Prince Edward opens Somerset Heritage Centre Taunton

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By marion_TLocal | Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 22:29

During his visit to Taunton on Friday December 9th, his Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex, took time out to explore the county's past as he officially opened the Somerset Heritage Centre.

The centre was previously knonw as the Somerset record Office and is a mine of information on Somerset history. 

Prince Edward  was greeted by children from Staplegrove and Norton Fitzwarren Primary Schools, before being given a tour by Somerset County Council staff and introduced to some of the 10 million historic documents, books and museum objects held at the centre.

Councillor Christine Lawrence SCC Cabinet Member for Heritage, said: "It was with great pride that we welcomed the Earl of Wessex to the Somerset Heritage Centre today. The centre is a fabulous public facility that houses all of the County archives, local studies and museum reserve collections. It provides the chance for people to learn about Somerset's fascinating history and heritage or research their ancestry like never before."

During his two hour visit His Royal Highness unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the centre and signed the visitors book, he was shown how staff catalogue and index historic documents, and how visitors to the centre can research information.

He also met children researching a school project, viewed a collection of historic documents, books and museum objects, and saw a display of the Somerset Light Infantry colours.

Councillor Lawrence added: "To be able to share the work that goes on here with His Royal Highness was an honour and the perfect recognition for all the hard work put in by the authority, partners, the developer and staff to make the centre a reality."

The Centre also provides a home for the Somerset Registration Service and Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, the county's oldest voluntary organisation devoted to the study of Somerset's past.

The Somerset Heritage Centre is open to the public for researching old documents for free, a charge is made for duplicating or using a digital camera. If you are in to geneology this is the palce to go.

 It is open  Mondays from 1pm to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and on alternate Saturdays from 9am to 4pm.



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