A fascinating historical collection of objects and images, including 30,000 objects and 6,000 photographs reflecting the heritage of Yeovil and South Somerset. The collection is available for public viewing by booking an appointment.

The collection ranges from a Roman mosaic to a recent Yeovil Town football programme. Highlights include a significant sample of gloves and glove tools, notable costume and fine art collection, the Petter and Westland story, St.Ivel dairy industry and football. Local photographs are also well represented, especially by pioneering photographer Henry Stiby and a 1961 aerial survey of Yeovil.

Our friendly and helpful Heritage Team provide lectures, resources and advice for community groups. We are also happy to organise tours, individual viewings and access for researchers. Staff are actively supported by a team of knowledgeable volunteers. We have an active group of volunteers, helping us to manage the collection and helping with outreach activities.

Our collections

Costumes and textiles

The costume and textile collection includes a significant selection of items, ranging from a child’s sampler to Swayne Harbin’s wedding coat from the Harbin family of Newton Surmaville House, near Yeovil (shown above).

Gloves and gloving

Gloves made by local manufacturers like Clothier and Giles and Ricketts, along with formal, driving and fur backed gloves. Glove designs on acetate are also available to view on request. Glove tools include examples of the Donkey patented in Stoke sub Hamdon in 1807.

Fine art

We care for around 50 paintings and artworks, plus maps, posters and local advertising. These range from formal portraits of gloving factory owners and their wives to more contemporary works by Martock-based artist, Arlie Panting and ‘pop artist’ Stephen Wilmot ‘Wilf.’

One of the star items is the Angel Inn Panel from 1603 (shown above), which came from the Angel Inn in Yeovil, now the site of the NatWest Bank.


The Petter and Westland story is well represented by a Petter and Edgar Cheese Press (shown above), the engine of the 1895 Horseless Carriage, an example of the Nautilus Grate, and a Petometer adding machine (an early form of calculator).

We also have a Linotype typesetting machine last used by the Western Gazette Newspaper in 1984, and examples of objects and photographs related to St. Ivel, makers of lactic cheese up until 2000.


This forms an important part of the collection ranging from a Neolithic hand axe found on Wyndham Hill (shown above), to a notable collection of well documented Roman coins collected by Gregory Stevens-Cox from Ilchester.

Ceramics and glassware

Star ceramic items are the Yeovil Riot Jugs from 1831 and the St. Ivel Monks cheese serving dish (shown above). Yeovil Goss China and commemorative pieces are also of interest.


One of the most significant single donations came when renowned local businessman and photographer, Henry Stiby donated his collection of important firearms and pistols in the 1930s (shown above). Other notable items include the commemorative sword presented to Sir Charles Knight Pearson of Thorne Coffin by the people of Yeovil in 1837 for outstanding military leadership.

Coins and medals

In addition to Roman coins, we also care for First and Second World War Medals, plus a notable selection of pub and trade tokens. A tool deposit token for James B Petter and Sons is shown above.

2024 Calendar

There are a number of discounted 2024 South Somerset Heritage Collection Calendar now available to purchase at £3 each. Phone 01935 462855 or email heritage.services@somerset.gov.uk. We also have a digital version available to download.

Download our calendar

Local community groups

We help a number of groups in the local community. We see groups like the U3A and local history groups on bookable tours. If the group is from Yeovil and South Somerset we try and have a relevant object from the collection for them to see during their visit.

Family History is one of our regular research requests. We have a link with the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society based in Yeovil and work together to assist with enquiries. For more information about this organisation, you can visit the Somerset and Dorset Family History website.


We have an active group of volunteers that help to complete the following tasks and activities:

  • Documenting new objects and photographs received as donations
  • Checking the condition of fragile costume items
  • Helping with guided tours and visits
  • Assisting with outreach activities
  • Helping with social media posts and marketing projects

Any new volunteering opportunities are advertised locally.

Contact us


South Somerset Heritage Collection
7 Artillery Road
Somerset Council Lufton Depot
BA22 8RP

Call or email us

Phone: 01935 462855

Mobile: 07971 111 890


Opening times

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

The Collection is only available for public viewing by appointment.

Visitors information

Fees and charges

  • Free entry with donations welcome
  • Research (pre-booked only)
  • Bookable guided tours: £3.60 per person during opening hours, or £7.20 after 5pm with a minimum charge of £25.
  • Additional supervised visit to the store: £13.70
  • Talks to Outside Groups: £57
  • Loans Boxes: £27.40 per box per term (inc VAT)
  • Identification Service: Free


Limited parking is available on-site. Details and directions will be provided when you make your appointment.


Facilities are available to visitors only. A disabled toilet is available.

Disabled access

As we are primarily a storage facility we regret disabled access is to the ground floor only.