Tel. 01823 765045

West Somerset

West Somerset is a historic district located in Somerset County, England. It has a rich history that dates back to the prehistoric era, with evidence of Bronze Age settlements and burial mounds found in the area. During the Roman occupation, West Somerset was an important center for lead mining and agriculture. The district played a significant role in the English Civil War, with the Battle of Langport fought nearby in 1645. West Somerset is also known for its maritime heritage, with the town of Watchet serving as a port for the transportation of goods and people throughout the region. Today, West Somerset is home to a number of historic landmarks and attractions, including the medieval Dunster Castle, the West Somerset Railway, and the Iron Age hill fort at Cleeve Abbey.

Compiled by Sally Bainbridge on behalf of Minehead Conservation Society.

National Coastwatch Minehead dark

National Coastwatch Minehead

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is a charity dedicated to assisting in the protection and preservation of life at sea and along the United Kingdom coastline, by providing ‘Eyes Along The Coast’.

Somerset Cider

A great Somerset drink but a bad cider system

West Somerset used to be home to multiple orchards. Every village  had them. The fruit was regarded as very important hence the age old practice of ‘wassailing’ the trees to ensure the next year’s crop would be bountiful.

sheep sheering old cleeve

A former West Somerset industry

Many local people still remember the Sheepskin Factory of John Wood and Sons in Old Cleeve a business that was owned by four generations of the same family. It was

Bellamy Corner at the far end The shop on the corner was Churchills Saddlery

A window on Williton Part 2

Last month’s article ended in Long Street and before we move from it I should mention that the Hole family’s photographic business had its studio in Long Street. It spanned

Mail Van outside Williton Post Office

A window on Williton Part 1

I have long been fascinated by Williton because it has so much more than one might suppose when driving through from either Bridgwater or Taunton. This is always a problem

Horse drawn travel in Someset

Horse drawn travel in Somerset

This sounds and looks romantic but it was often dangerous for drivers and passengers as well as  uncomfortable. We all know about the threat from highway men in the C17

Selworthy Church

Scenic Selworthy

This village situated on the Holnicote Estate 3 miles from Minehead is a magnet for tourists for  several reasons. Its distinctive white Church perched on the side of the hill

West Somerset Railway

A Railway Terminus for Minehead

You frequently hear people speak of a particular aspect of Minehead as being ‘the jewel in the crown’ of Minehead. To my mind Minehead has several jewels- North Hill is

Conygar Tower Dunster

Eyecatching Enhancement

Whenever I walk along the Jubilee Path in Dunster Marsh I always think what a wonderful backdrop the houses along it have of Conygar Tower high up on the hill

Culbone Church near Porlock Weir

Secluded Culbone

Along a two mile footpath from Porlock Weir is the tiny settlement of Culbone listed in the Domesday book as Kytenore or Chetnore. Despite being small – literally seven houses

The Parks walk Minehead

The Parks walk, Minehead

Minehead benefits from a great variety of open spaces from formal and natural to recreational. All of them providing something different to those who seek them out. Beyond the harbour

The Strand and Queens Hall

Minehead’s Memorable Architect

William John Tamlyn born in 1870  in Stoke Rivers. His family had been Lords of the Manor of Luccott in the parish of Stoke Pero since the C 18. He

Down to the sea at Blue Anchor Bay

Down to the sea at Blue Anchor Bay

Blue Anchor is a small hamlet on the West Somerset Coast between Minehead and Watchet. It has a station on Britain’s longest preserved railway. The line was closed under the

Worthy Toll House Porlock

Minehead Turnpike Trust 1765 – 1877

In the sparsely populated areas around Exmoor there were extensive Turnpike trusts based on Minehead 1765. The exact site of a number such as Alcombe, Dunster, Cowbridge, Chilly Bridge, Exebridge,

Minehead Swimming Pool From The Air c 1936 Copyright The Francis Frith Collection

Minehead’s seafront lido

Image: Minehead, Swimming Pool From The Air c.1936. Copyright The Francis Frith Collection Hardly a week goes by without someone bemoaning the loss of either the Aquasplash swimming pool or

Manor Road – taken by Kingsley Taylor

A walk around Alcombe (Part 2)

The second part of the Alcombe walk concentrates on Manor Road. The Kingsley Taylor photo looking up it is remarkably similar to how it still looks today *. Opposite the

Alcombe Lodge now demolished with Mrs Hancock in the doorway

A walk around Alcombe (Part 1)

Today Alcombe and Minehead appear to be one but as little time ago as 1900 the main road to Minehead was a narrow track and apart from a cluster of

Voting day in Roadwater

Roadwater’s own photographer

Our understanding and appreciation of the way of life in West Somerset in times gone by are largely influenced by the images captured by the early photographers, who recorded everyday

We go to print in...
Articles by category