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Willow coffin becomes latest museum exhibit













Pictured L to R: Sam Astill, curator, and Emma Munn, project officer for the

South West Heritage Trust with Darrell and Heidi Hill, owners of The

Somerset Willow Company



An iconic Somerset product

Emma Munn, South West Heritage Trust Project Officer said: “The Trust’s collections already contain fragments of Roman coffins as well as examples from the medieval period  but now we have a contemporary willow one made here in Somerset!


“The willow coffin has already become an iconic Somerset product and it is a great addition to our contemporary collection showing how rural crafts and industries have developed.”


The Somerset Rural Life Museum is currently closed for a complete refurbishment of the whole site and all displays, and is due to reopen in early 2017. The new museum galleries will tell the story of Somerset’s rich rural and social history by combining existing museum collections with a range of contemporary objects.


Delighted to be represented

Darrell Hill Owner of The Somerset Willow Company said: “For four generations we have made luxury willow products and in 1998 we became the first company to start manufacturing willow coffins.


“As a family, and an industry, that combines traditional craftsmanship with product innovation we are delighted to be represented in the Somerset Rural Life Museum.”


About The South West Heritage Trust

The Somerset Rural Life Museum is part of The South West Heritage Trust, a new independent charity committed to protecting and celebrating Somerset and Devon’s rich heritage. As well as the widely-praised Museum of Somerset and the current redevelopment of the Somerset Rural Life Museum the Trust manages state-of-the-art facilities in Taunton and Exeter to care for the extraordinary archive collections of the two counties. The Trust also provides essential advice about the historic environment and manages historic sites. Individuals and businesses are invited to support the new charity through its Founder Member scheme.


Find out more

For more information about the redevelopment of Somerset Rural Life Museum visit

An unusual local object is to be added to the Somerset Rural Life Museum collection as part of the site’s £2.3million redevelopment.


On Thursday September 24 Darrell and Heidi Hill, owners of The Somerset Willow Company, presented the museum with a willow coffin.


The coffin is intended to be displayed in the museum’s new ‘Making’ gallery and will enable visitors to explore how The Somerset Willow Company has helped bring traditional basket-making skills into the 21st century.

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