Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Longleat reveal plans to open new attractions and demolish crumbling historic hotel

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:17 26 July 2017

Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge.

Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge.


A historic village hotel could be torn down and replaced with a new ‘iconic’ building, its owners have revealed.

Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge. Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge.

Leisure company Longleat has unveiled its plans for Cheddar’s gorge and caves, as well as the crumbling Cox’s Mill.

The hotel, which was formerly called The Cliff Hotel, was a destination hotel in the gorge during the 1800s but has been vacant since 2010.

David Gillingham, head of operations at Longleat, proposed four options for the hotel’s future, ranging from leaving it alone and carrying out minor repairs, to knocking it down and starting fresh – which is the company’s preferred choice.

Leon Toake, the gorge’s operations manager, said: “My vision is to create an iconic and wondrous location.

Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge. Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge.

“Our intention is to design and come up with a way of using that space for something like an art gallery, climbing hub or activity centre.”

Mr Gillingham revealed the area may become parking for a short period of time while they decide what the best thing would be for the land.

He said: “There was no viable business model to take Cox’s Mill back to its former glory.

“Every floor, every staircase and every room would have to be rebuilt and it is just not viable.

Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge. Cox's Mill Hotel in Cheddar Gorge.

“By knocking down Cox’s Mill we can restore the view of the gorge and create an area which could be used for parking.”

Residents were able to vote on what they wanted to do with the hotel and only a handful wanted the building to be left alone, while several people voted in favour of it being knocked down and turned into something new.

Longleat revealed the new management team had already invested £620,000 in the business in the past year on conservation, rebranding and updating its current attractions.

Longleat has decided to refit its shop – which was badly damaged during the November floods – and install an escape room and Beyond The View, a cinematic experience of the gorge to replace the open top bus, which was not ‘fit for purpose’, and both are expected to open later this year.

Mr Gillingham said: “In the past, there has been problems communicating with the community but we aim to make sure this is a thing of the past.”

Other News Stories

Budget-setting at North Somerset Council’s meeting last night (Tuesday) was an often-tense affair, with some heated disagreements breaking out. Three amendments were put forward by the opposition groups – and defeated. Here is how your councillor voted.

Read more

A dance music festival due to take place in a Somerset village has been cancelled due to licensing issues.

Read more
47 minutes ago

A children’s charity is looking for new trustees to come forward.

Read more

‘Vulnerable’ property-hunters have been warned to ‘tread carefully’ after an online scam offering tenants reduced rates on homes was discovered.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A nurse and a consultant are preparing to tackle the ultimate running challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

An army of motorbikes took to Weston-super-Mare’s streets last week to remember a ‘beautiful’ man.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Weston-super-Mare is half-way to achieving plastic-free coastline status, to recognise efforts taken to cut down on plastic pollution – and the Mercury is celebrating the businesses who have got on board.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Incidents of ‘abusive and threatening behaviour’ against Weston-super-Mare’s parking wardens on social media have been reported to the police by North Somerset Council.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Parking facilities run by North Somerset Council have been praised by a national organisation.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Sporty students from a North Somerset primary school showcased their skills in a competition which tested their abilities across a number of disciplines.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder