Welcome to the Somerton Web Museum

 

Welcome to Somerton Web Museum!

The history of Somerton is told in this web museum through pictures and words, which have been contributed by people living in the town. You can add material to the web museum by using the Contacts page. One day it may be possible to have a physical museum in Somerton; until then, Somerton is displayed in this web museum.

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This drawing of Somerton church was made in 1836, before the church was 'restored' and the porch was rebuilt in the 1880s. Notice that the clock was in the second stage of the tower in those days and there were fewer trees in the churchyard. The drawing comes from a small notebook which seems to have belonged to a member of the Cossins family in about 1873. In the notebook are copies of illustrations from other publications, drawn with great delicacy in ink, and transcriptions of historical records taken from learned books of  history. The owner of the notebook was exceptionally methodical in his work, translating the oldest records from Latin and putting in many footnotes about other sources of information.

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Somerton Web Museum is created by the Marmaduke Cradock Trust, which owns a collection of historical items about Somerton. The Trust was set up in 1979 to purchase a picture by Marmaduke Cradock, an artist who was born in Somerton and died in London in 1715. He was well known for painting exotic birds, especially peacocks, which were a novelty in England at that time.

 

The Marmaduke Cradock picture is displayed in the Parish Rooms where it can be seen in the Community Office. There is also a small display there of the enormous Somerton cider jug, a fireman’s helmet dating from 1860 and small items that have been found in houses and gardens round the town.

Many of the items were collected by Alan Overt Locke who was a local historian and enthusiast for Somerton. At present we do not have a suitable building for a physical museum, so the Somerton Web Museum records the story of Somerton.

Somerton Web Museum is supported by grants made in 2003 - 2006 to enable events to take place in the town - commemorations of the war memorial, the Second World War and of the centenary of the railway line from Castle Cary to Durston. The Marmaduke Cradock Trust has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Home Front Recall, Somerset County Council’s Community Chest, the Levels & Moors Partnership, Leader Plus, South Somerset District Council, Somerton Town Council and the Somerton Community Association.