History of North Somerset: 5 Historical sites to visit
- Credit: Archant
North Somerset’s history makes fascinating days out all over the area. So whether you want Iron Age hill forts or historical re-enactments, you don’t have to travel far to find them. Here are some inspiring local favourites
Sugar Lookout, Poet’s Walk, Clevedon
This little Gothic tower is a highlights of Clevedon’s much loved Poet’s Walk. The views stretch for miles - exactly as intended. The tower was built in 1835 for sugar baron Conrad Finzel – hence the nickname ‘Sugar Lookout’. Finzel probably liked a nice view as much as the next tycoon, but this particular vantage point was designed only to let him see his precious cargo ships sailing safely into Bristol Channel. In an era where a single storm could destroy a fortune, you can only imagine the tense hours he spent scanning the horizon here. Today, you can simply relax and admire the view.
Somerset Re-enactment Festival 2015, Court Farm Park
Court Farm Park near Weston-Super-Mare is a great fun day out but we wouldn’t normally describe it as historical. However, on August 30th and 31st this year, all that changes. The Somerset Re-enactment Festival 2015 is setting up camp for two days of battles and tournaments, displays and historical events ranging from the Middle Ages right through to WWII. If you’ve never experienced re-enactments at first hand, you’ll be fascinated. And if you can resist getting swept up in the enthusiasm for history and accuracy we’ll be very surprised.
Worlebury Camp, Weston-Super-Mare
This Iron Age Hill Fort near Weston Woods is reminder of the truly ancient history of North Somerset. It’s a wonderful place for an atmospheric walk, especially if you bear in mind that what often appear to be piles of stones and grassy hillocks are actually part of the original Millennium BC construction. Worlebury Camp has been extensively excavated and most of its artefacts are now on permanent display in The Weston-Super-Mare Museum.
Old Winding Tower, Nailsea
If you ever wondered how Nailsea became famous for Glass, the answer lies in good, local coal. And the town hasn’t forgotten its industrial heritage. Right next to Scotch Horn play park you’ll find Farler’s Pit Winding Tower. If it looks quaint now, don’t be deceived, this is where local miners were ‘wound’ down to the coal face back in the late 18th and 19th century heyday of the Nailsea glassworks.
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Church of the Holy Saviour, Puxton
This Medieval parish church is one of North Somerset’s historical gems. It’s well known locally for its leaning tower, but the interior is just as intriguing. Virtually unchanged since the 12th century, the strong, simple craftsmanship in everything from the original font to the altar is beautifully preserved. Watch where you walk while you’re visiting, the macabre carvings on the ancient flagstones definitely invite a closer look. The Church of the Holy Saviour is redundant so you’re welcome to wander in and enjoy.
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