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The Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
is a range of hills west of Bridgwater
Bridgwater
in Somerset, England. The Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
were England's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, being designated in 1956,[1] and consist of large amounts of heathland, oak woodlands, ancient parklands and agricultural land. Natural England
England
have designated the Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
as national character area 144. They are entirely surrounded by NCA 146: the Vale of Taunton
Taunton
and Quantock Fringes.[2] The hills run from the Vale of Taunton Deane
Taunton Deane
in the south, for about 15 miles (24 km) to the north-west, ending at Kilve
Kilve
and West Quantoxhead on the coast of the Bristol Channel. They form the western border of Sedgemoor
Sedgemoor
and the Somerset
Somerset
Levels. From the top of the hills on a clear day, it is possible to see Glastonbury Tor
Glastonbury Tor
and the Mendips to the east, Wales
Wales
as far as the Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula
to the north, the Brendon Hills
Brendon Hills
and Exmoor
Exmoor
to the west, and the Blackdown Hills
Blackdown Hills
to the south. The highest point on the Quantocks is Wills Neck, at 1,261 feet (384 m).[3] Soil types and weather combine to support the hills' plants and animals. In 1970 an area of 6,194.5 acres (2,506.8 ha) was designated as a Biological Site of Special
Special
Scientific Interest.[4] Archaeological landscape features include Bronze Age
Bronze Age
round barrows, extensive ancient field systems and Iron Age
Iron Age
hill forts. Evidence from Roman times includes silver coins discovered in West Bagborough. The hills are now a peaceful area popular with walkers, mountain bikers, horse riders and tourists. They explore paths such as the Coleridge Way (the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
lived in Nether Stowey
Nether Stowey
from 1797 to 1799) or visit places of interest in the surrounding villages.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Geology 3 Climate 4 Ecology

4.1 Flora 4.2 Fauna

5 History

5.1 Origins 5.2 Dark Ages and Anglo-Saxon 5.3 Medieval 5.4 Modern

6 Walking routes 7 Governance 8 Ownership 9 Cultural references

9.1 Film 9.2 Literature 9.3 Art 9.4 Music 9.5 Television

10 Places of interest 11 See also 12 References 13 External links

Etymology[edit] The name first appears in Saxon charters in around AD 880 as Cantuctun and two centuries later in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
as Cantoctona and Cantetone. The name means settlement by a rim or circle of hills;[5] Cantuc is Celtic for a rim or circle, and -ton or -tun is Old English for a settlement. The highest point of the hills is called Will's Neck meaning ridge of the Welshman, probably referring to a time when the hills marked the boundary between the expanding Saxon kingdom of Wessex
Wessex
and the lands of the Britons or 'Welsh' to the West. A battle was fought locally at that time.[3] Geology[edit]

Beach at Quantock's Head. The wave cut platform is visible at low tide below the short "cliff" exposing the rock strata.

The Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
are largely formed by rocks of the Devonian
Devonian
period, which consist of sediments originally laid down under a shallow sea and slowly compressed into solid rock. In the higher north-western areas older Early Devonian
Devonian
rocks known as Hangman Grits (or, more formally, the Hangman Sandstone Formation) predominate[5] and can be seen in the exposed rock at West Quantoxhead
West Quantoxhead
quarry, which was worked for road building.[6] The Hangman Grits are described in three divisions: the lowest are the Little Quantock Beds, which are located near Crowcombe, and made up of siltstones and slates. Between Triscombe
Triscombe
and West Quantoxhead
West Quantoxhead
is a layer of the Triscombe
Triscombe
Beds which is around 500 metres (1,600 ft) thick and is made up of green sandstone and mudstones. The uppermost division is the Hodders Combe Beds of sandstone and conglomerate and is approximately 300 metres (980 ft) thick.[7] Further south there are newer Middle and Late Devonian
Devonian
rocks, known as Ilfracombe beds and Morte Slates.[6] These include sandstone and limestone, which have been quarried near Aisholt. At Great Holwell, south of Aisholt, is the only limestone cave in the Devonian
Devonian
limestone of North Devon
Devon
and West Somerset.[6] The lower fringes around the hills are composed of younger New Red Sandstone
New Red Sandstone
rocks of the Triassic period.[8] These rocks were laid down in a shallow sea and often contain irregular masses or veins of gypsum, which was mined on the foreshore at Watchet.[6] Several areas have outcrops of slates. Younger rocks of the Jurassic period can be found between St Audries
St Audries
and Kilve. This area falls within the Blue Anchor
Blue Anchor
to Lilstock Site of Special
Special
Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is considered to be of international geological importance. Kilve
Kilve
has the remains of a red-brick retort built in 1924 after the shale in the cliffs was found to be rich in oil. Along this coast, the cliffs are layered with compressed strata of oil-bearing shale and blue, yellow and brown Lias embedded with fossils. The Shaline Company was founded in 1924 to exploit these strata but was unable to raise sufficient capital. The company's retort house is thought to be the first structure erected here for the conversion of shale to oil and is all that remains of the anticipated Somerset
Somerset
oil boom.[9] At Blue Anchor
Blue Anchor
the coloured alabaster found in the cliffs gave rise to the name of the colour " Watchet
Watchet
Blue".[3] The village has the only updraught brick kiln known to have survived in Somerset. It was built around 1830 and was supplied by small vessels carrying limestone to the small landing jetty.[10] Now used as a garage, the kiln is thought to have operated until the 1870s, when the large-scale production of bricks in Bridgwater
Bridgwater
rendered small brickyards uneconomic.[11] Cockercombe tuff is a greenish-grey, hard pyroclastic rock formed by the compression of volcanic ash and is found almost exclusively in the south-eastern end of the Quantock Hills. Climate[edit]

Aerial view of the Quantock Hills

Along with the rest of South West England, the Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
has a temperate climate that is generally wetter and milder than the rest of England. The mean temperature is approximately 10 °C (50 °F) and shows a seasonal and a diurnal variation, but because of the modifying effect of the sea the range is less than in most other parts of the United Kingdom. January is the coldest month with mean minimum temperatures between 1 °C (34 °F) and 2 °C (36 °F). July and August are the warmest months, with mean daily maxima around 21 °C (70 °F). December is normally the most cloudy month and June the sunniest. High pressure over the Azores
Azores
often brings clear skies to south-west England, particularly in summer. Cloud often forms inland especially near hills, and acts to reduce sunshine. The average annual sunshine totals around 1,600 hours. Rainfall tends to be associated with Atlantic depressions or with convection. In summer, convection caused by solar surface heating sometimes forms shower clouds, and a large proportion of rain falls from showers and thunderstorms at this time of year. Average rainfall is around 31 to 35 inches (790 to 890 mm). About 8 to 15 days of snowfall is typical. From November to March, mean wind speeds are highest; winds are lightest from June to August. The predominant wind direction is from the south-west.[12] Ecology[edit] In 1970 an area of 6,194.5 acres (2,506.8 ha) in the Quantocks was designated as a Biological Site of Special
Special
Scientific Interest (SSSI).[4] This a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom, selected by Natural England, for areas with particular landscape and ecological characteristics. It provides some protection from development, from other damage, and (since 2000) also from neglect, under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The streams and open water such as Hawkridge Reservoir
Hawkridge Reservoir
and Ashford Reservoir on Cannington Brook
Cannington Brook
also provide habitats for a range of species. Flora[edit]

The Northern Flank of Beacon Hill (Quantocks). In late summer the northern Quantocks are ablaze with heather and gorse. Minehead
Minehead
can be seen in the distance.

