The Museum of Somerset is based at Taunton Castle.
The Castle is a Grade I Listed Scheduled Ancient Monument standing at the heart of Somerset’s county town. It has been the home of a museum for well over 100 years.
Did You Know?
- The Castle may be located on the site of an earlier Saxon settlement
- The present stone-built castle was originally founded by Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester and grandson of William the Conqueror
- Taunton Castle was the administrative centre for the vast Somerset estates of bishops of Winchester
- It was used as a prison and assize court for many centuries
- The Castle was visited by King John and Henry III
- It was the scene of Henry VII’s interrogation of Perkin Warbeck following Warbeck’s attempt to claim the throne in 1497
- The Castle endured sieges, bombardment and fierce battles during the English Civil War
- The Great Hall of the Castle was the site of the Bloody Assizes, presided over by the notorious Judge Jeffreys, following the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685
- During the 19th century, the Castle was used as an Assembly Hall and hosted major political events
- The ancient castle was rescued and restored by Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society who acquired the building in 1874
Castle Tours and Events
If you’d like to find out more about the history of Taunton Castle, look out for upcoming behind-the-scenes tours and events.
Photos: Alison Hoare