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Lorna Doone 150th Anniversary Project

Hydrophobic Poetry

Film at Taunton Museum with Old Cleeve School

2019 has been the year of poetry and Lorna Doone, as it is 150 years since the publication of R D Blackmore's Exmoor novel. As part of the celebrations, Mr Jelley has engaged eight Exmoor schools in poetry writing and responding to the landscape and weather of the moors.

The school workshops were fully funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and designed to culminate in location specific hydrophobic poetry (!)


In short, selected poems from the workshops were laser etched into stencils, these are then placed on the pavement where a non-toxic water repellent spray is then applied.

Once the fluid is dry it becomes invisible and only shows up when the stone is made wet, so the poetry reveals in the rain.

The poems were now installed at the Museum of Somerset, in the Castle Courtyard and also Monmouth Terrace in Dulverton. 

The installation only lasts a month or two and these were installed in July although previous installations have lasted much longer.

Poem from St Dubricious School pupils

dogs snaffling on their voyage to the ancient archways 

stealthy owls with dark sight, shivering from echoing tunnels 

stones rolling through the rushing waters 

children summon the sounds of the music of the metal!


a tree like a coil of rope wrinkled and strong

rustling like a limping hound soft but vicious

the isle of graves, ghosts yet to be wed, quiet yet spooking

Poem from Cutcombe D of E School pupils

I wouldn’t kiss a stinging nettle's petal
I wouldn't drink from the bubbling muddy stream
I wouldn't eat the prancing dancing foxglove
I wouldn't sleep upon a prickly bed of brambles
nor lick the foot of the spiral hypnotising snail
but I would stick goose grass to your tail
and shake the damp rain soaked branches
so the drips will fall down your smooth neck

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