top of page

Porlock Bay Oyster Oil Painting Inspires Learning

The Museum of Somerset in Taunton and Porlock Bay Oysters are teaming up to support local primary schools in exploring a unique artistic record of working life on the West Somerset coast.


Ten schools across Somerset are taking part in the museum’s annual Take One project which uses collections to support pupils’ learning. The focus this year is a large-scale oil painting of 1890 by the artist Charles Napier Hemy called Oyster Dredgers at Porlock Weir.


New oyster beds being established

The painting, which is on permanent display at the Museum at Somerset, was acquired at a timely moment with new oyster beds being established in Porlock Bay as part of a two-year trial.


As part of the Take One project, teaching staff will visit the museum to see the painting and hear more about the reintroduction of this historically-important local industry from Roger Hall of Porlock Bay Oysters.


Mr Hall said: “Porlock Bay Oysters is a community story involving the revival of Porlock’s heritage oyster industry so we’re delighted to be working with the Museum of Somerset and local schools.’


Oyster Dredgers at Porlock Weir by Charles Napier Hemy

Take One is part of a UK wide learning programme

Lizzie Mee, Learning Officer with the South West Heritage Trust, said: “Teachers will receive a range of training and resources enabling them to develop projects that explore the artwork from different perspectives such as science, art, English and history. We look forward to seeing the fruits of the project at a summer exhibition of pupils’ work.”


Take One is part of a UK wide learning programme, first developed by the National Gallery, to encourage museums and schools to use collections for cross-curricular learning. 


Ten schools across Somerset are taking part

Schools taking part in this year’s project include Bishop Henderson C of E Primary School, West Monkton Primary School, Staplegrove Primary School, Parkfield Primary School, Blackbrook Primary School, Ash C of E Primary School, Eastover Primary School, Hamp Community Junior School, Winsham Primary School and St Dubricius, Porlock, C of E Primary School.


More about heritage in Somerset schools 

You can read more about our work with schools and teachers here. 

bottom of page