, 2017

For the first time, historical maps of Somerset are now freely available online thanks to the Know Your Place West of England project, supported by National Lottery players. From Minehead to Wincanton and Frome to Wells, you can now discover how the county of Somerset has been transformed over time.

Museum to Reopen for the Summer

March 28, 2017

Somerset Rural Life Museum will reopen on Saturday 3 June following completion of a £2.4 million redevelopment project led by the South West Heritage Trust. The Museum will tell the rich story of Somerset’s rural and social history and provide a family-friendly destination which has learning, access and discovery at its heart.

National Accreditation for Archives

March 21, 2017

The South West Heritage Trust has achieved national Accreditation for its work in preserving and making accessible the remarkable archive heritage of Somerset and Devon. Achieving accreditation demonstrates that The South West Heritage Trust is meeting demanding national standards in caring for collections and making them available.

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

February 17, 2017

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.

Discovering William the Conqueror’s Somerset

February 02, 2017

A unique document from the age of William the Conqueror is going on display at The Museum of Somerset in Taunton during February and March. Known as ‘Exon Domesday’, the document was created in 1086 as part of a vast survey of England ordered by its Norman conqueror, William I. It has been preserved for many centuries in Exeter Cathedral Library and is named after the Latin word for Exeter (Exonia).

Recreating Prehistoric Avalon in 3D

December 12, 2016

The prehistoric landscape of the Avalon Marshes in central Somerset has been brought to life in a series of three stunning 3D films.  The films are available to view for free on the South West Heritage Trust You Tube channel allowing people to experience the area as it would have appeared thousands of years ago.

Earliest monastery in the British Isles discovered in Somerset

December 05, 2016

Excavations at Beckery near Glastonbury in Somerset have produced the earliest known evidence for monasticism in the British Isles. Radiocarbon dating of bodies in the monastic cemetery has shown that the monastery began in the 5th or early 6th centuries AD, before Somerset was conquered by the Saxon kings of Wessex in the 7th century.

RPS International Print Exhibition 159

November 28, 2016

The Royal Photographic Society’s International Print Exhibition 159 opens at the Museum of Somerset from 14 January to 11 March 2017. Launched in 1854 and now in its 159th edition, it is the longest-running exhibition of its kind in the world. This year’s exhibition features an eclectic mix of work by 75 photographers from 16 countries.

Christmas at the Museum of Somerset

November 10, 2016

The Museum of Somerset has announced it's Christmas programme. Meet Santa in our magical Almshouse Grotto, join us for Christmas carols and festive songs, follow the reindeer trail and more.

Voices of Axbridge

October 12, 2016

The South West Heritage Trust is delighted to announce that the Voices of Axbridge archive is now available for research at the Somerset Heritage Centre. 

Explore your Family and Local History

October 11, 2016

A new programme of courses designed to help local people explore their family and local history has been announced by the South West Heritage Trust.

October Half Term

October 02, 2016

Dinosaurs and dragons will be taking over the Museum of Somerset for October half term. Dino Day is on Sunday 23 October, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Families can explore the museum’s amazing collection of real fossils, take a dino trail around the museum and enjoy some dino crafts. 

Exhibition: Wild Art

September 25, 2016

On Saturday 8 October the Museum of Somerset opens ‘Wild Art: Nature Re-imagined’, an exhibition of photography, sculpture and painting by the brothers Andrew and David Neal.

Museum Autumn Events

September 11, 2016

The Museum of Somerset’s autumn programme of heritage and history talks and events has been announced.

Heritage Open Days in Taunton and Glastonbury

August 29, 2016

Heritage Open Days are England's biggest festival of history and culture. In Somerset the South West Heritage Trust is inviting people to celebrate two outstanding local museums with open days and tours on Saturday 10 September.

Preserving the Heritage of Exeter City Football Club

August 16, 2016

The South West Heritage Trust has teamed up with Exeter City football fans to help preserve the city’s sporting heritage and make it more accessible. Exeter City Football Club History Group, The Grecian Archive and the Heritage Trust are working together to catalogue and digitise records from Exeter City Football Club.

Excellence Award for Devon Archives and Local Studies Service

August 03, 2016

The South West Heritage Trust has received a new Excellence Award for its pioneering work in transforming archive services in Devon. The Archives and Records Association, the lead professional body for archivists, conservators and records managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, is making the Excellence Awards for the first time. The South West Heritage Trust has received the award for Recording-Keeping Service of the Year. 

