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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Geology Collection
The museum has a fine collection of geological specimens from Somerset and some neighbouring areas. The major strength of the collection is the internationally important collection of ice-age (Quarternary) sub-fossil mammal bones, primarily from the famous bone caves of the western Mendip Hills.
The Quarternary mammal collection is the largest and most complete one of its kind made from the bone cave deposits of the western Mendips. The collection comprises materials recovererd from different sites within a limited geographical area and with a distinct strategraphical range, the late Pleistocene or Ice Age (c.40,000-250,000 years ago). The collection of sub-fossil mammal bones was chiefly made by two noted 19th century collectors, Rev David Williams and William Beard. It comes from the Mendip caves sites at Bleadon, Hutton, Banwell and Sandford Hill. The Williams and Beard collections are supported by manuscript archives. Subsequently, these collections have been supplemented by the addition of important material from the Hyaena Den at Wookey Hole, Gough's Cave, Cockles Wood Cave and the fluvio-marine Burtle Beds of the Somerset Levels. Its significance lies in the completeness and variety of the specimens represented and their diversity as faunal assemblages. There is important unpublished material representing such species as spotted hyaena, woolley rhinoceros and reindeer (Sandford Hill); wild boar, red deer, roe deer and horse (Bleadon); bison (Banwell); and aurochs (Burtle Beds).
Date range of collection
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
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Location Details

Somerset County Museum
Taunton Castle Castle Green Taunton TA1 4AA
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01823 320 201
01823 320 229 
Building Information
The museum has occupied Taunton Castle since 1873.
Collections Overview
This is a long-established county museum for Somerset with fine and important collections in many fields.
Display Overview
The museum exhibits important collections relating to Somerset's natural and human history. There is a rich variety of objects such as toys and dolls, fossils, fine silver and pottery and a rich collection of archaeological items. Follow the fortunes of the Somerset Light Infantry as it carried out its campaigns around the world.
Star Objects
Low Ham mosaic; portrait of Judge Jeffreys.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

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