Historic Landmarks around Taunton and Wellington

The world is filled with breath-taking and incredible historical sites and wonders, some of them are even on our doorstep!

Wellington Monument

Standing high on the Blackdown hills, the Wellington Monument is the tallest three-sided obelisk in the world. The story of its troubled construction repeats itself in the story of its conservation and repair up to the present day. From abandoned bouts of building, lightning strikes and failed repairs, the monument has certainly had a rocky history

The monument stands as a tribute to the duke of Wellington and his victory at the Battle of Waterloo. The monument is well worth a visit and if you’re feeling brave, you can even climb to the very top of the 175ft obelisk but booking is essential. The tours run during the spring and summer months and are bookable online.

If you don’t fancy climbing the 232 steps for breath-taking views of Somerset, the most popular walk is a one-mile meander through tress and wildlife. The monument walk is dog friendly There is a wealth of other walks on the surrounding Blackdown Hills AONB, more details can be found on the Blackdown Hills website.

This recently restored landmark is a must of you’re visiting the area, but please be mindful that there are no toilets. The car park is 500 yards from Monument with an easy access path up to the monument with some rest stops. You can find the car park here.

West Somerset Railway

The age of steam trains has been highly romanticised, and many older generations retain fond memories of sitting on the banks of hills and watching them trundle by, trailed by a long tail of steam. Although most trains run on electricity now, several steam engines continue to run for nostalgic purposes as tourist attractions.

The West Somerset Railway is one such example, doubling as a steam train service and museum. As well as containing several preserved models of steam engine from the height of the steam age, it also offers rides through the idyllic Somerset countryside. A perfect opportunity to take a step back to a simpler time.

They host varied events and experiences such as Cheese and Cider trips to Cream Tea. you can even take a steam engineman course foe those avid lovers of all things locomotive!

The beauty of visiting the historic railway is that you can tailor each visit and visit many times! You can choose to spend the day relaxing over a cream tea taking in the views over Somerset or you can stop at one of the many stations such as Dunster and visit the impressive castle stepped in its own history. The adventure is up to you!

You can join the steam train from several different stations, but our clients favorite is Bishops Lydeard Station which gives our Clients the full experience! You find the station just outside the village with plenty of parking.

St Mary Magdalene Church

St Mary Magdalene is a beautiful medieval town church in the centre of Taunton. The church is known for its superb Perpendicular Gothic tower, the highest in Somerset at 163 feet. Simon Jenkins, the author of ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’, called it the most beautiful tower in Britain.

The history of St Mary Magdalene goes back to the late Saxon period when King Ine established Christianity in the Taunton area. The earliest church would have been built of timber, but this was rebuilt in stone under Henry of Blois, the powerful Bishop of Winchester, in the late 12th century. Until 1308 the church served as a chapel for Taunton Priory, but in that year Bishop Hazelshaw made it a parish church in its own right.

The interior is almost unique in having two pairs of aisle flanking the central nave. The aisles are supported on a forest of slender pillars, with light admitted by large clerestory windows. The effect is sumptuous, with carved angels decorating the nave capitals.

The oldest part of the church is the 13th-century arcade separating the two north aisles. Carved fragments of the chancel arch may be even earlier. There are pieces of medieval stained glass in the clerestory windows, but most of the medieval glass was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers in 1649.

If you get a chance to climb the spiral stair to the top of the tower, take it! St Mary Magdalene is very easy to reach on foot from central Taunton and is usually open daily to visitors, find it in the center of Taunton next to Canon street car park.

Bath Place

This historic street boasts an array of interesting individual businesses and services. Bath Place is an attractive and relaxing pedestrian environment which flourishes right in the centre of Taunton with parking close by.

From the Middle Ages, Bath Place was the main thoroughfare to the west of the town until Corporation Street was cut in 1894. The street was straightened and widened in the 18th century and most of the current buildings date from this era. The shopfronts remain remarkably unspoiled by the passage of time. Many of the buildings still have their Georgian shop fronts with octagonal glazed fanlights. The houses and gardens which are also part of Bath Place also take us back in time.

No other name, other than Footway appears until the end of the eighteenth century when the name Hunt’s Court appears. It may have been named after Hugh Hunt, who owned a property in the area. Bath Place was bought by Sir Benjamin Hammett in 1791 and it is thought that his son was responsible for the construction of the terrace buildings on the south side which comprise the shops of today.

Maintaining the look and ambiance of the street is always work in progress.  New paving has been laid to enhance the historic look of Bath Place and make it safer and easier underfoot. Recently a very old street lamp has re-emerged from beneath an overgrown tree.

Bath Place is situated right in the center of Taunton. We recommend parking here which will get you a small tunnel route direct too Bath Place

“This place is a Hidden gem just of the main high street, there’s cafes, hairdressers, little trinket shops, something that caters for everyone. Crystals is a lovely shop and so is peaches…” Jess

Bishops Lydeard Mill

The Bishops Lydeard Mill and Rural life museum is Open during the summer months, this historic working mill is quaint and full of history. Housed in a building dating back to the 18th century and was extended in the early 19th century with the addition of a Milhouse. In

The water wheel has been extensively refurbished and was opened to the public  in 2003. The wheel it’s self weighs two tonnes and yet can be turned from the inside with just two fingers!

After you’ve browsed and learnt about traditional trades and crafts, you can reflect and stop for a spot of tea at Dusty Miller’s tea room. Run entirely by volunteers, it has an excellent view of the water wheel and all the proceeds all go to the charities supported by the mill. You can find more about the local Charities they support on their website.

The mill is nestled in the heart of the village and can be found here.

‘Excellent place. Interesting and extremely well displayed exhibits. Great for all ages 3 to 100+. Lovely café, smashing staff. Well worth a visit and all very affordable, thank you all for such a relaxing couple of hours. Much appreciated and enjoyed.’ – Christine