Barwick Park Follies
Barwick Park boasts four follies. Bought by South Somerset District Council for a nominal £5 when the estate was sold in the early 1990's, these extraordinary follies are something of a mystery. Locals say they were built to give the estate labourers work during a time of depression during the 1820's. They were possibly commissioned by George Messiter of Barwick to mark the park boundaries at the four cardinal points. Jack the Treacle Eater to the east, the Fish Tower in the north, Messiter's Cone (also known as the Rose Tower) at the west end and the Needle to the south. However, paintings of Barwick house in the 1780's, forty years earlier, include two of the follies.
The first three may be seen from Two Tower Lane, off the A37 just south of Yeovil, and the needle is further down the A37 at the Halstock turning.
The Octagon Theatre
With a programme featuring such top names as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chas & Dave, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen and Peter Greenwell it is easy to see why the Octagon is dubbed Somerset's premier theatre. Add Russian Opera, Gilbert & Sullivan, Hello Dolly and European ballet and you've got a taste of the Octagon's summer programme.
The Octagon has two bars - the Stalls Bar and the Gallery Café Bar. Both bars are open before performances and during the interval. The Gallery Bar is also open after performances with some very special after-show low prices. Open from 6.00pm daily as well as prior to matinée performances the Gallery Café Bar serves delicious hot and cold meals as well as tea, coffee, light refreshments as well as a full bar service.
The Swan Theatre
The Swan Theatre Company, Park Street, Yeovil, owns one of the best equipped little theatres in the West of England. It offers the public an intimate, newly refurbished tiered auditorium with excellent acoustics, professional quality lighting and sound system, a fully licensed bar and extensive wardrobe with hire facilities.
Pew runners to die for: St John the Baptist.
Having a gander at the church is one of those touristy things one does, isn't it. There's usually something of interest.
The church itself is nice but not drop-dead gorgeous. It's largely C14, with a certain amount of mid-victorian restoration. The stained glass is all Victorian or later, and suffered bomb damage during the 39-45 war: particularly notable is the large vaguely pre-raphaelite memorial window opposidethe South door. But what I was really really taken by were the pew runners, tapestry work done by a local community group in the 1980's, every one different.
A glorious stately home that dates back to the 16th century. Visitors can, not only tour the house, but also take time to enjoy the formal gardens with its historic rose borders and orangery. While highlights of the house include its collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits from the National Portrait Gallery.
Museum of South Somerset
Visit the splendid displays of the newly refurbished Museum of South Somerset and discover what rural life and times from the Roman occupation to the agricultural and industrial revolutions were really like. See artifacts from the past set in scenes that recapture the atmosphere of their time.
Displays on leather and glove-making, flax and hemp production, stone working, engineering and newspaper printing are all reminders of a bygone era. A reconstructed Roman dining room and kitchen and Georgian House provide settings for countless items from the museum's extensive collection. Fossils, firearms, coins, clothes, glassware, pottery, paintings, farming and household equipment . . . there's so much to be seen.
Housed in the former coach house to Hendford Manor, the Museum of South Somerset's modern displays draw upon many different collections. 0ver the years benefactors have donated other important collections, including those of fossils, firearms, glassware and costume.
The lower gallery of the coach house features South Somerset's association with leather and glove manufacturing, flax and hemp production, engineering, stone working and newspaper printing. Women outworkers can be seen sewing gloves in the cramped conditions of their cottage, a reminder of a recently bygone era in South Somerset.
The impressive upper gallery features a reconstructed Roman dining room and kitchen complete with original mosaics recreated from excavations of elegant villas found at Westland, Lufton and Ilchester. There are also displays of local prehistory and geology. A period Georgian house provides intriguing glimpses into the museum's glassware, costume and furniture collections. Items from the museum's firearms, pottery, and painting collections are also exhibited and changed regularly.
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