SWWRIAC 2012 – NOTES ON CHEDDAR WALKABOUT
In Saxon times a location for a palace of the Wessex Kings. Saxon Minster Church.
Cheese making from 11C. Famous for quality and fetched high price. Organised on co-operative basis. Market Town from 1255.
Medieval woollen industry – hand processes but fulling mills from at least 1301.
Increasing use of water power on River Yeo. In 1527 six mills, five fulling, one grain.
In late 18C supposedly 13 mills (but may be 13 wheels). Paper industry from 1765. Two mills later used for shirt/collar making. Three grain mills continued.
Late Turnpikes. Wedmore Trust 1827. Wells, Highbridge & Cheddar Trust 1841.
Railway 1869. Gasworks 1869.
Tourism from 18C. First cave opened 1839. Other tourist facilities.
In 20C closure of last paper mill 1900, shirt/collar factories around WW1. New industries – car bodies, art pottery, concrete, cheese straws but all gone now.
1. Station Road. Turnpike 1841. Farms. Smithy and dairy appliances – cheese tins.
2. Bath Arms. Brewery behind pub until 1889. Pub since rebuilt.
3. Market Cross. Centre of market from 1255 until late 17C.
4. Lower & Middle Paper Mills. Probably old mill site. Paper from late 18C. From 1837 Tanner Bros – paper makers until 1860. At this stage had two wheels and 8 steam engines. Later Wansbrough Paper Co. Closed 1900. Site used as Art Pottery, lorry & car body making, concrete works. Industrial use ceased 1968.
5. Lower Corn Mill. Succession of millers. Scourse in 1939 when it ceased. Poncelot wheel.
6. Cliff St. Not a turnpike. Farms.
7. Millcourt. Estate grain mill later carriage shed. Use as mill ceased by early 19C.
8. Burnell Bros. Cycle making 1900s, later motor engineers and electricity generation.
9. Cheddar Four Mills. Paper from late 18C with 4 waterwheels. Succession of owners but by 1870s used by Cheddar Valley Manufacturing Co for shirts and collars. Ceased around WW1 when company concentrated on Taunton factories. Site landscaped 1935.
10. Middle Grain Mill. Pavey family millers 1844 – 1920. Rowland Pavey built Jacob’s ladder.
11. Cox’s Mill. Uppermost grain mill. George Cox miller here, developed first cave from 1837 & later hotel on site. Mill until 1921 when Bristol Water developed water abstraction.
12. Upper Paper Mill. First paper mill 1765. By 1837 Tanner Bros. By 1870s shirt/collar making. North light buildings survive.
13. Private gas works. From around 1880, for lighting shirt/collar works.
14. Sewage pumping power station site. Water turbines powering air compressors.
15. Tweentown factory. Around 1890, new factory for shirt/collar making. Closed around WW1. North light buildings survive. Later cheese straw factory until 1983.
16. North St. Hannah More’s cottage. Philanthropist who founded school for poor children.
The Walkabout covered locations 1 – 16.
Elsewhere in Cheddar
Station of 1869 – had overall roof; Gasworks of 1869 – survives; Tannery – until 1848.
44 limekilns – mostly farm kilns associated with Mendip land enclosure and improvement
Ochre mine (and mill?). 1920s and 30s. Lead ore processing – Charterhouse. Quarrying.
Medieval river port at Hythe. Cheddar reservoir and water treatment from 1920s.