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What’s On: Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury

Autumn Events & Exhibitions at the re-opened Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury

Somerset Rural life museum

Following a £2.4 million redevelopment, Somerset Rural Life Museum re-opened earlier this year with a fresh new look and a line-up of wonderful events offering real life experiences inspired by rural life traditions.

Visitors to the Glastonbury museum are able to explore rural life from the 1800s onwards and discover more about Somerset’s heritage including its landscape, food and farming, working life and rural crafts.

The Museum tells the story of Somerset’s rich rural and social history and provides a family-friendly destination which has learning, access and discovery at its heart. With this in mind, an event and exhibition programme has been developed to complement the collections.


Kate Lynch’s stunning FARM exhibition continues until 3 December and features more than 40 paintings and drawings made on 19 farms, mostly in central Somerset. The pictures are the result of two years spent visiting historic Somerset farms where Kate shadowed herdsmen, sheep and pig farmers, apple growers, cheese and cider makers and growers of willow and wheat. Working in oils, pastels and willow charcoal, Kate creates atmospheric drawings and paintings of rural life and interviews her subjects.

To complement the exhibition, Kate will be at the Museum on 28 September, from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm, with a talk entitled FARM and Other Documentary Projects. Kate will talk about her work with the aid of sound recordings and illustrations. Tickets £9.50. 

From 23 September to 11 November the Abbey Barn will host an installation produced in partnership with Somerset Art Works and Craftspace. Gather-ing is based around the use of tithe barns to gather and collect people, animals and crops and the installation also explores how Somerset’s tithe barns have been both meeting places and spaces for ritual celebration. This contemporary craft exhibition shows specially created work by Stewart Easton and associates, Christopher Jelley, Jacky Oliver, Helen Snell and Gillian Widden.

Courses & Talks

On 24 September, Blighty Bushcraft will lead a Foraging Course. Head-out into the Glastonbury countryside to explore the local hedgerows, discovering what nature’s larder has to offer. The expedition will run from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm and costs £60.

Blighty Bushcraft return on 22 October, with a ‘Slab and Stick’ Stool Making Course. You’ll be provided with the materials and skills necessary to produce your very own slab and stick stool – a thing of beauty that will last a lifetime. The course is £195 and open to over 18s only.

On 25 October, from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm there is an Egg Tempera Talk and Demonstration by James Lynch. This is a rare opportunity to learn about this ancient medium and the associated painting techniques. James has spent many years mastering the use of egg tempera and his much-admired landscape painting at the Museum is a stunning example of this work. Tickets £15.

Seasonal celebrations

Autumn has always been a key time for rural communities and Somerset Seed Time & Harvest at Somerset Rural Life Museum carries on the tradition of celebrating the harvest season. On 7 and 8 October the grounds will be filled with all things autumnal, from apple pressing and giant pumpkins to rural crafts and folklore. The Museum’s Learning Space will also be filled with activities for all the family to enjoy. The event runs from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

The Museum holds its Living History Day on 5 November – what better day to think about history! From 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, the Museum will be alive with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of ancient skills and crafts. From woodworking to weaving and cookery to corn dollies, a visit to the Museum on 5 November will be like stepping into the past. The Learning Space will be packed full of family activities too.

Booking required for all courses and talks on 01458 831197 or

For more information visit;


Opening Times:

Easter to the end of October

Tuesday – Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm and Bank Holiday Mondays.

November to Easter

Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm and Bank Holiday Mondays.

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West Country FOODLOVER is a print magazine and news based website offering a foodie’s guide of what’s hot across the South West. We inspire foodies with great seasonal recipes, competitions, news and events. The magazine, website and newsletter reach more than 128,000 foodies each issue.