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.

Archant

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

The police are appealing for help to find a wanted man.

Read more

A Somerset soldier has been left ‘in agony’ with a shattered femur after he was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting in Canada.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

Wrington villagers will be able to address a housing inspector ahead of a ruling which will determine whether 59 homes can be built at Coxs Green.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A Weston-super-Mare woman spent five days trekking the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu in memory of her friend’s daughter, who died in 2012.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

The South West Outdoor Festival rocked Cheddar as campers and adventurers descended on the gorge.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:17

Fears over the future of Yatton Library have been downplayed by North Somerset Council despite it losing out on expected funding.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Results are in for this week’s photo challenge - By the Sea.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A Weston hairdresser has won a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip to Asia after showcasing his expert skills in a competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Plans to build eight houses in Churchill have been torn up by a Government inspector.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:30

‘Complicated’ residents’ permits to allow access to tips have been axed by North Somerset Council.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

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

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
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