The Shoe Museum

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The Shoe Museum
Shoe Museum.JPG
The Shoe Museum is located in Somerset
The Shoe Museum
Location within Somerset and the United Kingdom
Location Street, Somerset, England
Coordinates 51°07′44″N 2°44′22″W / 51.1290°N 2.7394°W / 51.1290; -2.7394

The Shoe Museum in Street, Somerset, England exhibits shoes dating from the Roman era to the present day.

It shows the history of the Clark family and their company C. & J. Clark and its connection with the development of shoemaking in the town. The Clarks started making slippers, shoes and boots in the town in the 1820s and the company grew, introducing mechanised processes in the 1860s.[1] Production continued until after 2000 when it was moved off-shore, using third party factories, predominantly located in Asia. In the 19th century, in line with the family’s Quaker values, the capital was also extended beyond the factory to benefit social initiatives in Street: a school was founded so that young men and women could combine working in the factory with continuing their education, a theatre was opened, a library was built, along with an open-air swimming pool, known as Greenbank, and town hall.[2] The company still has its headquarters in Street, behind a frontage which includes the clock tower and water tower,[3] In 1993 the redundant factory buildings were converted to form Clarks Village.[4]

The museum started in 1951, but was expanded in 1974.[5]

It has examples of shoes from the 200 years of the companies history.[6] The museum also includes a display of machinery used in footwear production,[7] and a selection of shop display showcards from the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s,[8] and television advertisements.[9][10] The museum includes the first clogs worn by Gracie Fields and the wedding shoes of Diana, Princess of Wales.[11]

There are plans to move the museum into "The Grange", a Grade II listed building on the Clark's Village site.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scott, Shane (1995). The hidden places of Somerset. Aldermaston: Travel Publishing Ltd. p. 82. ISBN 1-902007-01-8. 
  2. ^ Cavendish, Richard (1995). "The Shoe Museum". History Today. 45 (6). 
  3. ^ "Main roadside frontage to Clarks Factory, Clock Tower, 5 bay right return and Water Tower". Images of England. Retrieved 23 March 2008. 
  4. ^ "Street". Visit Somerset. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Collection condition survey: contents of Shoe Museum, Street" (PDF). The South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "The Shoe Museum". Culture 24. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Shoe Museum". Information Britain. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  8. ^ "The Shoe Museum, Street". Nothing to see here. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  9. ^ "The Shoe Museum". Somerset Tourist Guide. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  10. ^ "The Shoe Museum". What's On Bath. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Byford, Enid (1987). Somerset Curiosities. Dovecote Press. pp. 77–78. ISBN 0946159483. 
  12. ^ "Clarkes Shoe Museum". B D landscape architects. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Grange". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 

External links[edit]