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All posts by Discover North Somerset Team

Sealed Knot re-enactment of The Siege of Bristol

To mark the 375th anniversary of the Siege of Bristol, the Sealed Knot are re-enacting the event at Ashton Court Showground over the end of May Bank Holiday Weekend.  Why not bring a Picnic, interact with members on the Living History Camp and then settle down to watch an spectacular and explosive display of Cannon, Musket, Pike and Cavalry as the Sealed Knot re-enacts the Siege on the Battlefield.

Free event, but you are advised that there is no specific event car parking.  More details of the event timetable are on the Sealed Knot website.

Success for the Crumbs City Trail app for Weston

An app, which has been launched to help Weston residents and visitors find historic landmarks in and around the seaside town, has exceeded targets and is the second most downloaded walk, and more popular than the Buckingham Palace trail.

The Crumbs City Trail mobile app, which has been launched under the Heritage Action Zone, takes the user on a walking route scattered with clues and trivia questions all based around the history of Weston.  

Cara MacMahon, Heritage Action Zone Officer, said: “We are delighted with the positive response from local residents and visitors. Weston is a treasure trove of hidden historic gems and we welcome anything that highlights the beautiful architecture we have here.

The ‘Great Weston’ Trail is on The Crumbs City Trails App. To find out more about Crumbs City Trails go to

Crumbs City Trails app is a free download. You will be asked to register and sign in to download the app.  Available from Apple store and Google Play.

Historic England request

Historic England is asking the public to share their knowledge of England’s secret, unknown and forgotten memorials.  They want photographs and information about lesser-known memorials, and those that are well-loved by small groups or communities but unknown nationally.  It is also looking for rituals and activities attached to memorials.  The  stories and pictures contributed by the public will be recorded to form part of an exhibition in the autumn.  The best examples of community memorials may be listed.

If you know of any forgotten memorials in North Somerset, head to Historic England’s website and share your pictures! 

Don’t forget to put any photos on Know Your Place too!

FREE Know Your Place Training workshops

Adding contributions to the Community Layer

North Somerset is part of “Know Your Place”, an online mapping and local history project. This is a free digital mapping project which allows users to explore the heritage of their local area through old maps, archive images and linked information. From the coastal communities of Portishead, Clevedon and Weston, further inland to Blagdon and Leigh Woods, you can now discover how North Somerset has been transformed over time. 

You can access the map here:

Know Your Place logo
Know Your Place project logo

Visitors will be able to upload and share their own information about the area to help build a rich and diverse community map and discover how North Somerset has transformed over time. In order to help those who wish to add such information, North Somerset Council will be running FREE training workshops around the district in March and May 2018. The workshops in May will tie in with Local and Community History Month.

The aim of Local and Community History Month is to increase awareness of local history, promote history in general to the local community and encourage all members of the community to participate.

The workshops will be taking place as follows:

Wednesday 14th March – Clevedon Library – 10.30am to 12pm

Wednesday 16th May – Yatton Library – 10.30am to 12pm

Wednesday 16th May – Long Ashton Library – 1.30pm to 3pm

Tuesday 22nd May – Pill Library – 10.30am to 12pm

Wednesday 23rd May – Portishead Library – 1.30pm to 3pm

In order to guarantee a place on the free training workshop, you will need to book onto the relevant session via Eventbrite. Please search for ‘Adding contributions to the Community Layer’ in the events in your local area.

If you would like any more information, please email


Langford History Group events coming up


The Langford History Group have some new events coming up this season.  
  • Thu, Mar 8th: Domesday Book and the locality
  • Thu, Apr 12th: Commercial Archaeology Uncovered
  • Thu, May 10th: Gardens of the Wills Houses
  • Thu, Jun 14th: Wrington Walk

Membership of the Group is £10 annually, and allows free access to all the meetings and access to the records. Visitors are more than welcome to individual meetings for a nominal fee of £2 to cover speakers’ costs.   See the Langford History Group website for more details.

History with a difference!

