The Shoe Museum, based in Street, Somerset, houses more than 1,500 shoes from Roman to modern day. It tells the story of Clarks from its beginnings in the early 19th century.
There are four galleries which showcase the development of the footwear industry in Street and items on display include shoemaking machinery and tools, advertising materials and hundreds of shoes.
The earliest shoe on display is a 2nd century girl’s sandal sole and there are Roman shoes which were found locally near Langport. Medieval shoes from London are also on show. There is a beautiful collection of Georgian and Victorian shoes made from a wide range of materials such as satin, silk, brocade, linen, wool and kid leather. There are also buckles and Edwardian side button boots and high lace boots. Clarks shoes include a Brown Petersburg, which were the first footwear made by Clarks, from 1885 and the earliest women’s shoe from 1856. A selection of footwear from around the world includes an Emir’s slipper from Nigeria, a Chinese shoe for a bound foot, kub kobs worn in Turkish baths and Finnish shoes made from birch bark.
Did You Know?
The Clarks shoe company was started by Quaker brothers in 1825 when James Clark made slippers from sheepskin rug off-cuts.
40 High Street
Entry is free, but donations are welcome
Open all year
- Activity trails
- Parking nearby
- Disabled parking
- Hearing loop
- Limited disabled access
Guided tours are available for groups booking in advance.
Family trails are available free of charge and there is a children’s corner with shoe-related books and toys as well as a craft table. Family activities are always available during school holidays and include trails, creative activities and dressing up.
The Museum can assist researchers with enquiries about the collection and Clarks Company. Please contact the Alfred Gillett Trust for further information on using the collections for research purposes on 01458 444060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Local History
- Social history
- 20th Century
- Dark Ages