On the edge of the Somerset levels lies the town of Bridgwater, home to The Somerset Willow Company, the leading UK producer of hand woven basketware & furniture.
Come and find more about basketmaking at our workshop. We are sure you will enjoy viewing some of our products in our showroom, and even watch our team of skilled basketmakers at work. We can be found in the market town of Bridgwater in the heart of the Somerset levels.
Our Opening hours are Monday-Friday, 9.00am until 5.00pm except Bank Holidays. Feel free to pop in anytime, or you may like to phone ahead to confirm your visit. To find us leave the M5 at junction 23 and head towards Bridgwater on The A38. After 1 mile take the first slip road before the roundabout.
History of Willow
Somerset is the last place in the country where willow is still grown commercially for basketmaking. Evidence of willow or withy cultivation on the Somerset Levels can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Not far from our workshops in Somerset, a woven willow track has been uncovered near Glastonbury dating back some 4000 years. One of the reasons for willow growing in this area is due to the fact that the area floods each winter and little ‘agricultural improvement’ has been made.
The main beds are to be found around Burrowbridge, twelve miles east of Taunton and further south around Langport. These areas are known as the levels or moors with names such as Hay Moor, Curry Moor or King’s Sedgemoor. Before the War over three thousand acres were grown, but today this has shrunk to about a tenth of that area. Before the era of plastics, willow baskets were used extensively for agricultural and home consumption. Apples, potatoes, fish, glass, china and pottery were always carried in willow baskets.
As well as Somerset Willow Companies extensive ranges, we are also able to make items to customers own design & specification. All our bespoke work is made individually by one of our experienced basketmakers, as are all our baskets, using high quality grade willow to customers own specifications, design and drawings. All drawings and dimensions provided should be in cm and need to be stated as to whether it is external or internal size.