The hilltops are covered in heathland of gorse, heather, bracken and thorn with plantations of conifer. The western side of the Quantocks are steep scarp slopes of pasture, woods and parkland. Deep stream-cut combes to the north-east contain extensive oak-woods with small flower-rich bogs above them. The areas where there is limited drainage are dominated by heather ( Calluna
Calluna
vulgaris), with significant populations of cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix), purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and wavy hair-grass ( Deschampsia
Deschampsia
flexuosa). Drier areas are covered with bell heather (Erica cinerea), western gorse (Ulex gallii) and bristle bent ( Agrostis
Agrostis
curtisii), while bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) is common on well-drained deeper soils. The springs and streams provide a specialist environment that supports bog pimpernel (Anagallis tenella). The woodland is generally birch/sessile oak woodland, valley alder woodland and ash/wych elm woodland, which support a rich lichen flora. Alfoxton
Alfoxton
Wood is one of only three British locations where the lichen Tomasellia lectea is present.[4] Fauna[edit] The various habitats, together with the wide range of slopes and aspects, provide ideal conditions for a rich fauna. Amphibians such as the palmate newt (Triturus helveticus), common frog (Rana temporaris), and common toad (Bufo bufo) are represented in the damper environments. Reptiles present include adder (Vipera berus), grass snake (Natrix natrix), slowworm (Angula fragilis) and common lizard (Lacerta vivipara). Many bird species breed on the Quantocks, including the grasshopper warbler (Locustella naevia), nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), raven (Corvus corax) and the European pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca). The Quantocks are also an important site for red deer (Cervus elaphus). Invertebrates of note include the silver-washed fritillary butterfly (Argynnis paphia), and three nationally rare dead-wood beetles: Thymalus limbatus, Orchesia undulata and Rhinosimus ruficollis.[4] History[edit] Origins[edit] Evidence of activity in the Quantocks from prehistoric times includes finds of Mesolithic
Mesolithic
flints at North Petherton
North Petherton
and Broomfield[13] and many Bronze Age
Bronze Age
round barrows (marked on maps as tumulus, plural tumuli), such as Thorncombe Barrow above Bicknoller. Several ancient stones can be seen, such as the Triscombe
Triscombe
Stone and the Long Stone above Holford. Many of the tracks along ridges of the Quantocks probably originated as ancient ridgeways.[5][6] A Bronze Age
Bronze Age
hill fort, Norton Camp, was built to the south at Norton Fitzwarren, close to the centre of bronze making in Taunton.

Earthworks at Ruborough
Ruborough
Camp

Iron Age
Iron Age
sites in the Quantocks include major hill forts at Dowsborough
Dowsborough
and Ruborough, as well as several smaller earthwork enclosures, such as Trendle Ring
Trendle Ring
and Plainsfield Camp. Ruborough
Ruborough
near Broomfield is on an easterly spur from the main Quantock ridge, with steep natural slopes to the north and south east. The fort is triangular in shape, with a single rampart and ditch (univallate), enclosing 4 acres (1.6 ha). A linear outer work about 131 yards (120 m) away, parallel to the westerly rampart, encloses another 4 acres (16,000 m2). The name Ruborough
Ruborough
comes from Rugan beorh or Ruwan-beorge meaning Rough Hill.[14] The Dowsborough
Dowsborough
fort has an oval shape, with a single rampart and ditch (univallate) following the contours of the hill top, enclosing an area of 7 acres (2.8 ha). The main entrance is to the east, towards Nether Stowey, with a simpler opening to the north west, aligned with a ridgeway leading down to Holford. A col to the south connects the hill to the main Stowey ridge, where a linear earthwork known as Dead Woman's Ditch cuts across the spur.[15] Little evidence exists of Roman influence on the Quantock region beyond isolated finds and hints of transient forts. A Roman port was at Combwich, and it is possible that a Roman road ran from there to the Quantocks, because the names Nether Stowey
Nether Stowey
and Over Stowey
Over Stowey
come from the Old English
Old English
stan wey, meaning stone way.[3] In October 2001 the West Bagborough
West Bagborough
Hoard of 4th-century Roman silver was discovered in West Bagborough. The 681 coins included two denarii from the early 2nd century, and eight miliarense and 671 siliqua dating to 337–367 AD. The majority were struck in the reigns of emperors Constantius II
Constantius II
and Julian and derive from a range of mints including Arles
Arles
and Lyons in France, Trier
Trier
in Germany and Rome.[16] Dark Ages and Anglo-Saxon[edit] The area remained under Romano-British Celtic control until 681–685 AD, when Centwine of Wessex
Wessex
pushed west from the River Parrett, conquered the Welsh King Cadwaladr, and occupied the rest of Somerset
Somerset
north to the Bristol Channel.[17] Saxon rule was later consolidated under King Ine, who established a fort at Taunton
Taunton
in about 700 AD.[18] The first documentary evidence of the village of Crowcombe
Crowcombe
is by Æthelwulf of Wessex
Wessex
in 854, where it was spelt 'Cerawicombe'.[19] At that time the manor belonged to Glastonbury
Glastonbury
Abbey.[20] In the later Saxon period, King Alfred led the resistance to Viking
Viking
invasion from Athelney, south-east of the Quantocks.[6] According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the early port at Watchet
Watchet
was plundered by Danes in 987 and 997.[21] Alfred established a series of forts and lookout posts linked by a military road, or herepath, so his army could cover Viking movements at sea. The herepath has a characteristic form that is familiar on the Quantocks: a regulation 66-foot (20 m) wide track between avenues of trees growing from hedge laying embankments. The herepath ran from the ford on the River Parrett
River Parrett
at Combwich, past Cannington hill fort to Over Stowey, where it climbed the Quantocks along the line of the current Stowey road, to Crowcombe
Crowcombe
Park Gate. Then it went south along the ridge, to Triscombe
Triscombe
Stone. One branch may have led past Lydeard Hill and Buncombe Hill, back to Alfred's base at Athelney. The main branch descended the hills at Triscombe, then along the avenue to Red Post Cross, and west to the Brendon Hills
Brendon Hills
and Exmoor.[22] There is some evidence that an area of the hills known as Quantock Common may have been a Saxon Royal Forest.[23] Medieval[edit] After the Norman conquest of England
England
in 1066 William de Moyon was given land at Dunster, Broomfield and West Quantoxhead, his son becoming William de Mohun of Dunster, 1st Earl of Somerset, while William Malet received Enmore.[6] East Quantoxhead
East Quantoxhead
was given to the Luttrells (previously spelled de Luterel), who passed the manor down through descendants into the 20th century. A Luttell also became the Earl of Carhampton
Earl of Carhampton
and acquired Dunster
Dunster
Castle in 1376, holding it until it became a National Trust property in 1976. Stowey Castle
Stowey Castle
at Nether Stowey
Nether Stowey
was built in the 11th century. The castle is sited on a small isolated knoll, about 390 ft (119 m) high. It consisted of a square keep (which may have been stone, or a wooden superstructure on stone foundations) and its defences and an outer and an inner bailey.[24] The mount is 29 ft (9 m) above the 6 ft (2 m) wide ditch which itself is 7 ft (2 m) deep. The motte has a flat top with two large and two small mounds, which may be sites of towers, at the edge.[25] The blue lias rubble walling is the only visible structural remains of the castle, which stand on a conical earthwork with a ditch approximately 820 ft (250 m) in circumference.[26] The castle was destroyed in the 15th century, which may have been as a penalty for the local Lord Audley's involvement in the Second Cornish Uprising of 1497 led by Perkin Warbeck
Perkin Warbeck
against the taxes of Henry VII.[27] Some of the stone was used in the building of Stowey Court in the village.[6] Modern[edit] There was very little action on the Quantocks during the English Civil War. Sir John Stawell
John Stawell
of Cothelstone
Cothelstone
was a leading Royalist. When Taunton
Taunton
fell to parliamentary troops and was held by Robert Blake, he attacked Stawell at Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard
and imprisoned him. After the restoration Charles II conferred the title of Baron Stawell on Blake's son Ralph.[6] A group of Clubmen met at Triscombe
Triscombe
in 1645 and petitioned parliament calling for peace through negotiation.[28] At the end of the Monmouth Rebellion
Monmouth Rebellion
of 1685, (also known as the Pitchfork Rebellion), many participants were executed in the Quantocks. The rebellion was an attempt to overthrow the King of England, James II, who became king when his elder brother, Charles II, died on 6 February 1685. James II was unpopular because he was Roman Catholic, and many people were opposed to a "papist" king. James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, claimed to be rightful heir to the throne and attempted to displace James II.[29] The rebellion ended with the defeat of Monmouth's forces at the Battle of Sedgemoor
Sedgemoor
on 6 July 1685. Monmouth was executed for treason on 15 July,[29] and many of his supporters were executed, including some by hanging at Nether Stowey and Cothelstone,[6] or transported in the Bloody Assizes
Bloody Assizes
of Judge Jeffreys. Dodington was the site of the Buckingham Mine where copper was extracted.[30] The mine was established before 1725 and followed earlier exploration at Perry Hill, East Quantoxhead. It was financed by the Marquis of Buckingham until 1801 when it was closed, until various attempts were made to reopen it during the 19th century.[31]

