Visiting the Somerset Heritage Centre

Opening the Somerset Heritage Centre

The Somerset Heritage Centre is open to the public at the following times:

Tuesday-Friday: 9am- 5pm

Also the reading room is open for consulting books and manuscripts on the second Saturday of each month 9am - 1.30 pm


Please note that the reading room is closed Mondays and bank holidays.

No appointment is necessary to consult books and manuscripts during normal hours but is advisable if you are coming a distance, if you want to look at maps or if you want to see photographs kept in the cold store. For an appointment phone 01823 337600 or email More information on the archives will be found on the Somerset Archive website.

To see a particular member of staff, for example to consult the Historic Environment Record, see the VCH county editor or to view museum collections, it is essential to make an appointment and they will only be available Mondays to Fridays. Phone 01823 278805 to speak to a member of staff.

A research room for museum items is housed in building two and needs to be booked in advance. Phone 01823 278805

The collections of the Somerset Record Office, Somerset Studies Library and Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society and most of the Somerset Museum Collections are on site. The reading room offers computer facilities including Peoples Network computers with access to sites like TNA and Ancestry, wireless internet connection and sockets for laptop users. Photography is permitted to licence holders and licences can be purchased at reception. Reprographic facilities are available. Most books are on open access and the rest can be requested from the desk staff. There are numerous hard copy, card and electronic catalogues.

If you have not consulted the collections before you will need a ticket, valid for four years, for which you will need a driving licence or utility bill with your name and address.

To consult the Historic Environment Record and related materials either phone 01823 347434 or email

There is ample car parking at the front of building one, which houses the reading room and reception. Lockers, toilets, including one with disabled access, and refreshment facilities are available in the foyer, with a small shop for stationery and books. Sandwich vans visit the site every morning.

A research service is available for those unable to visit although because of heavy demand there is usually a two hour limit for each enquiry. For further information phone 01823 278805 or email

Tours are available for groups for a small charge: phone 01823 278805 or email

The centre is easily accessible in Brunel Way in the Silk Mills area of Taunton a ten minute walk from the Silk Mills park and ride. 

If visiting by train buses 25, 25A and 25B run an hourly service and the 28 a half hourly service. Currently they do not pass the centre but the 25A will drop you off in Bindon Road and the others near Staplegrove Post Office, Staplegrove Road. From both stops walk westward to Silk Mills Road. From the former turn right and from the latter left along Silk Mills Road to the traffic lights at Langford Mead. From there follow the road through the new development and the Heritage Centre can be seen between Bookers and West Country Feeds.

By car from the east or the M5 junction 25 follow signs for the A358 and the Silk Mills Park and Ride; this will take you through a roundabout (keep left) and along the Toneway, which is a dual carriageway. At the end of the Toneway, there is a large roundabout with Wickes visible on the right. Turn right and go over the Obridge Viaduct. At the roundabout at the bottom of the viaduct, turn left. Follow the A358 and signs to Minehead. This will take you down Greenway Road and then Staplegrove Road. Staplegrove Road goes down a hill to a roundabout. At the roundabout, turn left down Silk Mills Road, then turn right at the first set of traffic lights onto Langford Mead. At the next roundabout, turn left. The Heritage Centre is on Brunel Way, which is the first road on your left, and is between Bookers and West Country Feeds.

From the northwest turn into Silk Mills Road and at the first traffic lights turn right into Langford Mead as above.

From the southwest turn into Silk Mills Road and after crossing the railway bridge take the first turn left into Langford Mead as above.