There has been a museum in Axbridge for many years; the first was established by what is now the Axbridge Archaeological and Local History Society, using its own collections and those of Axbridge Town Trust. From 1974 onwards it was managed, in ‘King John’s Hunting Lodge’, by Sedgemoor District Council, but in 2001 management of the museum was transferred to a newly-established museum trust. This trust is partially supported by Sedgemoor District Council, but is also dependent on sponsorship, donations and shop sales to help maintain its programme of exhibitions, publications and events.
The museum aims to illustrate the history, geology and community of Axbridge and the surrounding area (the area of the old Axbridge Rural District Council, minus those now in North Somerset), including Badgworth, Berrow, Biddisham, Brean, Brent Knoll, Burnham Without, Chapel Allerton, Cheddar, Compton Bishop, East Brent, Lympsham, Mark, Rodney Stoke, Shipham, Stone Allerton, Tarnock, Weare and Wedmore.
There is a core of long-term and permanent exhibits, reviewed regularly for possible changes, updates, and revision of displays and information, and there is a programme of temporary exhibitions to reflect many aspects of local life and heritage. The museum shop offers a variety of items of local interest, especially relating to the history of the area.