Somerset Rural Life Museum

The Farmhouse
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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.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

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.

Last entry 4.30 pm.

Admission charges

Admission including Gift Aid £6.00 adults/£4.95 concessions/£2.75 child (under 18 years)/under 5s free.

Collection details

Social History, Archives

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
The Art of Self Expression, Somerset Rural Life Museum

The Art of Self Expression

  • 8 September — 1 December 2018 *on now

The Art of Self Expression is an engaging look at the contemporary history of facial hair and tattoos. It explores how facial hair and tattoos have been influenced by wider changes in British society and culture, and tells the individual stories and lifestyle choices connected to facial hair and tattoos in Somerset.

Curator Bethan Murray explains: “The exhibition looks at how for centuries people have used facial hair and body art to make statements about themselves.

“The exhibition uses collections and imagery to trace the history of facial hair and tattoos and their changing meanings and associations.”

An important source of information has been the prisoner description books from Wilton and Ilchester Gaols which often describe distinctive tattoos. They include birds, mermaids and women as well as a flower pot design worn by a Taunton prisoner in 1841. For the exhibition, Weston tattoo artists Josh Hingston and Josh Burgess of Next Level Tattoo Studio were commissioned to re-create versions of the 19th-century designs.

The exhibition also explores how facial hair styles have varied according to religion, culture and social pressures from the 1800s till now. From Georgian whiskers to the hippy culture of the ’60s and ’70s and hipsters today, the exhibition traces the trends in male grooming through historic and contemporary photography.


Adult £6.00
Concessions £4.95
Child under 5 Free
Child under 18s £2.75
Family, 2 adults £16.50
Family, 1 adult £10.45


Somerset Rural Life Museum
Abbey Farm

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014




01458 831197


01458 834684

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.