Our museums

Find out about our museum opening times and facilities available.

Community Heritage Access Centre (Museum of South Somerset)

The building which housed the Museum of South Somerset closed on 31st March 2011.  The items in the museum have been moved to the Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC) at SSDC Lufton Depot, 7 Artillery Road, Lufton, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8RP which is open by appointment, Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm.  Please ring 01935 462855 to make an appointment to visit.

CHAC is a storage facility and as such is only partially accessible for people with disabilities. Although the ground floor location is accessible, and a parking bay can be reserved immediately in front of the main entrance, there are no disabled toilets available at the site.  If you wish to view a particular item for research purposes (excluding firearms and edged weapons) and this causes you a problem, staff and volunteers can arrange an appointment to view the object at another council location which has full disabled access.

Bruton Community Museum

This community museum celebrates the history of Bruton and the local area. It is an accredited museum which means it satisfies the national standards for museums.

The volunteers at Bruton Community Museum regularly change the exhibitions throughout the year (March, July and October).  A free information guide is available at the door.

From May to September there is an annual exhibition on display, which focuses on the history of Bruton and the surrounding area, and challenges the visitor in their perception of local history.

Castle Cary and District Museum

The Castle Cary and District Museum is a museum of local town and country life, run by volunteers from the Castle Cary and District Museum and Preservation Society.

Permanent exhibitions at the museum include: Parson Woodforde (1740-1803) who kept diaries detailing rural life in the eighteenth century, The Castle at Castle Cary, geology of the local area, John Boyd Textiles, and Donne & Sons, rope makers (1797-1960's) - rope making was an important local industry.

Chard and District Museum

Chard and District Museum is a Community Museum which focuses on the rich history of the Chard area. The museum is in a building which itself dates from as early as the 16th century. It was formerly a public house.

One of the museum's most important displays is on John Stringfellow, a pioneer of powered flight, who flew a steam-powered ten foot wingspan aircraft in a disused lace mill in Chard in 1848. The museum holds replicas of this plane and others designed by him and his partner, William Henson.

Another local pioneer remembered in the Museum is James Gillingham whose company made artificial limbs in Chard from the 1860s right up until 1950.

Other displays show rural crafts (blacksmith, wheelwright and cooper), domestic life, costumes and local industries which include the making of agricultural machinery and plain net.

Crewkerne Heritage Centre

Crewkerne Heritage Centre is a museum set in the picturesque South Somerset Town of Crewkerne.

Crewkerne Heritage Centre opened in 2000 with the aid of Heritage Lottery funding and is run by volunteers. The museum is contained in an historic house, displaying an 18th century front onto Market Square, and concealing an older dwelling behind.

The museum illustrates the long and interesting history of Crewkerne showing how people lived and worked in times past.  A permanent display tells how the Flax and Linen industry played a part in the development of Crewkerne during the 18th and 19th centuries, with much of the evidence remaining today.

There are several temporary exhibitions a year.

Ilchester Museum

Ilchester has a small community museum in the Town Hall. It was a very important town in Roman times and this importance continued until the nineteenth century.

Ilchester Museum is a small, private museum run by the Ilchester Town Trust, to show the fascinating life and history of this one-time Roman town and county town of Somerset.

Wincanton Museum

The opening times for Wincanton Museum are as follows:

April to October, 10am to 1pm Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am to 12am Saturday. 

October to March 10am to 12am Saturdays only.

Situated in Wincanton Library.

Contact number for Chris Forester, Curator is 01963 824359