Museum of Rural Life (Glastonbury) and Shoe Museum (Street)

Date: Wednesday 1 May 2019

A visit to the Museum of Somerset Rural Life in Glastonbury and the Clarks Shoe Museum in Street

Museum of Rural Life (Glastonbury) and Shoe Museum (Street)

Abbey tithe barn

Museum of Rural Life (Glastonbury) and Shoe Museum (Street)

Museum courtyard

Museum of Rural Life (Glastonbury) and Shoe Museum (Street)

Shoe designs from 1820s

Self-drive / Car share Visit Wednesday 1st May 2019

Museum of Rural Life (Glastonbury) and Shoe Museum (Street)

Somerset Rural Life Museum recently reopened after a £2.5M re-development, and tells the story of Somerset’s rich rural and social history from the 1800s. Discover the county’s heritage, including its landscape, food and farming, working life and rural crafts.  The five new Farmhouse Galleries explore the themes of “Creating’: “Learning”; “Believing”; “Celebrating” and “Remembering”. Displays include farm machinery from the Victorian period; local crafts, including willow coppicing, mud horse fishing; peat digging on the Somerset Levels, and the production of milk, cheese, and cider. In reconstructed rooms the story of one farm worker is told from cradle to grave.
The magnificent 14thC tithe barn, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, which once belonged to Glastonbury Abbey, remains the centre-piece of the site.

The delightful Shoe Museum exhibits shoes dating from the Roman era to the present day. Four galleries show the history of the innovative Clark family and its connection with the development of shoemaking in the town from the 1820s, built on Quaker principles. Initially using out workers, making slippers, shoes and boots; later introducing mechanised processes in the 1860s. Production of many iconic designs [such as the Desert Boot and Wallabee] continued until after 2000 when it was moved off-shore. In 1993 the redundant factory buildings were converted to form Clarks Village (retail and food outlets).

Timings: Aim to arrive at the Rural Life Museum at 10.30am (museum and car park entrance off Bere Lane/A361 not Chilkwell Street).  Allow 45 min from Sherborne. Entrance, coffee on arrival and tour [starting 11am] included. 

Leave ~12.30pm for Clarks Village car park (under 10 mins to Farm Road off Westway BA16 0BB. Parking charges apply).  Numerous outlets for lunch (own cost) and retail therapy.   Meet at Shoe Museum (40 High Street, close to one of the exits from Shopping Village) at 2pm.  Entrance and guided tour included.

Cost: £12 Includes entrance, guided tours, and coffee/tea on arrival at the Rural Museum. Numbers limited to 30.    Visitors / guests welcome.

Please send cheque with completed booking form to Visits Secretary:

Douglas Maxwell, The Dairy House, Milborne Wick, Sherborne, DT9 4PW

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