Axbridge Town seal


The Museum

The museum is not related to the Town Trust other than it houses some artefacts belonging to the Trust.

KIng Johns HeadBrief History

King John's Hunting Lodge dates from around 1460/70, about 250 years after King John died. It was never, as far as we know, used for hunting and is not technically a lodge!  It acquired its name when a saddler purchased it in 1904.

It does have the carved head of a king on the corner, but this was from its use as an inn called “The King’s Head” in the 17th century.It was originally built to be a wool merchant's house.

King Johns Hunting Lodge, AxbridgeThe property is owned by the National Trust, but is leased by the Axbridge and District Museum Trust as a local history museum, in co-operation with Axbridge Archaeological and Local History Society.  It is a grade II* listed building.

In 1340 a building called the “Stockhouse” and owned by a John Oldeway occupied the same site. It is one of a number of wood-frame jetties buildings in the town, though at one time there were many more. In the last two hundred years, various shops and businesses were run from the premises, but, when one owner died, it was left empty for some while which caused its decline. A Miss Ripley bought it and bequeathed it to the National Trust, who undertook restoration work to turn it into the structure we see today.

Present Day

The Museum shows the history and geology of Axbridge and the surrounding area.  Some of the exhibits are permanent, while others may be changed or updated from time to time. A number of artefacts owned by the Town Trust are amongst the permanent exhibition items, including the stocks and a bull anchor, used when bull running was common throughout the kingdom (it was banned in 1835).

For more information visit the King Johns Hunting Lodge website.