Somerset Industrial  Archaeological Society

UPDATED: 02.02.2017





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Wansborough Paper Mill, Watchet

SIAS members are invited to a private visit of the now closed site, lead by the works manager

Tuesday 25 April - 11am.

Any member planning to attend must get in touch with

Mary Miles (01823 412713)

for further details and to book a place.

Oxford House Industrial History Society will be hosting the

48th South Wales & West of England Regional Industrial Archaeology Conference

Saturday 29th April 2017

Llanhilleth Miners Institute, Llanhilleth, near Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent, NP13 2JT

Full details, including the booking form, can be downloaded here (requires PDF file reader)

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

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)

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 - contact Iain Miles 01823 412713 (website)
West Somerset Mineral Railway (website)

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

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