Crowcombe
Crowcombe
Church

In 1724 the 14th century spire of the Church of the Holy Ghost in Crowcombe
Crowcombe
was damaged by a lightning strike. The top section of the spire was removed and is now planted in the churchyard,[32] and stone from the spire was used in the flooring of the church. Inside the church, carved bench-ends dating from 1534[33] depict such pagan subjects as the Green Man
Green Man
and the legend of the men of Crowcombe fighting a two-headed dragon.[34] Norton Fitzwarren
Norton Fitzwarren
was the site of a boat lift on the now unused section of the Grand Western Canal
Grand Western Canal
from 1839 to 1867. A 300-person prisoner of war camp built here during World War II
World War II
housed Italian prisoners from the Western Desert Campaign
Western Desert Campaign
and German prisoners from the Battle of Normandy. Walking routes[edit] Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
lived in Nether Stowey
Nether Stowey
in the Quantocks from 1797 to 1799. In his memory a footpath, The Coleridge Way, was set up by the Exmoor
Exmoor
park authorities. The 36-mile (58 km) route begins in Nether Stowey
Nether Stowey
and crosses the Quantocks, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor
Exmoor
before finishing in Porlock.[35] The Quantock Greenway
Quantock Greenway
is a footpath that opened in 2001. The route of the path follows a figure of eight centred on Triscombe. The northern loop, taking in Crowcombe
Crowcombe
and Holford, is 19 miles (31 km) long, and the southern loop to Broomfield extends for 18 miles (29 km). The path travels through many types of landscape, including deciduous and coniferous woodland, private parkland, grazed pasture and cropped fields.[36] The Macmillan Way West follows the Quantocks ridge for several miles. Governance[edit] The Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1956, the first such designation in England
England
under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.[1] Notice of the intention to create the AONB under The Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Designation) Order, 1956 was published in the London Gazette
London Gazette
on 7 February 1956.[37] Since responsibility for the Quantock AONB is shared between the County Council and three District Councils The Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
Joint Advisory Committee was set up in 1973 and is responsible for drawing up management plans for the Quantocks.[38] The charity Friends of Quantock
Friends of Quantock
is both a Quantock landowner and a conservation pressure group. Many of the villages on the Quantocks have their own parish councils, which have some responsibility for local issues. They also elect councillors to Somerset
Somerset
County Council and one of the three District Councils which cover the area, Taunton
Taunton
Deane, West Somerset
Somerset
or Sedgemoor. Ownership[edit] There is no single owner of the open land on the Quantocks or of the forestry plantations. Major landowners include the Forestry Commission, The National Trust, the Fairfield Estate, the Luttrell Estate, Somerset
Somerset
County Council and Friends of Quantock. Cultural references[edit]

Wooded hillside in the Quantocks

Film[edit]

The film Pandaemonium (2000), based on the lives of Wordsworth and Coleridge, much of it filmed on the hills.[39]

Literature[edit]

