Blue like Exmoor’s Dark Skies…. New in our Online Shop!


This gorgeous necklace was made by local artist Debbie Brannen using a blue sunstone cabochon and wire wrapped with 935 Argentium silver, the 18 inch belcher chain is also 935 Argentium silver. the semi-precious blue sunstone catches the light and sparkles.

Every piece of jewellery I make is unique and handcrafted with thought and care. I look at the sea glass or semi-precious gemstone that I want to use and design my wire wrapping around it to show off its best qualities. No two pieces will ever be the exactly the same.

Argentium silver is a brighter whiter silver, less likely to tarnish and is hypoallergenic, the pendant is also hallmarked by the London assay office. The hallmark is for 925 silver as in the UK as yet we do not have a 935 hallmark but the assay office is working on it.

Debbie Brannen is a member of the Argentium Silver Guild.

The pendant measures approx 6cm x 2.5cm including the bail.

The necklace will be sent to you in a beautiful jewellery box stamped with the Argentium Silver logo.

To buy this beautiful necklace, head over to our online shop.


The Edge of Exmoor

The Edge of Exmoor

By Leigh Cripps


p class=”p1″>I sleep amongst the lichen on stunted ancient oak,
and drift with the thistledown above fern and heather
amid the summer’s hazy overgrowth.
A hardy place, where silver birch sway
their merry winters dance and snowdrops light an
enchanted path through dark hidden valleys.
You will find me where the wild winds blow,
across rain swept moorlands and where
only the purest of waters flow.

Leigh Cripps.

Leigh Crisp

Looking for Lorna

98f543_c03eafe99ffe401089e690211644b68cPleasure Dome Theatre are back in the summer of 2017 after the success of their critically acclaimed production of Macbeth in The Valley of the Rocks. This year they are turning their attention to the story that runs through the heart of Exmoor: Lorna Doone.

Helen Payne, Creative Director of Pleasure Dome Theatre said: “What could

Helena Payne, Creative Director

Helena Payne, Creative Director

be more compelling than experiencing this timeless tale of love and loss immersed in the environment that inspired it? To help bring R.D.Blackmore’s vision to life we are recruiting local talent to swell the ranks of our professional cast.”

All ages, abilities and levels of experience are encouraged to attend the open auditions on 15th and 16th of April at Lynton Town Hall. There will be four sessions: 15th-10:00-1:00 and 3:00-6:00 and 16th-10:00-1:00 and 3:00-6:00.

Please only apply if you have good availability for the run August 29th-September 2nd and the preceding three weeks rehearsal. The audition will comprise of: an introduction to the team and the project, some drama games to get everyone working as an ensemble, some text work and scenes that will be workshopped with the director Scott Le Crass.

“Please arrive in good time to register before the sessions begin. We’re really looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Kindly RSVP with your preferred session to,” Helena added.

For further information, please contact Elke Winzer, Tel 07881 504863 or

Last of the frost in Selworthy Combe….

Last of the Frost in Selworthy Combe - Original Oil Painting by David Jessup

Last of the Frost in Selworthy Combe – Original Oil Painting by David Jessup

Frost lingering in the shadows at the start of a glorious cold autumn day in Selworthy Combe.  Just visible amongst the silver birches at the centre of the picture is Lady Acland’s Hut, a woodland refuge built by Sir Thomas Acland for his wife in the 19th century.  Almost everywhere in this broad panorama is now owned by The National Trust, including the wooded Horner Valley in the middleground & the distant slopes of the high moor& Porlock Hill.


David Jessup sold his first picture – a small scraperboard drawing – aged 14.

Years later, David took time out from his job as a production controller at the Clarks factory in Minehead – unable to stand or walk after an operation, he picked up his oil paints once more. When the factory closed in 1982, David and his family moved to a remote miners cottage where they established the family business Brendon Hill Crafts, combining his wife Liz’s preserves and his own artwork.

David prefers to produce large oil paintings on medium grain stretched canvas, making use of sheer magnitude to transport the viewer to the scene.  Referring to compositional sketches captured on site, David works in his home studio.

In his alter ego as an illustrator, David also turns to nature as a subject, producing watercolours and drawings for postcards and prints for clients like the National Trust and The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

30″ x 20″  Unframed  on canvas stretcher  – Available to purchase in the Exmoor Store.

