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History of Weston-super-Mare

Timeline History of Weston-super-Mare

Steap holm near Weston-super-Mare
Discover the story of this popular Somerset town in this timeline history of Weston-super-Mare.

Weston-super-Mare grew from a small village in the bronze age into the popular seaside resort town it is today. Through the ages, it has evolved from a small farming and fishing village, a mining village, and then a major seaside tourist town.

Let us see how Weston evolved.


Weston has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic period. Flint arrowheads and stone axes have been found in Weston-super-Mare indicating the presence of hunter-gatherers, who would have used Weston as somewhere to gather resources as they traveled to different locations throughout the year.

Bronze age 3100 BC – 300 BC

The first signs that there would have been a settlement in Weston come from bronze age burials discovered on the southern side of Weston Hill. A burial barrow for a high-status individual has also been found.

Iron Age: Worlebury Hillfort - 1200 BC – 550 BC

Worlbury hillfort is on a hill that overlooks the town. The fort found on the site dates to the iron age. This is the oldest evidence of a permanent settlement in Weston-super-Mare.

The hillfort was surrounded by tall and thick dry stone walls making it an important fortified settlement in the area. The architecture of the fort indicates possible connections with Ireland and France. These features are unique from settlements of the surrounding area in the same period.

These early residents of Weston would have farmed wheat, oats, and barley, raised animals, mined the minerals in the area, and traded using their access to the sea.

Human remains from Worlebury Hill date to the iron age and can be seen at Weston Museum. The remains have evidence of violence such as sword marks on the heads, collarbones, and legs. This shows why the hillfort was such an important defensible location.

The reinforcement of the defenses during the Roman period suggests that Weston-super-Mare had some independence compared to the rest of the area, whose king Bodvic was friendly to the Romans.

The Romans 43AD - 410AD

When the Romans invaded Britain they built a structure that was discovered under Weston college. Coins, food waste, and a burial were all found. Further proof of Roman settlement has been found in the form of pottery. Roman pottery has been found in many locations across Weston-super-Mare.

Town Weston 5BC - 1500AD

Weston would continue as a small village after the Romans left. People farmed the hillsides and moorland and fished in the Bristol Channel to subsist. The church was established and thatched homes were built along the high street.

A Tudor market 1568

The village would grow in 1568 when calamine was discovered on Worle Hill. This was the first location in the UK to find the mineral. Mining for calamine became a major industrial activity in Weston. Pits and ruin stacks found on Weston Hill show the activity of this time. Calamine is used to treat skin irritations.

Weston becomes a manor -1600

By 1600 Weston was a manor, held then by William Arthur of Clapton. It then passed by marital relationship to the Winter household who held it up until 1696 when the estate was offered to John Pigott of Brockley. The Pigotts developed a summertime vacation home in The Grove, Weston.

The Reverend Leeves Cottage

In 1791, the Reverend Leeves of Wrington followed their example and developed his own seaside home on the dunes. A piece of this home makes it through as The Old Thatched Cottage Restaurant. This, together with Glebe House, as soon as the rectory, are all that stay today in the 18th-century town of Weston.

Enclosure 1815

In 1815 the Weston Enclosure Award was finished. This award developed the design of the roadways and ownership of land and it was this, together with the abundant regional materials of structure products and the increasing appeal of the Sea Cure, which put down Weston's future.

The Sea Cure

By the middle of the 18th century, physicians started to proclaim the Bathing devices at Glentworth Bay for homeowners of Bristol and Bath, Weston was the nearby seaside town within simple reach of a roadway. It likewise provided the, at that time, popular destinations of a romantic and windswept rural element.

Throughout the 18th century, many individuals bathed naked. For this factor, the remote and protected cove at Anchor Head was picked as Weston's very first bathing location for women whilst gentlemen frequently simply removed on the sands and ran down to the water. The bather got in and, as the device was drawn down to the sea by a horse, they altered into a bathing gown.

A hotel

1810 Early visitors leased spaces or an entire home, from regional individuals. The very first hotel was opened in 1810 This becomes part of what is;


Howe's baths opened on Knightstone in July 1820. Accommodations were constructed for the invalids as well as a drinking space and reading space. Knightstone was an island and bathers were shuttled over by regional boatman, Aaron Fisher.