The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
lived here for three years from 1797, while he wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
(written in 1797–98 and published in 1798), part of Christabel (the first part was reputedly written in 1797, and the second in 1800), Frost at Midnight, and Kubla Khan
Kubla Khan
(completed in 1797 and published in 1816).[40] Poet William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
and his sister Dorothy lived at Alfoxton
Alfoxton
House in Holford
Holford
between July 1797 and June 1798,[41] during the time of their friendship with Coleridge. In 1913, the poet Edward Thomas wrote a prose account of a bicycle journey to the Quantocks, published in 1914 as "In Pursuit of Spring".[42] The poet Henry Newbolt
Henry Newbolt
lived in Aisholt
Aisholt
in the 1920s.[43] Virginia and Leonard Woolf
Leonard Woolf
spent a few days of their honeymoon at The Plough Inn, Holford, before continuing to the continent in 1912. They returned about a year later to try to help Virginia recover from one of her recurring nervous breakdowns.[44] Charles Williams visited Aisholt
Aisholt
and wrote a poem there. The opening of John le Carré's novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974) is set in the Quantocks.[45] Anne Ridler visited Aisholt
Aisholt
many times and wrote a poem titled ′ Aisholt
Aisholt
Revisited′.[46] In the 1980s and 1990s, English novelist Ruth Elwin Harris wrote her Quantock Quartet, a set of novels centred on four sisters growing up around the Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
during the early 20th century. A 1951 poem by J. C. Hall describes a visit to Alfoxton.

Art[edit]

The Old Bowling Green ( Halsway
Halsway
Manor, Somerset) (1865). Watercolour, British Museum, London.

A number of artists spent time on the Quantocks in the 1860s, many of them lodging at Halsway
Halsway
Manor. They are sometimes referred to as the Idyllists. They include John William North, George John Pinwell
George John Pinwell
and Frederick Walker.

Music[edit]

The video to the Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams
hit "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" was filmed in the landscape of Holford
Holford
and Kilve.[47] Bibio's album Hand Cranked
Hand Cranked
(2006) features a track titled "Quantock".[48] "Checking out the Quantocks", is a line from Half Man Half Biscuit's song "Joy Division Oven Gloves", from their album Achtung Bono.[49]

Television[edit]

The Doctor Who
Doctor Who
episode "Shada" (1980) makes a sidelong reference to this region – the Fourth Doctor
Fourth Doctor
(played by Tom Baker) claims that walking through the Time Vortex "is a little trick I learned from a space-time mystic in the Quantocks".[50] The Quantocks are the setting for the final episodes of the third and eighth series (2006 and 2012) of Peep Show.[51][52]

Places of interest[edit] Quantock village halls and parish churches are the unlikely venues for a series of international music concerts, which attract large audiences. The series, which began in 2009, is known as Music on the Quantocks. Run by local volunteers, it has featured some of the world's finest musicians, including Sir James Galway, The Sixteen, The Hilliard Ensemble, violinist Tasmin Little and also poets Roger McGough and John Cooper Clarke. The series begins each spring and continues throughout the year culminating at Christmas with a performance by a choir at St Mary's, Bishops Lydeard.[53] One of the most popular Coleridge Cottage
Coleridge Cottage
is a cottage situated in Nether Stowey. It was constructed in the 17th century as a building containing a parlour, kitchen and service room on the ground floor and three corresponding bed chambers above.[54] It has been designated by English Heritage
English Heritage
as a grade II* listed building.[55] Having served for many years as Moore's Coleridge Cottage
Coleridge Cottage
Inn, the building was acquired for the nation in 1908, and the following year it was handed over to the National Trust.[56] On 23 May 1998, following a £25,000 appeal by the Friends of Coleridge and the National Trust, two further rooms on the first floor were opened.[57]

The main building of Quantock Lodge

At Aley is Quantock Lodge, a green-grey 19th-century mansion built from cockercombe tuff. It was the family home of Henry Labouchere, 1st Baron Taunton, until the 1960s when it was converted into a school. In 2000, it became a centre for recreation and banqueting and summer camps for youths. Broomfield is home to Fyne Court. Once the home of pioneer 19th century electrician, Andrew Crosse. Since 1972 it has been owned by the National Trust. It has been leased from the National Trust since 1974 by the Somerset
Somerset
Wildlife Trust (Formally Somerset
Somerset
Trust for Nature Conservation) and is run as a nature reserve and visitor centre. The Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
AONB Service have their headquarters at Fyne Court.

