As guardians, interpreters and builders of museum collections we play a leading role in the Museum sector in Somerset and the South West. We create temporary exhibitions to tell important stories using contemporary methods. We seek funding to acquire key Museum objects, and we ensure that collections are cared for and interpreted excellently. Working in partnership with Somerset Military Museum Trust, we support them in running Somerset Military Museum. We also provide contracted services for other Museums and organisations.

Our sites

The Museum of Somerset in Taunton

The Museum of Somerset Exterior

Set within Taunton’s historic 12th-century castle, The Museum of Somerset tells the county story from prehistoric times to the present day.

Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury

Somerset_Rural_Life_Museum Courtyard with view of the Tor

The newly-refurbished Somerset Rural Life Museum tells the story of Somerset’s rich rural and social history. It provides a family-friendly destination which has learning, access and discovery at its heart.

The Brick and Tile Museum in Bridgwater

Brick and Tile Museum

At the heart of the The Brick and Tile Museum is the only traditional brick kiln to survive in Somerset, and one of few remaining in England.

Working in Partnership

Working in partnership is one of the most important things we do.

Museum Development

Our Museum Development Officer works with community museums in Somerset to improve skills, address shared issues and develop projects.

Find out more about South West Museum Development Programme

Portable Antiquities Scheme


We run the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Devon, Dorset and Somerset, to ensure that discoveries made by the public are appropriately recorded and to deal with newly discovered cases of Treasure.

Weston Museum

We work in partnership with North Somerset Council and Weston-super-Mare Town Council to provide heritage services, including collections care for Weston Museum. We created the storyline and undertook the curatorial work to enable the re-opening of Weston Museum in August 2017.


Museum Accreditation Scheme

The Museum Accreditation Scheme is managed by Arts Council England and sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK. The Trust manages three accredited museums:
• The Museum of Somerset
• Somerset Military Museum
• Somerset Rural Life Museum

Museum Collections and Research

Somerset Heritage Centre

Somerset Heritage Centre, head quarters of SWHT

The museum reserve collections are held at the Somerset Heritage Centre. They include Costume and Textiles, Fine and Decorative Art, Archaeology, Natural Sciences and Social History collections. We also care for the collections of Somerset Military Museum Trust and North Somerset Council.

For information about access and donations to the museum collections click here.

Online Access

Collections Explorer

Explore some of the South West’s finest museum objects

The Yeovil gold TorcSouth West Collections Explorer

Art Collections

Explore over 3,250 venues in the UK with public art collections

Somerset_PosterVisit Art UK

See fine art and historical media for reproduction

PaintingVisit Bridgeman Images


Somerset Processions

A project with Somerset Art Works to mark 100 years of votes for women

Visit the blog

MUSE: Makers in Museums

A project to highlight the unique collections to be found in smaller community museums

Crocodile artworkVisit the blog

Photos: Muse – Jasper Casey