In Xanadu: Coleridge and the West Country Exhibition

Museum of Somerset, Castle Lodge, Castle Green , TA1 4AA

12 Mar - 25 Jun 2022


This spring the British Library is lending the unique manuscript of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s extraordinary poem ‘Kubla Khan.’ The loan is part of the British Library’s ‘Treasures on Tour’ programme, which is generously supported by the Helen Hamlyn Trust.

In Xanadu: Coleridge and the West Country Exhibition

The exhibition celebrates the display of the manuscript in the county where the poem was written in a lonely farmhouse at Culbone in 1797. Coleridge said he imagined the poem in “a sort of Reverie brought on by two grains of Opium”. But before he had finished writing it down he was interrupted by the Person from Porlock, and left ‘Kubla Khan’ as the most famous of all unfinished poems. Its evocation of Xanadu and of ‘caverns measureless to man’ has been an inspiration for artists, writers and musicians ever since. Also on display, courtesy of the British Library, is the first edition of ‘Lyrical Ballads’ by William Wordsworth and Coleridge. The exhibition will tell the story of the time Coleridge spent living in and near the Quantock Hills, from 1797 to 1799, his relationship with William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and the legacy of his writing.

Find out more about the artworks and objects on display in this short gallery tour. 26 Apr, 25 May, 18 Jun, 2.30pm, Booking, suggested donation £3

In Xanadu: Coleridge and the West Country, A Talk by Tom Mayberry
19 May, 7.30 pm
There are two ways you can attend this event: In-person or Online.
A talk in which Tom Mayberry explores the remarkable ‘year of marvels’, set amidst the landscapes of West Somerset, when Coleridge wrote some of his greatest poetry. - Booking, £9.50/£5 -

Find out more here

Opening Hours

12th March - 25th June 2022
Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm


The charge for this exhibition is Give What You Think


In Xanadu: Coleridge and the West Country Exhibition
Museum of Somerset
Castle Lodge
Castle Green

T: 01823 255088


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