Kingston St Mary's church

The Church of St Mary in Kingston St Mary
Kingston St Mary
dates from the 13th century, but the tower is from the early 16th century and was re-roofed in 1952, with further restoration from 1976 to 1978. It is a three-stage crenellated tower, with crocketed pinnacles, bracketed pinnacles set at angles, decorative pierced merlons, and set-back buttresses crowned with pinnacles.[58] The decorative "hunky-punks" are perched high on the corners. These may be so named because the carvings are hunkering (squatting) and are "punch" (short and thick). They serve no function, unlike gargoyles that carry off water.[59] The churchyard includes tombs of the Warre family who owned nearby Hestercombe House,[6] a historic country house in Cheddon Fitzpaine
Cheddon Fitzpaine
visited by about 70,000 people per year. The site includes a 0.2-acre (810 m2) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest
Site of Special Scientific Interest
notified in 2000. The site is used for roosting by Lesser horseshoe bats,[60] and has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation
Special Area of Conservation
(SAC).[61] The house was used as the headquarters of the British 8th Corps[62] during the Second World War, and has been owned by Somerset
Somerset
County Council since 1951. It is used as an administrative centre and a base for the Somerset
Somerset
Fire and Rescue Service. The Norman Church of St Giles in Thurloxton
Thurloxton
dates from the 14th century but is predominantly from the 15th century with 19th century restoration, including the addition of the north aisle in 1868. It has been designated by English Heritage
English Heritage
as a grade II* listed building.[63] From October 1763 to January 1764 the vicar was the diarist James Woodforde.[6]

Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard
station. The locomotive is Great Western 2-8-0T tank no. 5224.

The West Somerset
Somerset
Railway (WSR) is a heritage railway that runs along the edge of the Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
between Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard
and Watchet. The line then turns inland to Washford, and returns to the coast for the run to Minehead. At 23 miles (37 km), it is the longest privately owned passenger rail line in the UK.[64] Halsway Manor
Halsway Manor
in Halsway, is now used as England's National Centre for Traditional Music, Dance and Song. It is the only residential folk centre in the UK. The eastern end of the building dates from the 15th century and the western end was a 19th-century addition.[65] The manor, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book, was at one time used by Cardinal Beaufort as a hunting lodge and thereafter as a family home until the mid-1960s[66] when it became the folk music centre. It has been designated by English Heritage
English Heritage
as a grade II* listed building.[67] Halswell House
Halswell House
in Goathurst
Goathurst
has Tudor origins but was purchased by the Tynte family and rebuilt in 1689.[6] The surrounding park and 17 acres (6.9 ha) pleasure garden was developed between 1745 and 1785. The grounds contain many fish ponds, cascades, bridges and fanciful buildings,[68] including the Temple of Harmony, which stands in Mill Wood[69] and has now been fully restored. See also[edit]

Somerset
Somerset
portal

List of Sites of Special
Special
Scientific Interest in Somerset

References[edit]

^ a b " Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
AONB Service Website". Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
AONB. Somerset
Somerset
County Council. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2011.  ^ NCA 146: Vale of Taunton
Taunton
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Quantock Hills
Quantock Hills
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
official website

v t e

Ceremonial county of Somerset

Somerset
Somerset
Portal

Unitary authorities

Bath and North East Somerset North Somerset

Boroughs or districts

Mendip Sedgemoor South Somerset Taunton
Taunton
Deane West Somerset

Major settlements

Axbridge Bath Bridgwater Bruton Burnham-on-Sea Castle Cary Chard Clevedon Crewkerne Dulverton Frome Glastonbury Highbridge Ilminster Keynsham Langport Midsomer Norton Minehead Nailsea North Petherton Portishead Radstock Shepton Mallet Somerton Taunton Watchet Wellington Wells Weston-super-Mare Wincanton Wiveliscombe Yeovil See also: List of civil parishes in Somerset

Rivers

Alham Aller Avill Avon Axe (Bristol Channel) Axe (Lyme Bay) Badgworthy Water Banwell Barle Brue Cam Brook Cary Chew East Lyn Exe Fivehead Frome Haddeo Hoar Oak Water Holford Horner Huntspill Isle Land Yeo Mells Midford Brook Oare Water Parret Severn Estuary Sheppey Somer Sowy Tone Washford Wellow Brook West Lyn Whitelake Yeo (Congresbury) Yeo (South Somerset)

Topics

Country houses County Council Culture of Somerset Economy of Somerset Flag Geography of Somerset Geology of Somerset Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings High Sheriff of Somerset History of Somerset Local nature reserves Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Museums National nature reserves Parliamentary constituencies Places Population of major settlements Scheduled monuments Schools SSSIs Transport in Somerset Geographic areas: Blackdown Hills Brendon Hills Chew Valley Exmoor Mendip
Mendip
Hills Polden Hills Quantock Hills Somerset
Somerset
Levels South West Coast Path West Somerset
Somerset
Coast Path

v t e

Biological Sites of Special
Special
Scientific Interest in Somerset

Summarised data for all sites (biological and geological)

Aller and Beer Woods Aller Hill Asham Wood Axbridge
Axbridge
Hill and Fry's Hill Babcary Meadows Barle Valley Barrington Hill Meadows Berrow Dunes Black Down and Sampford Commons Brean Down Bridgwater
Bridgwater
Bay Briggins Moor Catcott, Edington and Chilton Moors Chancellor's Farm Cheddar Complex Cheddar Reservoir Cheddar Wood Cleeve Hill Cogley Wood Crook Peak to Shute Shelve Hill Curry and Hay Moors Deadman Draycott Sleights Dunster
Dunster
Park and Heathlands East Polden Grasslands Ebbor Gorge Edford Woods and Meadows Exmoor
Exmoor
Coastal Heaths Fivehead Woods and Meadow Freshmoor Friar's Oven Ge-mare Farm Fields Great Breach and Copley Woods Grove Farm Hardington Moor Hestercombe House Holme Moor & Clean Moor King's Sedgemoor Kingdown and Middledown Kingweston Meadows Lang's Farm Langford Heathfield Langmead and Weston Level Long Lye Long Lye
Long Lye
Meadow Longleat Woods Millwater Moorlinch Nettlecombe Park North Brewham Meadows North Curry Meadow North Exmoor North Moor Old Iron Works, Mells Perch Porlock
Porlock
Ridge and Saltmarsh Postlebury Wood Priddy Pools Prior's Park & Adcombe Wood Quantock Hills Quants Ringdown River Barle Rodney Stoke Roebuck Meadows Ruttersleigh Severn Estuary Shapwick Heath Sharpham Moor Plot South Exmoor Southey and Gotleigh Moors Southlake Moor Sparkford Wood St. Dunstan's Well Catchment Stowell Meadow Street Heath Tealham and Tadham Moors Thurlbear Wood and Quarrylands Twinhills Woods and Meadows Vallis Vale Walton and Ivythorn Hills West Moor West Sedgemoor Westhay Heath Westhay Moor Wet Moor Whitevine Meadows Windsor Hill Marsh Wookey Hole Woolhayes Farm

Neighbouring areas Avon Devon Dorset Wiltshire

v t e

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England

East of England

Chilterns Dedham Vale Norfolk Coast Suffolk Coast and Heaths

East Midlands

Lincolnshire Wolds

North East

Northumberland Coast North Pennines

North West

Arnside and Silverdale Forest of Bowland North Pennines Solway Coast

South East

Chichester Harbour Chilterns Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs High Weald Isle of Wight Kent Downs North Wessex
Wessex
Downs Surrey Hills

Former: East Hampshire1 South Hampshire Coast2 Sussex Downs1

South West

Blackdown Hills Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Cornwall Cotswolds Dorset East Devon Isles of Scilly Mendip
Mendip
Hills North Devon
Devon
Coast North Wessex
Wessex
Downs Quantock Hills South Devon Tamar Valley Wye Valley3

West Midlands

Cannock Chase Cotswolds Malvern Hills Shropshire Hills Wye Valley3

Yorkshire and Humber

Forest of Bowland Howardian Hills Nidderdale

1 Now part of South Downs National Park • 2 Now part of New Forest National Park •

.