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Heritage

North Somerset has a rich and diverse built, natural and cultural heritage. From the beautiful coastal scenery around Middle Hope and Ladye Bay, the historic Victorian resort of Clevedon with its restored Pier so revered by John Betjeman, to the numerous attractive Somerset villages, the grandeur of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the spectacular Avon Gorge with Brunel’s graceful Clifton Suspension bridge, there’s so much to enjoy in this neck of the woods.

Whatever your particular passion, whether it’s exploring the lanes of historic villages or the graceful rows of Victorian villas, relaxing in the peaceful scenery of the Somerset Levels or countryside or the many beautiful woodland walks where wildlife abounds. Visit North Somerset and take in some of the culture of the area as we really have got something for every taste and interest.

Heritage information

Check out the Blog which gives insight into some of the gems tucked away in the area and inspiration for new places to visit.

The Discover North Somerset heritage map will let you zoom and click your way through Ordnance Survey maps  from 1880 to the present day, and shows complete aerial photography sets dating from the 1940s to the most recent information available.  

NEW: For the first time, historical maps of North Somerset are now freely available online thanks to the Know Your Place West of England project, supported by the National Lottery. To explore maps and information in your area visit the www.kyp.org.uk

To make it easy to find out more about North Somerset’s rich heritage, whether you’re in an armchair or out in the field, we’ve created the following complimentary sites. 

Images of North Somerset

Flickr montage image

The Discover North Somerset Flickr site contains an eclectic collection of historic and current images from across the district.  There are already well over 1000 images to browse, enjoy and download.  The archive continues to grow over time so make sure you keep visiting to see what else has been added to the collection.

So far, the Flickr site has over 50 albums with images on villages and areas across North Somerset. Whether you live in one of the major towns Weston, Clevedon, Portishead or a historic village such as Tickenham or Walton-in-Gordano there is very likely an album for you on the North Somerset Flickr site. Click here to find yours or explore further afield.

Local Studies collection

The North Somerset Local Studies Collection also contains a wide range of images, postcards, books, maps and material about North Somerset.  The majority of the collection is held in the Frederick Wood Room in the Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare and you can visit and access the resources. Please check opening times before you visit and bring identification.  Local libraries have books about their villages and collections at Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead include photographs and maps. You can find a list of books on the library catalogue www.librarieswest.org.uk . The most popular resources are Weston and Clevedon Mercury newspapers from the mid-19th Century, street directories and large scale maps. The Family History Society holds advice sessions every Saturday afternoon. Email local.history@n-somerset.gov.uk  with your queries about the materials we hold.

The South West Heritage Trust hold historic archives at Taunton, and their archive catalogue includes material still held at Weston.  An archivist visits the Frederick Wood Room each quarter to bring original material requested by customers – see the list of library events for more details.