South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries


The museum sector in Somerset and North Somerset is varied. The county covers a large area of rural and post industrial environments, coastal, upland, agricultural and low lying landscapes, dotted with market towns, seaside resorts, ports and centres of industry.

The museums in the county reflect this diverse heritage: from the large, rich collections of the South West Heritage Trust, with its world class collections of archaeology and palaeontology, to the specialist collections at Watchet Boat Museum and Haynes Motor Museum.

The County has over 50 museums and heritage organisations. Somerset County Council, the District Council of South Somerset and several town councils all run museums. The National Trust and English Heritage also have properties in the county, but by far the largest number of museums are run by independent charitable trusts and many of these only flourish due to the commitment of volunteers.

SWFed County Rep: Sonja Rogers

Sonja is the House and Collections Manager for the National Trust’s South Somerset properties. She is based at Montacute House.

Contact Sonja by email here:

Museum Development Officers

Museum Development Officers provide a wide range of free support, advice and help to the museums in their area. They co-ordinate meetings, visit museums, help with writing policies and grant applications and are a fund of useful information on everything to do with running a museum. In Devon there are three MDOs covering different areas of the county.

Read about the impact of Museum Development in Somerset in this extract from the SW Museum Development Partnership Annual Report for 2012/2013.

Liz_NeatheyNorth Somerset and Central Somerset

  • Name: Elizabeth Neathey (Monday and Tuesday)
  • Address: Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 6SF
  • Phone: 01823 347454 (work) or 07961 674121 (mobile)
  • Email:

East Somerset, South Somerset and West Somerset

  • Name: Rachel Bellamy (Wednesday-Friday)
  • Address: Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 6SF
  • Phone: 01823 347454 (work) or 07961 674122 (mobile)
  • Email: