History of Policing in Wells

26 March to 16 July

This display, which has been researched and put together by volunteer Bob Love, aims to showcase some of the material available in the City Archives at the Museum and is being made available for public viewing for the first time.  The exhibition relates to the original Wells City Police Force, formed in 1836 and surviving until 1856, and demonstrates the range of documents which are held in the Archives; documents which in most cases have never been properly studied and allowed to take their place in the rich story of the City.  The force itself has not been the subject of academic study and its existence was effectively unknown to historians of policing.  The Museum has also been fortunate enough to have obtained on loan from the Blake Museum, Bridgwater this truncheon which actually belonged to the Wells force during this period and can be attributed to the first officer to carry it.

Netherworld of Mendip

The Netherworld of Mendip is a new, permanent exhibition at the museum portraying the fascinating world of caves that lies hidden beneath the Mendip Hills and charting the development of caving and cave diving that has led to their discovery and exploration.  We have been lucky enough to receive not only funding from the AONB Sustainable Development Fund but also grants and materials from local businesses and caving equipment suppliers.  Local cavers have given freely of their time to develop the displays into a stunning exhibition.  Expertise has been sought from many individuals in the caving community from the likes of Jim Hanwell with his unprecedented knowledge of the formation and geology of the caves to those who can build the displays and set up computer graphics.  The exhibition covers exploration right up to the present day including the magnificent find last year of the largest known underground chamber in Britain in Cheddar Gorge.  The exhibition opened on Friday 26 April.  Normal museum entry charges apply. Netherworld of Mendip exhibition leaflet download here.

We thank the many sponsors who have helped to create this new display, including J.Bailey & Sons Ltd., Cave & Climb, The Creative Edge, CRS Building Supplies Ltd., DMUK lightboxes, Fosseway Press, Geni Printing, Harris & Harris, Lyon Equipment, Microbitz, Milk Street Brewery, Scurion, the Swan Hotel and Tincknells Country Store.

The Somerset Seven

16 May to 2 June

The Somerset Seven are a group of professional photojournalists, who have previously exhibited together with their photographs of Glastonbury Festival, at the Atkinson Gallery in Street, the Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury and the Radstock Museum.  All the photographs in this exhibition are of Somerset, several of Wells, and include landscapes, local events and the people who add colour and vitality to our lives in this wonderful county.

Regular Society Events

Mendip Society (MS)/Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT)/Wells Civic Society talks (WCS)

7.30pm Friday 5 April.  SWT.  John Dickson talking about Reptiles and Amphibians in Somerset.

 7.30pm Wednesday 10 April.  WCS.  Sarah Duthie, former General Manager at the Bishop’s Palace – Taking History Forward; recent innovaton aand development at the Bishop’s palace and its contribution to the City’s future.

 2.30pm Friday 12 April.  MS. The Mendip Hills through the Time Tunnel by Les Davies.

 7.30pm Wednesday 8 May. WCS.  David Clark, Principal Conservation Officer, Mendip District Council – The Wells Conservation Area Character Appraisal.

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