History & Heritage
With many new galleries to explore, and extraordinary objects to discover, The Museum of Somerset is a must-see visitor attraction for people of all ages from across Somerset and beyond.
Hestercombe is a unique collection of three gardens spanning three centuries of garden history and design. All have undergone acclaimed restoration works and today provide important examples of gardens in contrasting styles that continue to grow and develop. In particular, Hestercombe's Formal Garden is a fine example of the world renowned partnership between plants-women, Gertrude Jekyll and architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, a castle has existed here since at least Norman times, with an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history.
Castle Neroche is located on the edge of a steep natural escarpment, which forms the northern edge of the Blackdown Hills (some 900ft above sea level). A visit to the Forest of Neroche will offer you spectacular views over the vale of Taunton towards the Quantock Hills and Exmoor and is a great place to enjoy a stroll with the family.
The 17th-century cottage was home to Samuel Taylor Coleridge for three years, from 1797. It was during his time here in Somerset that Coleridge wrote his finest works, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight, The Nightingale, Cristabel and This Lime Tree Bower my Prison. Both Coleridge and Wordsworth are seen as crucial in the development of the literary Romantic Movement.
"The echoes of the past haunt this now empty Tudor manor house, so beautifully restored in the 1920s by the Lyle family. They lived in style, installing a sprung dance floor; the winding mechanism can still be seen under the sweeping main staircase. What were once cow yards, pens and fields became delightful flower gardens, their design influenced by Gertrude Jekyll."
Bishop Reginald de Bohun brought the idea of a revolutionary architectural style from France, and Wells was the first English cathedral to be built entirely in this new Gothic style.
Glastonbury Tor is shrouded in the myth and legend of King Arthur whilst Glastonbury Abbey reminds visitors of the religious significance that this area of Somerset has played throughout the centuries.