Somerset Industrial  Archaeological Society

UPDATED: 27.03.2018





follow SIAS on facebook Click on the icon to visit the SIAS Facebook page


See the Programme Page

The SIAS AGM, which was scheduled for Monday 19th March will now take place at

North Town School




Monday 23rd April

SIAS regrets that, at very short notice, we learned that North Town School was closed due  to  both difficult travel conditions and, more seriously, a failure of the heating system.  In the circumstances, SIAS had no alternative to postponing the AGM.




in conjunction with



49th South Wales and West of England

Regional Industrial Archaeological Conference

and tour of Dawe’s Twine Works

West Coker Commemoration Hall


Saturday 14th April 2018

Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society extends a cordial invitation to anyone interested in Industrial Archaeology to attend the Conference at the West Coker Commemoration Hall and to the accompanying tour of the award-winning and newly restored Dawe’s Twine Works situated just a few hundred yards from the venue.

Displays by the Associated Societies - Publications Sales - Trade Stands


DOWNLOAD BOOKING FORM (DOCX for online transmission)

Pay online using the PayPal button below

(please ensure that a booking form is also returned)

Number of places

Dawe's Twine Works undergoing renovation

Dawe’s Twine Works from the air


DOWNLOAD BOOKING FORM (DOCX for online transmission)

Pay online using the PayPal button below

(please ensure that a booking form is also returned)

Number of places


Smoking is not allowed in the conference building nor at the Twine Works

09.15 - Registration opens. Tea, coffee, fruit juices and biscuits available.

10.00 - Welcome - Mary Miles (chair of SIAS)

10.10 - Coker Canvas: Hemp and Flax in South Somerset - Richard Sims

10.50 - Dawe’s Twine Works - Ross Aitken

11.10 - Break. Tea, coffee, fruit juices and biscuits available.

11.30 - Visit to Dawe’s Twine Works (out-door clothing recommended)

12.30 - Lunch - Please indicate any special dietary requirements on the form. Buffet with Soup, Baked Potatoes and cakes. Tea, coffee and fruit juice available. Bar - red and white wines, beers, etc..

13.50 - What a Load of Rubbish - the History and Industrial Archaeology of Solid Wastes Management - Peter Daniel

14.30 - Ham Hill: England’s Most Seductive Stone – Peter Stanier

15.10 - Break. Tea, coffee, fruit juices and biscuits available.

15.30 - Gloving in Yeovil - Joseph Lewis

16.10 - Close of Conference.

16.15 - Visits (maps giving directions to the sites will be available on the day)

Crewkerne – Museum Visit and Town Fossick led by Richard Sims - the flax industry and shirt making. SHER Report (PDF)

Ham Hill – Led by Peter Stanier - quarrying from Roman times to the present day (stout shoes or boots recommended). Booklet: Ham Hill - the Rocks and Quarries by Hugh C. Prudden (PDF)

Stoke-sub-Hamdon – Village Fossick led by Peter Daniel - glove factories - National Trust ‘Priory’ - ending at a Fives Wall in pub car park Extract from A History of the County of Somerset - Volume 3 published by Victoria County History, 1974

Clapton Mill - One of the most complete grain mills in Britain, driven by two streams, and a turbine. web site


DOWNLOAD BOOKING FORM (DOCX for online transmission)

Pay online using the PayPal button below

(please ensure that a booking form is also returned)

Number of places


West Coker Commemoration Hall  is situated on the south side of the A30 at the western edge of the village of West Coker, which is 1½ miles west of Yeovil and approximately 35 minutes from Junction 25 of the M5 motorway.

Directions: Approaching from Yeovil, follow the A30 towards Crewkerne. The Commemoration Hall is on the left after passing through the traffic lights in the centre of West Coker. To access the Car Park, turn left immediately before the hall into Churlands Close and follow direction signs. Approaching from Crewkerne, Churlands Close is the first turning on the right after entering West Coker.

Sat-Nav: enter BA22 9AL

Grid Reference: ST51381354 [50.9193N, 2.6930W]

(click here for location map)

Detailed driving instructions if approaching from the North on the M5: leave at Junction 25; take 1st exit off roundabout onto A358; after 9 miles, at Southfields Roundabout, take 1st exit onto A303; after 6 miles, at Hayes End roundabout; take 2nd exit to remain on A303; after 3 miles, at Cartgate Roundabout, take 3rd exit onto the A3088 (this road has been constructed on the track-bed of the GWR branch line from Taunton to Yeovil); after 3 miles, at Bunford Lane roundabout, take 3rd exit to remain on A3088; after ½ a mile at Lysander Road roundabout, take the 3rd exit to remain on A3088; after ½ a mile, at Watercombe Lane roundabout, take the 3rd exit to remain on A3088; after ½ a mile, at Bunford Hollow roundabout, take 3rd exit onto A30; follow A30 for 1½ miles to and through the village of West Coker until, at the western edge of the village, you see the Commemoration Hall on your left; turn left in front of the Hall into Churlands Close to access the Car Park, which is immediately adjacent.  Major development is taking place on the western fringe of Yeovil which might cause delays - please check traffic conditions and allow extra time if necessary.


Booking Queries should be addressed to: SWWERIAC 2018, Park Field Cottage, Chipley, Langford Budville, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 0QU; telephone - 01823 400771; e-mail -


General Enquiries should be addressed to: Geoff Fitton, SIAS Honorary Secretary; telephone - 01278 760869; e-mail -



DOWNLOAD BOOKING FORM (DOCX for online transmission)

Pay online using the PayPal button below

(please ensure that a booking form is also returned)

Number of places

Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society


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 North Town School, off Wood Street, Taunton, TA1 1DF (location map) starting at 19:30 and cover a wide range of topics. Refreshments are available and SIAS publications are for sale. There is no charge to members to attend lectures; non-members are welcome and are charged £2. For details see the Programme page.

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 £2 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 IndustrialArchaeology (AIA)


SIAS has links with the following:

Current Archaeology (website)
Friends of the Grand Western Canal (website) (Grand Western Canal Trust) (website)

Sherborne Steam & Waterwheel Centre (website)

Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (website)
Somerset Heritage Centre (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 Railway (website)

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

home  top