Somerset County Museum

Somerset County Museum

Infobox Museum
name = Somerset County Museum

established =
location = Taunton, Somerset
latitude= 51.0191
longitude= -3.1000
visitors =
director =
website = [ Museum web site]

Somerset County Museum is located in the 12th century great hall of Taunton Castle, in Taunton, Somerset, England.

It hosts a collection of toys and dolls, sculpture, natural history, fossils, fine silver and pottery, and also contains a collection of archaeological items, including the mosaic found at the Low Ham Roman Villa. Also included is the Somerset Military Museum where you can also follow the fortunes of the Somerset Light Infantry as they carried out their campaigns across the world.

One of the exhibits is the "Chi-Rho" amulet found in Shepton Mallet, held to be among the earliest evidence of Christianity in England.cite book|last=Leach|first=Peter|title=Shepton Mallet: Romano-Britons and Early Christians in Somerset|publisher=Birmingham University Field Archeology Unit|location=Birmingham|date=1991|isbn=0704411296] [cite web|url=|title='Roman' amulet adopted by archbishop is a fake|last=Morris|first=Steven|date=2008-09-19|work=The Guardian|publisher=Guardian Newspapers|accessdate=2008-09-19] In 2008, following analysis at the Liverpool University, using Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy, this was discovered to be a hoax as the silver only dated to the nineteenth century. [cite news|url=|title='Ancient' Christian amulet declared a fake|last=Savill |first=Richard|date=2008-09-18|work=Daily Telegraph|accessdate=2008-09-18] [cite news|url=|title=New tests challenge age of amulet |date=2008-09-18|work=BBC News|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-09-18] [cite news|url=|title=Romano-British silver Christian cross may be fake|last=de Bruxelles |first=Simon|work=Times Online|publisher=The Times|accessdate=2008-09-18]

In October 2007, plans for a £6.5 million improvement to the museum and the castle were submitted by Somerset County Council to the Heritage Lottery Fund. [cite news |first=Phil |last=Hill |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Plans go in for £6.5million museum |url= |work=Somerset County Gazette |publisher= |date=2007-10-24 |accessdate=2007-10-29 ] It closed to the public on 18th April 2008 for a two-year refit, and is planned to re-open late summer 2010 as The Museum of Somerset.


External links

* [ Somerset County Museum]
* [ Taunton Town Centre guide to the County Museum]

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