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Historic Bleadon

Do you want to find something about your ancestry or have historic information to share? Please contact us.

Wikipedia articles on Bleadon (see Parish & Village settlement boundaries map) and Bleadon Hill

Bleadon on Historic England information on the Village Well, Shiplett House, Hillside Farmhouse, Purn House Farm House, Church, and more.

Bleadon Village - in the 20th century on Facebook
This page is mostly devoted to the photographic history of Bleadon during the 20th century. There will also be stories and memoirs of people still living in Bleadon today. Well documented events from the past may also feature from time to time.
A collection of old photos of Bleadon, and some of its inhabitants, has been put on a DVD, price £6.50 +p&p. ***CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE*** Please email Penny Robinson or contact us to pass on your request.

'An Illustrated History of Bleadon' book has been published by village author and artist John Hickley.


See also 'Looking Up Weston-super-Mare

The skeleton of "Bleadon Man" was found in 1997 during an archaeological excavation necessary before consideration of planning permission for a proposed building development adjacent to Whitegate Farm Bleadon.

The Community Archaeology Project work by BLERT (Bleadon and Lympsham Environs Research Team). Here is an old reference document that maybe of interest.


Browse Bleadon Bibliography or maybe contact The friends of Somerset Archives Society or Somerset County Records

The Bleadon & Uphill Railway Station. There is a short TV film about it from those days in the possession of Somerset Film at The Engine Room in Bridgwater, also the Museum in an old railway carriage after it's closure due to the 'Beeching' cuts.  



A 'Masters Alternative View on Bleadon History, as submitted to BOB in 2015 by the former Shop & Post Office owner.



The River Axe and 'The Tale of Edwin Clogg', see this and other stories in John Hickley's boook, 'An Illustrated History of Bleadon'.


The current tidal limit of the Axe is the sluice gates at Bleadon and Brean Cross.


Also, Bleadon Sluice Improvement Project.

Bleadon Cavern (See location map) and Mammal Fossil Collection info.


Also, see Axebridge Caving Group and the importance of the caves in protecting Bleadon's water sources and evnironment, e.g. from 'fracking'.

Here is a small piece of golfing history previously on the site of the current Bleadon Hill Golf Course (PDF)
BOB Remembrance Page containing photos, stories, videos, books, charities, and more.

As part of the 75th Anniversary of World War II Bleadon Reisdent Charles Reeves was interviewed by Radio Bristol concerning his memories of being bombed out of his home in Worle on the 28th June 1942. See a printed copy of his story here


You can also listen to the interview at 7.20am and the second part at 8.20am on BBC Radio Bristol tomorrow, 28 June 2017. After 9am you can listen back to the programme via this link. Skip along to 50 minutes in and 1 hour 50 minutes in for Charles pieces. It will be available for 30 days.


See also WSM at War on the WSM & District Family History Society website.


A 'Masters' 'alternative' view on Bleadon History

(as submitted to BOB in 2015)


"While I was at our Post Office I was very interested in the history of the village and my researches unearthed two local folk songs whose tunes were stolen by larger communities, set to different words and then became widely known in these new versions. Meanwhile the original words became lost until the 1990s.


The first was based on the fact that even in the 17th century Bleadon had an unusually high proportion of elderly residents and it is said that the village newsagent at the time wrote a song commenting on this. Unfortunately I have not been able to confirm this attribution.What is indisputable, however, is that a visitor from Dublin filched the tune and composed mawkishly sentimental words for it which have become the accepted version worldwide. I think the history section of Bleadon Bob should set the record straight by publishing the original, as follows:

  • In Bleadon's fair village there's no rape or pillage, They're all far too ancient for that kind of thing.
  • Instead of such capers they just reads their papers And dreams of the time when they last had a fling.
To capture the flavour of it you have to imagine it sung with an authentic Somerset accent.


The second is more personal, the lament of an embittered local youth who found the course of true love was far from smooth.To those of us who have slogged up Celtic Way on foot it rings heartrendingly true. I have not been able to date it, but in this case it was Yorkshire (not Surrey) that purloined the melody and in due course the credit.

  • On Bleadon Hill there lives a lass, right at the very to-op, And by the time I've climbed up there I'm fit to bloody drop.
  • With breath so short how can I court? I need to take a pi-ill.
  • I think I'll wed down here instead - To 'ell with Bleadon Hill!

Again the local accent needs to be imagined.Both songs have a chorus that is easily deduced."


Please note: The following information copied below line is from the old website.

For current activity please visit the link and facebook page.

Bleadon History Society Facebook page 



At the meeting of the Bleadon History group on October 10th the layout and format of the village legend boards was discussed.

During a recent clear up in the Churchyard John Hurcombe came across a few ‘lost graves’. Lain hidden amongst weeds and shrubs was this one which bears an interesting inscription.













Research has indicated that this regiment was only in existence during the Indian Mutiny, being disbanded shortly afterwards. I am wondering if there are any descendents of this officer still living in the area, and to that end I am posting this on the website in the hope that someone somewhere can provide some clues as to his military career before he ended his days in Bleadon.e-mail me


Update from Penny Robinson


April 30th 2009. Chris Richards from WSM Museum gave an interesting talk about the Bleadon Cavern, its whereabouts and its international importance

Afterwards there was a discussion about the layout of the proposed legend board Several people were interested in the photo and clippings books and promised some new material. 

