Our Story


Clayhill Arts began as an idea around a kitchen table in Nottingham in 2014.

Co-founders Deborah and Michael Parkes met there in 2006 and have worked across the arts, hospitality and education sectors ever since.

During the summer of 2014 they had an opportunity to do something. Being frustrated with the lack of quality training facilities and professional development support for artists and the creative industries, they put their heads together and looked at what it was they could offer.

Renting a flat in Frome they took a month long journey around the county of Somerset in search of a building to start their new idea.

They didn't know what the site was going to be called, but they did know it was going to be a type of creative retreat, a residential learning space for the creative industries, with catering and outdoor facilities.

Copperplate Calligraphy

We Found it

After 30 days, 50 viewings and 2,500 miles, they found Clayhill Farm.

It was an instant connection, having everything they wanted and more, and they moved into the farm in January 2015.

Work began on converting the old buildings in March 2016 with a team of local contractors. September 2017 saw them complete the renovations and they opened to the public for the very first time during Somerset Art Weeks as Clayhill Arts.

Since then they have been developing a programme of events to support artists in their professional practice through training, residency and exhibition opportunity.


Creating partnerships and links across the creative and cultural sector, Clayhill Arts is establishing itself as a space in which to develop and enhance your creative career. We are always looking to collaborate, so do get in touch if you have an idea in mind that matches our aims and values.