The very first-holiday guide. 1822

Weston's very first guidebook for visitors was composed in 1822. It paints a brilliant picture of the town at that time. Weston was explained as a "cent post from Bristol", the letters being brought by the provider every night from May to November and every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday early morning throughout the winter season.

The train gets here in 1841.

Weston's very first train station

Brunel's Bristol & Exeter Railway reached Weston in 1841. This left the primary line at Weston Junction, the trains at first being drawn by horses as the citizens were not too eager on having foul-smelling and loud steam engines in their growing town.

A Victorian town 1842

Eighteen regional townsmen ended up being the First Commissioners, the posts being consequently chosen. The Act offered them comprehensive powers to enhance the town.

A Pier 1867

Birnbeck Pier

The town grew, with vacation homes, boulevards and estates. There were drives and strolls through Weston Woods, planted on Weston Hill by the lord of the manor in the 1820s as a personal video game reserve, and from the leading, it was possible to delight in superb vistas as far as Exmoor and Wales.

More development 1880s

Possibly the most crucial advancement for Weston as a resort was the Seafront Improvement Scheme of the 1880s. It was likewise at this time that Weston lastly acquired a through train station when the present station and loop line into the town opened in 1884. Weston now ended up being a Mecca for thousands of visitors, numerous of them day trippers on Bank Holiday journeys and work getaways.

An Urban District Council 1894

Weston started the brand-new century with an Urban District Council, set up in 1894 to change the old Town Commissioners and Board of Health. On the beach, the bathing devices vanished, given that now blended bathing was appropriate and performers were all over a crowd might collect.

A 2nd pier 1904

Regional traders were not pleased about the truth that countless trippers showing up by cleaners from Wales never reached the town center because there was a lot to do on Birnbeck Pier. In 1890 the pier used a theatre of marvels, an alpine train, a shooting gallery, park swings, a merry-go-tea, coffee, and round spaces, a bar, a bandstand, photographic studios, a switchback, a water chute, a flying maker, helter-skelter, labyrinth, bioscope, cake walk, and zigzag slide. On a typical August Bank Holiday, 15,000 travelers would

The Grand Pier

It was chosen to develop another pier, closer to the town center and, in 1904, the Grand Pier opened. Rather than amusements, this pier had a big theatre providing all the leading music hall stars of the day

War 1914

Weston played an active function in the First World War. The loss of males and horses to the battlefronts provided unforeseen chances for ladies and Weston had the very first female cable car chauffeurs in the nation.

Inter-War Years 1918 - 1930

The Winter gardens

Weston Airfield was formally opened in June 1936. Weston and Cardiff's airports were close to their particular town centers and numerous South Wales miners flew over to Weston on their days off.

Over the 1937 Whitsun vacation, 2555 guests took a trip on Western Airways from Weston Airport, a world record for that time. It was likewise at this time that the very first amusement games started to open, generally in Regent Street. Before this date, amusement makers were frequently sited on street corners, in addition to along the piers.

Town to Borough

In 1937 the town was given Borough Status. Henry Butt, a regional business owner, ended up being the very first mayor. "Ever Forward" was embraced as the town's slogan.

A Second World War 1939 - 1945

Weston got lots of evacuees in late 1939 when they showed up here from London and other big cities. The very first bombs fell on Weston in June 1940 however the worst blitzes took location in January 1941 and in June 1942.

The town likewise played its part in the preparations for the Normandy Landings, hosting great deals of American soldiers before the intrusion.

Post-War 1946 - 1999

After the war, the Council reassessed the instructions they desired the town to take. The War had brought brand-new markets to Weston, chief amongst them airplane production.

By the late 1960s, foreign vacation locations had ended up being easier and cheaper to reach. All British beachfront resorts dealt with a hard duration Weston was no exception.

Weston's Borough Council was eliminated and the town ended up being the seat of the regional federal government for the District of Woodspring. This location extended north to the borders of Bristol and consisted of the towns of Nailsea, Clevedon, and Portishead.


Weston maintains much of its initial beauty. Nowadays, individuals typically take numerous brief vacations in the town and a year has adjusted to fulfill those requirements.

Source: The_Iron_Age_Hill_Fort_at_Weston.pdf

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