Somerset Industrial  Archaeological Society

UPDATED: 28.04.2020




SIAS is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

Charity Commission registered number: 1185669



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Bulletin 143 has been published and posted

to all members.




SAIS regrets that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the Annual General Meeting and Quiz, which was scheduled to take place on Monday 23 March, to be postponed. A new date will be announced in due course.


The Summer programme of visits was almost finalised but the Coronavirus emergency restrictions mean that none of these visits will be taking place in the near future.


These visits are not particularly time sensitive so will either be rearranged at new dates when that is possible or, perhaps more likely, held over to next summer. SIAS will keep the situation under review and, when it is possible to plan visits again, will contact members via email and place details here.

Provisional list of visits:

 Bridgwater Docks - evening fossick

Minions/Caradon area – two day joint visit with IASDA

Bishops Lydeard Mill - evening visit

Saltford Brass Mill and Warmley Heritage Centre – all day visit

Creech St Michael – evening fossick

Westford Pumping Station – afternoon or evening visit

Wadworth’s Brewery, Devizes and Caen Hill flight of locks – all day visit


If you require further information please contact the SAIS Field Officer, Peter Daniel, tel: 07736 374003, email: . Email is preferred when possible.




Coker Canvas - The Textile Industry of the Somerset/Dorset Border

Richard Sims - 210x300mm - 147 pages - Photographs, maps and plans

£15.95 including postage and packing



Devon Leather - An outline history of a lost industry: nineteenth century tanners and tanneries

Martin Bodman - 210x300mm - 165 pages - Photographs, maps and plans

£15.95 including postage and packing




A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Somerset

Ed. Peter Daniel - Published 2019 in collaboration with the Association for Industrial Archaeology

A5 - 80 pages - Maps - Illustrations - £5.00 including postage and packing



REMINDER: Meetings are now held at Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton,

North Town School having declined to continue accommodating SIAS.

(please use the side entrance facing the private car park)

(please do not park in reserved spaces)



SIAS is interested in all aspects of the industrial history and heritage of the County of Somerset. The Society was founded in 1972 and the geographical frontiers of the Society were delineated by the Local Government Act which established the new County in the same year. Cordial relations have been established with similar societies in neighbouring counties. The work of SIAS has included excavations, site surveys, ‘rescue’ operations for old machinery and the listing of significant industrial buildings. Records of these activities in the form of photographs, line drawings, maps and written reports have been retained in the Society's archives and at the Somerset Heritage Centre, with whom SIAS has established close links.


SIAS supports various initiatives, either by financial grants or manpower support, including:

The Kenyon Photographic Project (South West Heritage Trust)

Dulverton Weir & Leat Conservation Trust

Langport Flood Gates at Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum of Steam Power & Land Drainage

Richard Sims' Book "Sailcloth, Webbing and Shirts - The Crewkerne Textile Industry"

Otterhead EstateTrust


If you would like to add your support, please donate using the PayPal button below:

New members are always welcome. For details of membership contact the Secretary, Geoff Fitton, 01278 760869 or email



Talks are held fortnightly on Monday evenings from October to March at 19.30.  There is a free-of-charge Book Exchange and SIAS publications are on sale. There is no charge to members to attend lectures; non-members are welcome and are charged £3. For details see the Programme page. Please note that meetings are now held at Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton, North Town School having declined to continue accommodating SIAS.



Field Trips take place each summer. SIAS enjoys a full programme of day, half-day and evening visits to place of industrial and historic interest. There is no charge to members unless there are transport costs or admission fees to pay. Non-members can attend field trips on payment of a £3 fee, but please first contact the Field Officer, Peter Daniel, (e-mail contact is preferred when possible, but telephone 07736 374003 if urgent). For details see the Programme page.


Fieldwork involves investigation of specific sites, including, for example, photographs, measurements, excavation or clearance of vegetation. For details see the Fieldwork page.

Information on the current programme is published in the Bulletin which is circulated three times each year.


Committee Work. Apart from the governance of the society, members are involved in a range of other tasks including responding to local authority planning applications affecting industrial sites and structures and generally monitoring Somerset's industrial heritage.

For details see Notes & News




Bulletins are published and circulated to members, usually in January, April and September. Each Bulletin carries articles and reports on the industrial history of Somerset and also the current programme of events.

Surveys. SIAS publishes surveys on specific topics. There have been twenty-one published up to now.

Other SIAS (and non-SIAS) publications are available and are listed on the Publications page.

All publications are available to non-members.




SIAS is affiliated to the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) (website)


Current Archaeology (website)

Friends of the Grand Western Canal (website)


GooseyGoo (website)


Sherborne Steam & Waterwheel Centre (website)


Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (website)

South West Heritage Trust (website)



Somerset Vernacular Building Research Group (website)




South Wiltshire Industrial Archaeology Society (website)

The Somersetshire Coal Canal Society (website)

Wessex Mills Group (website)

Westonzoyland Engine Trust (website)

West Somerset Mineral Line Association (website)


West Somerset Railway (website)


Please contact SIAS Webmaster Chris Cooper with any problems or suggestions concerning this website.


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