Somerset’s top 5 historical sites

King John's Hunting Lodge.

King John's Hunting Lodge. - Credit: Archant

From the oldest skeleton ever discovered in Britain through to forts built to protect Britain from the French Navy, Somerset is full of fascinating historical sites.

Ashton Windmill.

Ashton Windmill. - Credit: Archant

Here are five of our favourites which are open to visitors or can be viewed from the outside.

Brean Down FortThe fort is one of Palmerston’s Follies, which were built around the UK in the 1860s to protect the country from an attack by the French Navy. It was rearmed during World War Two. Brean Down also has the remains of a Roman temple and an Iron Age hill fort.

King John’s Hunting LodgeThe Square, Axbridge

The early Tudor merchant house is based in a prime location in The Square. It now houses a museum covering hundreds of years of history, and is open to the public from April to October.

Burnham Lighthouse.

Burnham Lighthouse. - Credit: Archant

Cheddar CavesCheddar Gorge

Learn about the UK’s earliest ancestors, from cave-painting and hunting to religion and even cannibalism. The formation of Gough’s Cave began around 500,000 years ago and the oldest complete skeleton in the country was discovered there.

Ashton Windmill

Near Stone Allerton

Cheddar gorge

Cheddar gorge - Credit: Archant

The unique 18th century flour mill was last used in 1927, but it has been carefully restored. It is open to the public from Easter to September, and provides views over Cheddar Gorge, the Somerset Levels and Brent Knoll.


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Burnham Lighthouses

Go for a walk and view all three of Burnham’s historic lighthouses. The lighthouse on the beach is one of the most photographed sites in the town. The Old Lighthouse, which has been inactive since 1832, is located on The Esplanade while the Pillar Lighthouse is located in Berrow Road.

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