Thursday 31st January 2008 there was a meeting of the newly formed Historical Society in the Coronation Hall. The evening was a great success as between 30-40 people all with Bleadon connections came together for an evening of unashamed nostalgia. There were displays of old photos and newspaper cuttings covering many aspects of life in Bleadon in the early and middle parts of the 20th century. More up to date stories included the ‘Finding of Bleadon Man’ the subsequent BBC TV programme, and how that led onto the acquisition of our own sculptured head now proudly displayed in the foyer of the Coronation Hall. As a follow up to this, a future project for the Parish Council is to erect a ‘legend board’ in the area of the car park outlining the historical background of Bleadon’s famous resident. This will also include details of the DNA sampling and those in the village who have links with him.

John Hickley brought along his map of Bleadon in mediaeval times which indicated the various land owners and tenants and where they lived. This had been carefully put together by John from photocopies (obtained from Taunton archives) which he had then coloured to show who owned what. It is remarkable in its detail.

The book of photos which had been compiled back in 2004 was also of great interest; - it is from this book that the regular pictures contained within the ‘Village News’ are taken. I should like to remind everyone that a selection of these photos is available on a DVD - please ring me to obtain a copy. The book itself may also be borrowed for a small fee.

Many of those who came that evening simply enjoyed sitting and exchanging memories, looking at the old family photos and remembering the ‘good old days’.

The next meeting will be later on in the year when we hope to put the Society on a more formal footing with the election of a secretary /treasurer etc. Anyone who is interested in helping in this way please let me know.

The Society would also like to invite those who have an interest in any aspect of Bleadon’s history, to get out there and do a bit of detective work, it’s amazing what you can find on your own doorstep! We would love to know what you come up with.

I should like to thank all those who brought material, and allowed me to scan their photos and cuttings, all of which I know are very precious. This information will be digitalized and will form the basis of the Bleadon Village archive.


One of the old photos in our collection ..recognise anyone?

History Evening information - 100 years in Photos

Bleadon Man


The skeleton of "Bleadon Man" was found in 1997 during an archaeological excavation necessary before consideration of planning permission for a proposed building development adjacent to Whitegate Farm Bleadon.


The investigation revealed that "Bleadon Man" was probably a farmer and about 50 years old when he died over 2000 years ago. DNA testing confirmed that four people living in the surrounding area were related to this Iron Age man.


The University of Manchester Medical School through its leading experts in facial reconstruction created

a cast of the head of "Bleadon Man" and the bronze resin head pictured here was created from this. This head was unveiled in December 2000 as the Bleadon Coronation Hall's millennium project and remains on permanent display in the Hall along with additional pictures of the archaeological dig.


"Bleadon Man" was first shown on the BBC series entitled "Meet the Ancestors". The skeleton and a second bronze resin head are displayed in the Wellcome Wing of the National Museum of Science which was opened in June 2000 by Her Majesty the Queen.


Reference: BBC publications - "Meet the Ancestors". Julian Richards 1999.


These are some of the photographs taken at the time of the dig showing the overall site, the arrangement of the graves and the 'Bleadon Man' in situ. Photos Penny Robinson.














The River Axe and the Tale of Edwin Clogg


Walking alongside water on a sunny day is a very relaxing and pleasant experience. It is a pity therefore, that although the southern boundary of our parish for about three miles is formed by the River Axe. only two relatively short stretches of it are accessible to the public.


To the west of the A370 you can walk, high tide permitting, from Bleadon Bridge across two fields to the back of the Purn Caravan Park, then across one more field to the track that leads to the first bend in Accommodation Road (from which it is but a short step to the Anchor and Catherines Inn). Also from Bleadon Bridge you can follow the river on the south side in the opposite direction as far as the bridge near South Hill Farm and then having crossed the Bridge, on the north side for a short distance before turning left to the farm. Both walks offer interesting perspectives of the village and the Mendips. but if you want further official access to the river you have to join an angling club. To me the bridge by the farm, known to generations of local boys as the Cow Bridge and a favourite jumping-off point in summer, has a unique point of interest that brackets Bleadon with Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sydney, Australia. It was built in the I930's by Donnan Long, the company that built the somewhat larger bridges in those world famous cities.


Unfortunately, there is also a very sad tale to tell about our local stretch of river. You can find the memorial to it in our Churchyard, just behind the Kathleen Beeby Memorial garden: the grave of Edwin Clogg. who died in July 1957 aged 71 years. At the head of the grave are the words "A life given for another".


Edwin's story was told me by Ken Durston, who was born in Bleadon 1927. From his earliest years Ken remembers Edwin as an established resident, living alone in a small wooden building at the top of the land belonging to The Mount in Shiplate Road. It seems likely he had arrived there after World War One, when he had been a conscientious objector. The owner of The Mount, Bert Over, was a fellow objector and there appears to have been another idealistic strand to the story in that close to Edwin's hut was another in which courses in Esperanto were held. There were fruit orchards and strawberry fields at The Mount and when the weather was fine the local children used to help with the picking under the supervision of Edwin and Bert. They would also take the children swimming in a shallow part of the Axe between the sluice and the Cow Bridge, to cool off after their labours. They were joined in the summer holidays by underprivileged boys from Bristol, who were accommodated in a hutted camp at Barton (between Webbington and Winscombe). These boys were transported in a huge Studebaker owned by Bert's sister and garaged by Roy Goodall, who also provided a driver.


I suppose that nowadays we would say it was an accident waiting to happen. On that July day in 1957 a Bristol boy got into difficulties. Edwin tried to save him, but could not and both were drowned. There was evidently great sadness in the Village with local people collecting money to provide a handsome gravestone. This is what we can see today in the Churchyard.