History of North Somerset: 5 Historical sites to visit

The carved floor in the Church of the Holy Saviour, Puxton, (Church of the Holy Saviour 16 by Dauvit

The carved floor in the Church of the Holy Saviour, Puxton, (Church of the Holy Saviour 16 by Dauvit Alexander under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) - 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 Tower, Poet's Walk, Clevedon. (Poet's Walk lookout tower by Mathew Taylor under CC BY-

Sugar Lookout Tower, Poet's Walk, Clevedon. (Poet's Walk lookout tower by Mathew Taylor under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) - Credit: Archant

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.

Court House Farm Reenactment Festival. (Somerset Re-enactment Festival 2015 by permission www.lovewe

Court House Farm Reenactment Festival. (Somerset Re-enactment Festival 2015 by permission www.loveweston.com) - Credit: Archant

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. (Entrance to another world for ST3162 © Copyright Neil Owen and l

Worlebury Camp, Weston-super-Mare. (Entrance to another world for ST3162 © Copyright Neil Owen and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0) - Credit: Archant

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.

Farler's Pit Old Winding Tower, Nailsea. (Old winding tower for ST4770 © Copyright Neil Owen and lic

Farler's Pit Old Winding Tower, Nailsea. (Old winding tower for ST4770 © Copyright Neil Owen and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0) - Credit: Archant

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.

Like this? Check out 12 things you probably never knew about North Somerset.

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