Geology museums of Britain: Watchet Market House Museum, Somerset

Jon Trevelyan (UK) Watchet is a charming little coastal town on the north coast of Somerset. It is also smack in the middle of some of the best Triassic and Jurassic geology in Britain. Therefore, it is no surprise that, in the centre of town, there is a lovely little museum, Watchet Market House Museum, containing a lot of geology (and quite a lot of local history). In fact, along with some magnificent palaeontology, there are artefacts, paintings, photographs and so on, depicting Watchet’s history, which can all be seen in the museum. Fig. 1. Watchet is a lovely harbour town on the north coast of Somerset. Fig. 2. Watchet harbour was the inspiration for the poem The Ancient Mariner by Coleridge in 1797. As part of the Watchet Regeneration Programme, the Watchet Market House Museum Society commemorated the between Coleridge and the town by commissioning a statue as an attraction for local people and visitors. A seven-foot high effigy of the mariner was designed and created by sculptor Alan B Herriot. As any fossil collector will know, Watchet and its surrounds are very fortunate in their geology. Watchet itself lies on Lias rocks, laid down 200 to 215 million years ago during the Lower Jurassic, in which there are a plethora of fossils. The Lower Liassic sedimentary beds were formed during the end of the earlier Upper Triassic period into the first part of the Jurassic. As a result, the museum is able to display a wide selection of … Read More

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