The Shoemakers Museum, an upcoming Somerset museum detailing the story of shoe brand Clarks, has received planning permission.

The new two-storey building will sit within the grounds of The Grange, which is currently occupied by the Alfred Gillett Trust, the charity which preserves the heritage collections of C & J Clark Ltd., the family which founded the shoemaking company nearly 200-years ago.

Architects Purcell received planning permission for the new museum building which will incorporate a permanent gallery, temporary display areas, an open-air events space, a schools’ education room, and a research and study library.

In addition, there will be a café and a first chance for the public to see the permanently displayed Ichthyosaurs fossils, for which Street is internationally renowned.

The main building, The Grange, will be preserved, with the addition of energy-efficient lighting and the installation of high-efficiency boilers. The existing radiators are to be serviced and retained.

Parts of the existing building date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, although the building took on its current neo-classical facade with bath-stone colonnade in the following two centuries. In 1890 the house was bought by William S Clark for incorporation into his growing family shoe business, and the house was renamed The Grange.

Elsewhere on the grounds, a 1970s extension, twentieth-century boiler rooms, and the aging Link Building will be removed to make way for the new two-storey structure.

Late last year exhibition designers Nissen Richards Studio said the first phase of the new museum is due to open in 2025.

Back to top