...North Somerset life since the 19th Century.
Immerse yourself in the typical lifestyle of the Somerset coalminer from home life to the dangerous workplace as well as the social, commercial, industrial and even school lives of the families and discover what they had to endure.
In 1985 the Radstock, Midsomer Norton and District museum Society was formed to preserve the social and industrial heritage of the communities of the somerset coalfield. Originally set up in Barton Meade, Haydon it was in 1996 that the old Radstock Market Hall was acquired and a team of dedicated volunteers set about researching books, archives and even the memories of local residents to put together what is now called the jewel in the West Country’s crown.
There are dedicated exhibits demonstrating the coalface with the hard and often very dangerous working conditions of the miner, the Co-Op shop where his wife would have shopped, and the strict Victorian board school where his children would have undergone a very strict education. See how local life centred around the church and the pub and the few sporting pastimes that were enjoyed such as football, quoits and pigeon racing.
There were other industries such as the Blacksmiths forge and the Victorian Printing works, both depicted in detail along with representations of other employers like boot and shoe manufacturers, brewers, foundries and agriculture.
The last of the Somerset collieries, Kilmersdon and Writhlington closed in 1973. Why not take a heritage walk around the pit sites to enhance the understanding of the lifestyle?
There are also plenty of permanent exhibits as well as those mentioned including agricultural implements, S&D and GWR Railway artefacts, memories of wartime and a miner’s cottage. Special events take place throughout the year also so it is worthwhile checking the website to see what is on during your Somerset stay.
There are also plenty of interactive and hands-on displays for the young ones and the young at heart and guides to talk to and glean information from. Please also visit the shop and browse the many interesting items or pop into the tea shop for some refreshments.
Groups or meetings and business functions can be arranged outside normal visiting hours with facilities available.
Tuesday to Friday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays – 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Saturdays 11.00am to 5.00pm
Closed Mondays except for Bank Holidays and closed throughout December and January.
Please check the website for current admission charges or contact direct.
The Market Hall
Tel: 01761 437722
Other attractions in the area
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015