Reprinted from Newsletter 129, dated 2009 August

Summer events at Abbey Barn

The Abbey Barn as usual has all sorts of activities on offer, August to October: demonstrations of lacemaking, stick weaving, spinning, rag rugs, weaving, braid weaving, cidermaking and cooking with apples. There’s even a session entitled “Try your hand at Victorian laundry”. There are also farmhouse teas that you learn to cook yourself, a talk about the Women’s Land Army, a visit by the Duke of Monmouth’s garrison, and a Henry VIII impersonator doing Henry’s Horrid History.

Meanwhile, watercolours by Lucy Willis are on display throughout August. The September–October exhibitions are “Prints, pots and chairs” (by Print Southwest, Rodney Lawrence and Elizabeth Raeburn, Lorraine Houlden) and “Portraits of the Somerset carnivals” (Terry Flaxton).

Details: 83 1197. Admission to the Rural Life Museum is free.

Archive how-to

How can you research the history of your house? The county archive in Taunton offers a course and tour on Monday September 21. How to read old handwriting (palaeography and Latin) is another day course, on October 10. Details: (01823) 27 8805 or