Museum launches campaign to secure Yeovil hoard of Roman coins

July 19, 2016

The South West Heritage Trust has launched a campaign to secure the Yeovil hoard so that it can be displayed in The Museum of Somerset and enjoyed by local people. The Yeovil hoard of 3,335 Roman coins was discovered in March 2013 while ground works were being carried out on a new artificial grass pitch on behalf of South Somerset District Council at Yeovil Recreation Centre. 

Somerset collections published online by Ancestry

July 13, 2016

Over seven million historical records containing centuries of details of Somerset residents have been published online by Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics. Digitised from original records held by the South West Heritage Trust, the collections hold details of births, deaths, marriages and school admissions from almost 400 years of Somerset’s history.

Pirates! Fact & Fiction

July 03, 2016

The Museum of Somerset’s summer exhibition, ‘Pirates: Fact and Fiction’ opens on Saturday 9 July. From the Cilician pirates of the Roman Mediterranean, to the Golden Age pirates of the Caribbean, landlubbers will discover more about the ships, weapons, tactics, and usually short-lived careers of these notorious adventurers.  

Festival of Archaeology

June 28, 2016

Join us for three special events as part of the national 2016 Festival of Archaeology, 16 -31 July.


Come along to the museum for an archaeology pop-up day and artefact handling. We’ll also be the Avalon Marshes Centre for a day celebrating ancient crafts. All events are FREE.

Vote for Archives

June 15, 2016

We’re delighted to say that our archives team is nominated for a new Excellence award.  And, we need your help.


The South West Heritage Trust has been nominated for the Archives and Records Association (ARA’s) Recording-Keeping Service of the Year award.  These awards will be decided by a public vote and you can show you support by voting online now. You can read all the nominations here.

Hidden Taunton: Town Tours

June 13, 2016

From roundhouses to gin palaces, almshouses to hotels, Hidden Taunton is a guided walking tour exploring some of the forgotten stories, vanished buildings and remarkable residents of Somerset’s County Town. 

Beckery Chapel Open Day

May 19, 2016

Research excavations by the South West Heritage Trust have revealed evidence of the complex of buildings that formed the chapel and monastery at Beckery near Glastonbury. At an open day, on Sunday 22 May from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, visitors will have an opportunity to see the remains of the medieval chapels for the first time since the 1960s.

Museum Redevelopment Enters New Phase

May 03, 2016

The Somerset Rural Life Museum project has entered a new phase with the completion of building works for the 2.4 million redevelopment. 


Quantock Hills AONB celebrates 60th anniversary at Halsway Manor

April 18, 2016

The Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, with a week-long series of events that showcase some of the best ways to experience the Quantocks at Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, supported by the South West Heritage Trust. 

The Art of Victor Ambrus

April 17, 2016

The achievement of the Hungarian-born artist and illustrator Victor Ambrus is celebrated at the Museum of Somerset from 23 April to 2 July. ‘The Art of Victor Ambrus’ features some 90 original works created over a period of nearly 60 years by this much-loved artist.


April 03, 2016

Join us for a celebration of this unique area on June 4 at Strode Theatre. The event will include talks, films and presentations by experts including local wildlife writer and TV producer Stephen Moss, wetland archaeologist Dr Richard Brunning, Glastonbury Abbey archaeologist John Allan, and naturalist and broadcaster Chris Sperring MBE. The event is part of the HLF funded Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership. (IMAGE: Tara White Old Oaks Touring Park.)

Somerset Day, 11 May

March 30, 2016

To celebrate Somerset Day on Wednesday 11 May the South West Heritage Trust is holding two special events. An exhibition of Somerset Archive Treasures from Devon at St James Church and a talk about the treasures ofthe Museum of Somerset.

Captured in Time: The Art of Harry Frier’

March 14, 2016

Life in Taunton, its people and places, are captured in time for an exhibition of watercolours opening on Saturday 19 March. Harry Frier is one of Somerset‘s best known artists. His paintings document life in and around Taunton during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The exhibition includes scenes of Taunton, the surrounding villages and countryside.

