Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society

The Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (SANHS) was formed in 1849 as the historical society for the county of Somerset with the remit of promoting the study of archaeology, natural history and history. Taunton Castle was acquired in 1874 for its headquarters, and fully restored by the society. The South West Heritage Trust now manages the castle and its collections on a day-to-day basis, and the society’s extensive archives are held at the Somerset Heritage Centre.

The society has an active natural history section whose interests range from rocks to reserves, from fungi to forestry and from birds to butterflies. Informative consideration is given to the reconstruction of past landscapes, the recording of present plants and animals and the future of our wildlife.

Getting Involved

Membership is open to everyone with an interest in Somerset’s past and nature. There is an annual membership fee, in return for which members receive two newsletters each year and a copy of the society’s annual proceedings.


The SANHS office is housed at the:
Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton TA2 6SF
Office Manager – Louisa Gillett, Email:, Tel: 01823 272429
The office is open on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Chairman – Christine Jessop, Email: