The Somerset Rural Life Museum is based in Glastonbury. In the Abbey Farmhouse the social and domestic life of Victorian Somerset is described in reconstructed rooms and there is a lively events programme as well as regular temporary exhibitions. There is also a tea room and museum shop.
Entry to the museum is free.
You can find information about events at The Museum of Somerset and the other museums in Somerset on our Newsroom site.
The magnificent fourteenth-century Abbey Barn is the centrepiece of the museum. The barn and the farm buildings surrounding the courtyard contain displays and tools used in local rural activities such as mud horse fishing, peat digging and cider making.
The museum is housed in the attractive setting of a Victorian farmhouse, farm buildings and cider orchard. The magnificent 14th century Abbey Barn is the centrepiece of the Somerset Rural Life Museum.
In the farmhouse, the social and domestic life of Victorian Somerset is described in reconstructed rooms and an exhibition which tells the life story of a farm worker, John Hodges, from the cradle to the grave.
The barn and the farm buildings surrounding the courtyard contain displays showing the tools and techniques of farming in Victorian Somerset.
Local activities like willow growing, mud horse fishing, peat digging and cider making are included.
Regular craft demonstrations and temporary exhibitions are held throughout the season as well as educational activities for schools.
For details of events and exhibitions, please see the PDF in the 'Information and Resources' section of this page.
The barn shop is managed by the Friends of the Somerset Rural Life Museum who promote and support the work of the museum.
The museum also has its own café, which is open from April until the end of October.
Who can use it?
Everyone is welcome at the museum.
To arrange school visits, please contact the museum for more details.
How much does it cost?
Admission to the Somerset Rural Life Museum is free.
Where is it?
The museum is located at:
Disabled toilets and baby-changing facilities are available.
Please note: We have a 'pay and display' car park. The car park is open from 9am to 5.30pm on days when the museum is open (including Bank Holiday Mondays)
The charges are:
Up to 2 hours - £1
Over 2 hours - £2
You can use the Somerset Rural Life Museum car park, when it's open, when you visit the Tor and Chalice Well, but please remember that it closes at 5.30pm.
Your car parking fee is refundable if you spend more than £10 in the museum shop or tea room in a single transaction.
When is it open?
Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays: 10am to 5pm (Closed on Good Friday)
Friends of the Somerset Rural Life Museum
The Friends of the Somerset Rural Life Museum brings together people who are passionate about Somerset's past and future. If you love museums and care about Somerset's rich heritage we want you to join us. The Association is a charity, founded in 1975, to support the Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury in the advancement of its aims and policies. Membership benefits include newsletters, exhibition previews and opportunities to undertake research work.
The Friends are always happy to recruit new members with an interest in Somerset's past.
A newsletter three times a year
Previews of exhibitions
Lectures and demonstrations (such as, dry stone walling, bee keeping, pillow lace making and cooking on the range)
Outings (for example, to other museums)
Opportunities to undertake research work
Involvement with running the shop
Helping with educational activities
Helping with the Somerset Voices Oral Archive
Annual Subscription Rates:
Under 18s: £2
Senior Citizens: £7
Life membership: £100
The subscription year starts on 1 February. Subscriptions should be sent to the Membership Secretary, care of Somerse Rural Life Museum. Cheques should be made payable to the Friends of Somerset Rural Life Museum.