Four fully illustrated Civic Society lectures delivered in the comfort of a Weston hostelry by John Crockford-Hawley.  On Mondays 5th, 12th, 29th and 26th March, John will be delivering talks on ‘The History of Weston’.  The topics will be:

  • 5th March: A Flock of First & A string of Seconds.  How Weston leads the world..
  • 12th March: Chuff Chuff to the Seaside. How the railway has played a significant role in Weston’s development.
  • 19th March: To the Manor Born. Grove House and the Smyth-Piggotts.
  • 26th March: Weston at War. Weston in WWI and WWII, with some amazing photographs.

All talks will be held at the Imperial, South Parade, BS23 1JN at 7.30pm.  Pre-booking essential.  Please see details on the Civic Society webpage.

Gems of Weston heritage walk

As part of the Heritage Action Zone initiative a new walk has been developed through Weston-super-Mare. The walk aims to highlight some of the wonderful buildings we have in the town and encourages you to ‘look up’ to enjoy the architectural gems in Weston.  Local artist John Hickley has taken some of the key features and developed a lovely map of the walk.  Follow the link to access the PDF of the walk  Gems of Weston Walk 2018

Heritage Action Zones, Historic England
Heritage Action Zones, Historic England

Grade II listing for Weston railway station

Weston-super-Mare’s railway station has been awarded Grade II listed status by Historic England. Designed by Francis Fox and completed in 1884, Weston’s station was granted the coveted status as part of the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), a Historic England programme which focuses on supporting the on-going regeneration of the town’s centre and its areas of historic interest.

The station will join other listed town centre buildings such as the Odeon, the Magistrates Court, the Town Hall, Walliscote School, the Grand Pier, the Royal Hotel, Weston Museum and the HSBC building.

Deborah Williams from Historic England said: “We are delighted that the railway station in Weston-super-Mare station has been listed. This iconic building is a good example of a later phase of railway construction, and is interesting because of its role in the development of Weston as a seaside destination.

“Listing highlights what’s special about a building or place, and helps to make sure that any future changes to it take into consideration those special qualities. Listing doesn’t prevent change – in fact, listed buildings can be adapted and altered just like any other building, so that they can continue to be used and enjoyed for future generations.”

Cllr John Crockford-Hawley from North Somerset Council said: “Stations are so important because they are often the first architectural experience visitors have when approaching towns and cities. As a young boy I spent many a happy Saturday morning with friends polishing brass name plates on steam engines at Weston Station so have a rather prejudicial liking for the place and as an historian I’m delighted to see this fine piece of GWR architecture given national recognition.”

Mike Gallop, Director of Route Asset Management at Network Rail, said: “We are delighted Weston-super-Mare has been granted listed status. The new title reflects the iconic building’s impressive architecture and the historical interest in the station.”

North Somerset Heritage Forum

The North Somerset Heritage Forum was established on Thursday 16th November, with representatives from 22 different heritage interest groups from across the district in attendance. This was run by the Council’s Archaeologist, Conservation & Heritage Officer and HER Officer, along with the Heritage Champion, Councillor Robert Cleland at the Old Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare. These groups included a wide range of heritage interests such as archaeology, local history and civic societies.

Discussions took place around a number of topics including Know Your Place, heritage promotion, training opportunities and national heritage events, as well as regional research frameworks, current projects and enhancement of the Historic Environment Record.

Some great ideas for future collaborations between the groups themselves, and also with the Council’s heritage officers, were presented, and we’re very excited to move forward and put these thoughts into action!

These forums will be taking place every six months, in different locations across the district, highlighting the rich and varied heritage that North Somerset has to offer.

If you are a member of a local history, archaeology or heritage interest group and would like to attend future events, please contact the heritage officers at

History and Archaeology Walk in Weston

Join the first walk on 12 November, led by professional field archaeologist Shuan McConnachie, BA, pgCerts (Landscape archaeology, Classics) and member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Easy walk from Birnbeck, along the front and ending at the Museum.Dog friendly and good access for people with mobility issues on this one.

Looking at the history and some of the archaeology, of Weston. From the ancient geological past (Weston was once a rain-forest), to the builders of Worlebury Hill Fort and the Roman shrine on Brean Down. 
Also looking at the Regency beginnings of Weston and the town we recognise today. There’s so much more…and learn about the secret of Rusty, the Iron Age dog you can see in the museum….

No fee, as such, but contributions welcome (£3 suggested minimum). Carers and helpers for people with mobility issues free, as do children under 12.   See more details here.