Find the nearest History & Heritage in Somerset
Our History and Heritage category brings all Coast Radar’s Somerset listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of historic or heritage based activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a Somerset day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the historic and heritage links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next Somerset activity.
- The Fleet Air Arm Museum comprises four large halls. Each hall has ground floor and upper levels telling the stories of naval aviation from the first manned kites towed behind naval vessels, to helium filled airships, seaplanes, bi planes and the carrier borne aircraft of WW2 and modern Sea Harriers and helicopters.
- The Royal Crescent is a street of 30 Georgian terraced houses which are laid out in a grand sweeping crescent. Situated in central Bath and built between 1767 and 1774, the houses were designed by John Wood the Younger and represent some of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Britain. The whole of the Royal Crescent is grade I listed and although much of the interiors of the houses have changed over the years, the Georgian facades remain intact. Today, most of the houses in the Royal Crescent are either still privately owned or have been converted into offices. You will also find a luxury spa hotel and No.1 Royal Crescent a Georgian house museum.
- The Basilica of St Gregory the Great at Downside, commonly known as Downside Abbey, is a Catholic Benedictine monastery and the Senior House of the English Benedictine Congregation. One of its main apostolates is a school for children aged nine to eighteen. Its graduates are known as Old Gregorians.
- Bishops Lydeard Mill and Rural Life Museum is a historic building and museum and dates from the 18th century, and was extended in the early 19th century with the addition of a millhouse. It has an overshot waterwheel and has been designated as a Grade II listed building. The water wheel weighs over two tonnes and is driven by water from Back Stream which originates in the Brendon Hills. The museum focuses on traditional trades and crafts including a wheelwright’s shop, cooper’s shop, saddler’s shop, blacksmith’s shop and a Victorian kitchen.
- Cadbury castle stands on the summit of Cadbury Hill, a limestone hill with flat lowland to the north. The summit is 153 metres (500 ft) above sea-level. The hill is surrounded by four terraced earthwork banks and ditches and a stand of trees. Local tradition, first written down by John Leland in 1532, holds that Cadbury Castle was King Arthur’s Camelot.
- Nettlecombe Court is a country mansion house near the village of Williton in Exmoor National Park in Somerset. Part of the house originates from medieval times and has been added to over the years. In the early 1960s, Nettlecombe Court became a girls’ boarding school but in 1967 the Field Studies Council turned the house and grounds into the Leonard Wills Field Centre. Today, through courses and training on offer, individuals and institutions can learn more about the surrounding environment. Nettlecombe Court sits in Nettlecombe Park, a 90-acre estate and a designed Site of Specific Scientific Interest.
- Combe Sydenham is a 15th century manor house and Grade I listed building. Combe Sydenham Hall was the home of the Sydenham family from the fourteen hundreds to the mid 18th century. In 1585, Francis Drake married Elizabeth Sydenham, the only child of Sir George Sydenham, who was the High Sheriff of Somerset. Drake and Elizabeth Sydenham were to be married earlier however he left on a long voyage and her father arranged for her to be married to a son of the Wyndham family of Orchard Wyndham. On the day of wedding as they were approaching the Church of St Mary at Stogumber there was a loud clap of thunder and a large meteorite crashed through the roof. This was seen as a bad omen and the wedding stopped. Drake had arrived back in Plymouth the same day, and they were later married at the Church of All Saints in Monksilver. The iron meteorite, which became known as “Drake’s cannon ball”, is 14 inches (36 cm) in diameter. It has been polished when rolled down hills and has remained at the house ever since. The house is set in a 500 acres (202.3 ha) estate which offers a Deer Park and a variety of walks.
- Dunster Watermill is a fully restored working 18th Century watermill built on a site mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. The mill is set besides the River Avill and managed by the National Trust and you have the Watermill tea-room just 50 yards from the watermill and serves some good seasonal food.
- The Holburne Museum of Art is an art collection situated in Sydney Gardens in central Bath, Somerset. Housed in a grade I listed building designed by Charles Harcourt Masters, the museum showcases a large collection of 18th century portraits from English artists, including Gainsborough, Turner and Stubbs. The collection was originally started by Sir William Holburne in the late 19th century and along with paintings includes silver, Italian bronzes, porcelain, glass and furniture. The museum is open all year round and admission is free, although there may be a charge for some temporary exhibitions.