HUNDREDS of people have already gone through the door of the £7m Museum of Somerset which formally opened its door today.

In a ceremony on Castle Green, Prof Mick Aston, from Channel 4’s Time Team, welcomed members of the public to the new flagship facility.

The bells of St Mary Magdalene Church rang from 11am to mark the occasion and there was a brief historical recreation by Taunton Garrison of the storming of Taunton Castle by Col Robert Blake in 1644.

The gates to the castle were opened by seven-year-old history enthusiast David Dawson, of Bishop Henderson Primary School.

The first people through the door of the museum were Bishop's Hull Primary School pupils Sarah Howarth and Harry Chase.

Seven-year-old Emily Tall, of Staplegrove Primary School raised the Somerset standard above the gatehouse.

Cllr Christine Lawrence, Somerset County Council cabinet member for community, said: “The re-development of Taunton Castle has provided Somerset with a fantastic new visitor attraction that is free to enter.

“It tells the story of Somerset from prehistoric times to the present and combines a wealth of our heritage with new and evocative films and the stories and words of Somerset people.”

More events are taking place at the museum over the weekend.

From the following week, the museum will open from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday and on Bank Holiday Mondays.

There's more on the opening in the County Gazette today - don't miss it - and for updates on the museum, keep reading this website.