Macbeth in the Valley of Rocks

The Pleasure Dome Theatre Company production of Macbeth, set in the dramatic scenery of the Valley of Rocks, has still tickets available. Performances run until 20 August at 7:30 with no show on Mondays and 3:00 Sunday matinees. Helen Payne is the Creative Director, Scott Le Crass directs Macbeth who is played by Chris Clynes. You can read more about them here.

Remember to bring rugs or picnic chairs to ensure your comfort. Bring along a picnic or sample the delights of Mother Meldrum’s Tea Garden and join us for a brilliant play in an astounding location! 

Get your tickets now.

Photos by Julia Amies-Green.


302 Julia Amies-Green Macbeth

Date for the Diary: Wing Beats 3 Oct – 17 Oct 2015

featuring Jackie Morris, Tamsin Abbott, Eleanor Bartleman and Maria Mayle

Saturday 3rd October  – 17th October 2015

Open daily 10am – 5pm closed Sundays

Venue: Number Seven, Dulverton

Necklace by Maria Mayle

Necklace by Maria Mayle

 The theme of this year’s SAW festival is momentum and the work of the three artists being showcased at Number Seven Dulverton certainly captures an uplifting sense of freedom and movement.

Eleanor Bartleman’s ceramic foxes dance on dainty feet and Tamsin Abbott’s birds soar above the tree canopy amidst glass skies.

Wild Swan by Jackie Morries

Wild Swan by Jackie Morries

Author and illustrator Jackie Morris will be celebrating the publication of Wild Swans, a tale of transformation, patience and love. Inspired by this magical text silversmith Maria Mayle will be unveiling a sensitive collection of jewellery. The original artwork for Wild Swans will also be on display, alongside new works by Jackie playing with the theme of wished for flight and freedom – although some may appear to be a little disillusioned.

Number Seven promises that you will leave wishing to be fleet footed, winged and wild.

Wing Beats is part of the wider SOMERSET ART WEEKS FESTIVAL 2015 and is venue 116

Simonsbath Festival starts tomorrow

Simonsbath Festival 2015 starts on Bank Holiday Monday May 4 at 2.30pm with traditional May Day celebrations for all the family on Exford Village Green.  There will be magical tales about the Exmoor Forest from popular local storyteller Frances Harrison, followed by maypole dancing to live music from Howard Harrison on guitar and Ben van Weede on fiddle.  Tea and refreshments will be available.

In the next six weeks the tiny village of Simonsbath, and its magical moorland setting, will be buzzing with an exciting mix of events, from classical, jazz, opera and world music concerts to poetry readings, talks, walks, workshops and much more.

The festival’s opening concert brings the warm Mediterranean sounds of Greek music to Simonsbath with a performance by the outstanding George Kypreos Band at St Luke’s Church on Saturday May 9 at 7.30pm.

And on Wednesday May 13 at 7.30pm Birdie Johnson comes to St Luke’s to talk about the book she has just edited by her mother Buster Johnson (with foreword by grandson Boris).  Birdie’s talk will include highlights from Alas Poor Johnny, her mother’s colourful and entertaining memoir of life on an Exmoor farm in the 1950s, and she will explain how, after all these years, it has finally come to be published.

Throughout the festival period Boevey’s Tea Rooms will host an exhibition of art by local artists featuring mainly Exmoor themed work including paintings in oil, watercolour and pastel as well as printmaking and photography.

Simonsbath Festival runs from May 4 to June 19.  For information or to request a full-colour printed festival programme phone Victoria Thomas on 01643 8313434, email or visit the website  To book tickets phone Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

And here is an overview of events:

Performers and Speakers

Birdie Johnson  Wednesday May 13 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

Birdie Johnson, Buster Johnson’s daughter, talks about Alas Poor Johnny, her mother’s highly entertaining memoir of life on an Exmoor farm in the 1950s, and how, after all these years, it has finally come to be published.   Read more….

Geoff Nichols  Good Vibes  Friday May 22 – 8.30pm,  Exmoor Forest Inn

Geoff Nichols returns to the Exmoor Forest Inn with his Swing jazz band Good Vibes. Having led the legendary Avon Cities jazz band for many years, trumpet and vibes star Geoff Nichols turns to the Swing music of the 1930s and 40s to present his Good Vibes band for the discerning jazz fan.   Read more…..