Porlock Bay Oyster Oil Painting Inspires Learning

February 02, 2016

The Museum of Somerset in Taunton and Porlock Bay Oysters are teaming up to support local primary schools in exploring a unique artistic record of working life on the West Somerset coast. Ten schools across Somerset are taking part in the museum’s annual Take One project which uses collections to support pupils’ learning. The focus this year is a large-scale oil painting of 1890 by the artist Charles Napier Hemy called Oyster Dredgers at Porlock Weir.

Hinkley Point Archaeology Outreach Event

January 24, 2020

Archaeologists from the South West Heritage Trust will be holding a free day of activities celebrating the incredible prehistoric archaeology discovered during excavations at Hinkley Point. 


The event will be held at the Somerset Brick and Tile Museum where visitors will have the chance to create a prehistoric clay pot and build a mini Iron Age roundhouse out of plaster.

The Becket Casket

January 18, 2016

A jewelled and enamelled casket depicting medieval England’s most infamous murder is going on display at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton. The Becket Casket, made in about 1180, held relics of St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.  He was murdered in 1170 by knights who had Somerset and Devon roots and were followers of King Henry II.

New Dimensions: Contemporary Art Inspired by Hidden Collections

December 23, 2015

Hidden objects from the museum stores are being vividly re-imagined in film, photography, sculpture, textiles and poetry for an exhibition at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton.


‘New Dimensions’ opens on Saturday 16 January 2016 and will feature work created by a group of professional artists who have been granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the museum’s extensive stores. 

Museum of Somerset Celebrates 100,000 Visitors in 2015

December 23, 2015

Staff and volunteers at the Museum of Somerset are celebrating an outstandingly successful 2015.


More than 107,000 visitors will have come through the doors by the end of the year, thanks not least to some special exhibitions and increasing use by Somerset schools.

Somerset School Children Learn about Victorian Christmas

December 18, 2015

Somerset school children are continuing to learn about the county’s rural heritage thanks to the Somerset Rural Life Museum’s outreach programme.

Memories of Belgian Refugees Sought by First World War Project

December 17, 2015

Local people are being asked to provide recollections of Belgian refugees who came to Devon during the First World War. Families in the county welcomed hundreds of people fleeing the conflict in Belgium, many of whom stayed in touch for years afterwards. Now a new initiative is hoping to tell their story.

Memorial Trees Planted on Cothelstone Hill

December 15, 2015

A group of beech and pine trees have been planted on the summit of Cothelstone Hill, near Taunton, as a centenary memorial to Somerset people who died in the First World War.


The trees are sited next to the famous Seven Sisters tree-ring and are intended to ensure that one of Somerset’s best-loved landmarks continues long into the future.

Grant for Cataloguing South West Estate Archive

December 08, 2015

One of the South West’s finest family and estate archives will become much more accessible thanks to a cataloguing grant just received by the South West Heritage Trust. 

Devon War Diaries Find a Home

December 17, 2015

A Devon man’s detailed account of life in a Second World War prisoner-of-war camp has been secured by the South West Heritage Trust. The two diaries give a comprehensive insight into the life of internees at the camp in Weihsien, China, from 1943 to 1945. They were handwritten by Lewis Mills Burfitt from Ilfracombe.

Ilchester lead coffins

November 16, 2015

Lead coffins were not that common in Roman Britain with around 300 discovered across the UK. The last discovery in Somerset was in 1989 and after a 25-year absence two coffins were found within 12 months of each other. This film follows the opening and excavation of one of the coffins and the discovery of a young woman’s skeleton.

Devon Heritage Centre Celebrates Volunteers

November 13, 2015

The Devon Archives and Local Studies Service is celebrating the work of its many dedicated volunteers at an event to be held on Monday 16 November from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, at the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter.




Somerset’s First World War History Goes Online

November 09, 2015

A major project to create indexes of First World War sources for Somerset has just been completed.


The names of thousands of Somerset people who served in the war are now searchable online, thanks to volunteers and archivists who worked together as part of the Somerset Remembers Project.  


Know Your Place

November 02, 2015

Know Your Place is a digital project to help you to explore your neighbourhood through historic maps, images and linked information about Somerset and the West of England. It is an extension of the Bristol project to get a series of historical maps, for counties in the South West of England, digitised to a high resolution and placed online onto an interactive, searchable website. 


If you would like to learn more about the project, why not come to our free event on Tuesday 24 November.

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