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Somerset Gazetteer

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The ceremonial county of Somerset consists of the non-metropolitan county Somerset County Council, and two unitary authorities North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset or BANES as it is known, not too affectionately, to its inhabitants.

In general I stick to the ceremonial counties, otherwise I'd have to keep redesigning the site every time the government decides it is in its interest to redraw the boundaries.

Allerford Packhorse Bridge

Location

Somerset Map

Last Visited: 2019

Allerford Packhorse Bridge

Allerford Packhorse Bridge

Allerford Packhorse Bridge

Allerford Packhorse Bridge

Dating back to medieval times, Allerford Packhorse Bridge is Allerford village's main attraction.

The village takes its name from the ford next to the bridge over the River Aller. It is still in use to this day.

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Claverton Manor and the American Museum

Location

Somerset Map

Last Visited: 1996

American Museum - Bath

American Museum - Bath

The American Museum

The American Museum

Claverton Manor, sits on the top of the hill with spectacular views over the Limpley Stoke Valley and the River Avon.

It is a fine old Georgian house with extensive grounds, much of which are open to the public.

It also houses The American Museum in Britain which is worth visiting even if you are not particularly interested in Americana.

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Dunkery Beacon

Location

Somerset Map

Last Visited: 2019

The cairn on Dunkery Beacon marks the highest point in Somerset and one of the highest in southern England.

It is 520 m (1,705 ft) above sea level, and needless to say the views across Exmoor and north to the Bristol Channel are stunning.

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Claverton Pumping Station

Location

Somerset Map

Last Visited: 1988

Claverton Pump

Claverton Pump

There always seems something vaguely incestuous about using water running downhill to pump water uphill but, in fact, it was a common practice.

A number of water wheel driven examples are preserved at Wheal Martyn China Clay Country Park in Cornwall, and the almost magical ram pumps are still used in remote areas.

Claverton Pump uses the same principal, but on a grand scale. The massive waterwheel is 7.3m (24ft) wide and 5.2m (17ft) in diameter, and the pump can raise 447 cubic metres (98,500 gallons) of water an hour to the Kennet and Avon Canal some 14.6m (48ft) above the river.

It was built by the great architect and engineer, John Rennie, and completed in 1813. The pumping station operated continuously until 1952, and then lay derelict until restored by volunteers and reopened in 1978.

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