The George Kypreos Band   Saturday May 9 – 7.30pm,  St Luke’s  

Simonsbath Festival opens with the sunlight and warmth of the Mediterranean evoked by the sound of Greek music from the George Kypreos Band. The band is led by the virtuoso bouzouki and distinctively soulful voice of George Kypreos, accompanied by Greek female vocals, and driven by the strong rhythmic grooves of gypsy guitar, Syrian darbouka and a rocking English back-line.    Read more….

Kausary  Saturday May 30 – 4:00pm and 7.30pm, St Luke’s

The Peruvian band Kausary’s workshop at 4pm will take participants on a journey through Andean culture to experience the vitality of the music and dance of Latin America. The emphasis is is on hands-on experience, with the opportunity to play some of the instruments, including panpipes, guitar and charango, so that participants can discover their own Andean spirit!

Then at 7.30pm the six-piece band  plays a rich repertoire of traditional Andean and contemporary Latin sounds, playing with unequalled depth of emotion in styles typical of the Andean highlands, coastal lowlands, Amazon basin and forest, and Cuba.   Read more….

Le Jazz  Saturday June 6 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

The highly entertaining and dazzlingly dexterous musicians who form Le Jazz show their mastery and enjoyment in a variety of musical styles, performing a richly diverse programme of music from Faure to Django Reinhart, with Gershwin and Jewish Klezma music along the way.    Read more….

Michael Bochmann and David Watkins  Saturday May 23 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

Sacred and Profane – music for violin and harp.

World class violinist Michael Bochmann and harpist David Watkins perform an irresistible programme of music from the sublime to the more down to earth, including works by Bach, Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, Paganini, Mozart and Massenet, and much-loved traditional pieces to herald the arrival of summer. Read more….

Njabulo Madlala  Saturday May 16 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

South African baritone and 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award-winning Njabulo Madlala brings a voice of rare distinction and beauty to the Simonsbath Festival and demonstrates the quality and range of his musicianship in a dazzlingly diverse programme featuring Schubert lieder, African-American spirituals, French art songs, English ballads and traditional South African folk songs.      Read more….

Pop-Up Opera  Saturday June 13 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

The Italian Girl in Algiers

Playboy Mustafa is bored with his wife Elvira; what he really wants is an Italian girl. Coincidentally, an Italian girl Isabella arrives, in search of her sweetheart Lindoro, a young Italian man recently captured on the high seas by Mustafa’s pirates and now in his service.    Read more…. 

Rob Wilson-North  Wednesday June 3 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

Rob Wilson-North, Conservation Manager for the Exmoor National Park, explains how current research is revealing more about the enterprising Georgian industrialist John Knight’s vision for Exmoor and his plans for a great mansion at the heart of his estate in Simonsbath with pleasure grounds after the picturesque style.      Read more….

Dr Sue Baker  Wednesday May 27 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

Author of ‘Survival of the Fittest – a Natural History of the Exmoor Pony’ and past chair of the Exmoor Pony Society, Dr Sue Baker assesses the future of the Exmoor Pony.    Read more….

Tom and Barbara Brown   Wednesday June 10 – 7.30pm, Exmoor Forest Inn

Moor Songs

The Exmoor Forest Inn hosts an open session of Exmoor music and song led by popular folk and traditional entertainers Tom and Barbara Brown. Singers, musicians and audience are all welcome.     Read more…..

Tracey Elliot-Reep  Wednesday May 20 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

Adventures on horseback

Tracey gives an inspirational and entertaining presentation about her amazing horse riding adventures in distant lands, illustrated with stunning photography and film.   Read more….

Exmoor Arts: Light and Colour

I don’t do photography but I do paint. I now live in the area and Exmoor features in my recent work, which I have been posting on my Facebook page.  I use the Brushes App on iPad to do my paintings (that are then digitally watermark for sharing safely online).  I did the attached painting yesterday : “Somewhere   along the North Devon coast”.
You asked (for a local journalist) what makes Exmoor special? I replied … light and colour, which I think explains why there are so many talented artists in the area. Best regards, Hannah
PS Here’s my FB link if you’d like to see it. I set it up to give me a target of regular posts with new work to get me back to painting after moving to the region (mission accomplished – I’m now a member of North Devon Arts too); I’m also hoping it will allow more people to see what I do.