Castle Cary Museum
1974 Governance: Independent
Trust Scope: Local History Visited: Autumn 2013
My mum's family come from the area around Castle Cary.
The little Somerset
town was the metropolis around which their lives revolved in the 1940s.
Like many such places it is not what it once was, but remains rather a
delightful location. In the centre of its High Street sits the
Gothic-arched honey-stoned Victorian Market House, looking like a
little bit of medieval Bruges or somewhere like that, transported to
the South Somerset hills. The Museum began life in the back of a shop
and a few years later moved here, now occupying the first floor. It's
entirely volunteer-run and has more than a shade of the old-fashioned
'stick-everything-in-a-room-and-if-you-can-theme-stuff-all-the-better' approach, but I note from the website that it now
dubs itself 'The Castle Cary and District
Museum' - a nod in the direction of modernity, as was a display they
staged last year on the history of a local veterinary supplies business.
thought that the photographs I'd taken didn't really give much of an
idea of the Museum, especially the mummified mice which look as though
they're gyrating about in some sort of curious postmortem dance. In
fact the first shot shows the main room through the glass counter
display in front, with its china, pots, what used to be called by the
wonderful catch-all category 'rural bygones' (everything from hay
knives to milk churns), and a great cartwheel that sits in the centre
of the room and binds the whole arrangement together. It's a somewhat
chaotic omnium gatherum of stuff, but fun.