Historic Environment Record images

MSO9229 - West Somerset Mineral Railway

ENPHER Number:MSO9229
Name:West Somerset Mineral Railway
Type of Record:Monument
Grid Reference:ST 03 38
Parish:WINSFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
BROMPTON REGIS, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
CLATWORTHY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
EXTON, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
LUXBOROUGH, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
NETTLECOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
OLD CLEEVE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
WATCHET, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record caveat document.

Summary

A railway designed primarily to carry iron ore from the Brendon Hill mines to Watchet, although it also carried passengers. It was built in 1856-61 and closed in 1898. It ran again in 1907-1916.

Images

West Somerset Mineral Railway. 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

West Somerset Mineral Railway. 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

West Somerset Mineral Railway. 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

West Somerset Mineral Railway. 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

View of trackbed of West Somerset Mineral Railway at ST 0146 3437.  © Exmoor National Park Authority

View of trackbed of West Somerset Mineral Railway at ST 0146 3437. © Exmoor National Park Authority

View of trackbed of West Somerset Mineral Railway.  © Exmoor National Park Authority

View of trackbed of West Somerset Mineral Railway. © Exmoor National Park Authority

View of trackbed of West Somerset Mineral Railway.  © Exmoor National Park Authority

View of trackbed of West Somerset Mineral Railway. © Exmoor National Park Authority

Monument Types

  • RAILWAY (AD 19th Century to AD 20th Century - 1856 AD to 1917 AD (Unclassified))

Designated Status: none recorded

Description

The West Somerset Mineral Railway was designed primarily to carry iron ore from the Brendon Hill mines to an outlet port at Watchet, but also carried passengers. It received Royal assent in 1855, and work started on it in 1856 and was completed in 1861. It ran successfully until 1898, when failure of the mines caused its closure. It was briefly reopened in 1907, and was finally closed in 1916; its rails being commandeered by the Ministry of Munitions in 1917. Stations on the line were Watchet, Washford, Roadwater, Comberow, Raleigh's Cross, Luxborough and Gupworthy, with many of the mines having their own sidings. [1]

This feature was recorded as part of the Brendon Hills Mapping Project, carried out by the Aerial Survey section of RCHME. [2]

Much of the railway and its buildings are shown on the Ordnance Survey 25 inch maps. [4,5]

Several ideas and projects were mooted before the actual line was sanctioned. [6]

It was also planned to extend the line to Eisen Hill in 1864, but this was never built. [7]

Parts of the trackbed to the north of Burrow Farm mine and the incline were scheduled on 3/9/2004. [9]

Part of the line to the south of Carnarvon New Pit was scheduled on 14/1/2005. [10]

The whole of the course of the incline and the winding house have been recently purchased by ENPA, who hold copies of the detailed surveys mentioned above. [11]

The history of the railway has been described at great length [1], and the remains of the incline have been recorded in considerable detail, by Mike Jones, for the Exmoor National Park Authority. The incline runs for over 1 kilometre from ST0292 3528 to ST02333 3446, with a gradient of 1 in 4. The principal building was the winding house (ST0233 3446), which had a cottage - Drum Cottage - inserted into one side. [12]


<1> Sellick, R., 1970, The West Somerset Mineral Railway and the Story of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines (Monograph). SMO5787.


<2> Dyer, C.A., 1998, National Mapping Programme: The Brendon Hills Mapping Project. Devon and Somerset, SS93SE. AF1118137 (Report). SEM7355.


<3> Royal Air Force, 1946 -1948, Vertical Aerial Photography, CPE/UK/1944/3142-8. 23/01/1947 (Aerial photograph). SEM6707.


<4> Ordnance Survey, 1902-1907, County Series, Second Edition 25 Inch Map, 1903-1904. Sheets 36(9), 36(13), 47(4), 58(3), 58(2) and 58(1) (Map). SEM7190.


<5> Ordnance Survey, 1868-1901, County Series, First Edition 25 Inch Map (Map). SEM6703.


<6> Jones, M.H., 1977, The Prehistory of the West Somerset Mineral Railway, P.4-14 (Article in serial). SEM7036.


<7> Bye, R.A. + Lovell, T.H., 1977, A Proposed Extension of the West Somerset Mineral Railway to Eisen Hill, P.24-26 (Article in serial). SEM7037.


<8> Griffith, F., 1980s-1990s, Oblique aerial photographs of the Devon part of Exmoor National Park, DAP/VT 20, 24-36, DAP/VU 0-2, 4-30, -/03/1993. DAP/WD 20-36a, DAP/WE 0-9, -/03/1994 (Aerial photograph). SEM7171.


<9> Scheduled Monument Notification , 23/09/2004 (Index). SMO4073.


<10> Scheduled Monument Notification , 07/02/2005 (Index). SMO4073.


<11> Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Field Investigators Comment, Riley, H., 1999 (Unpublished document). SMO5111.


<12> Jones, M.H., 1995, Notes on some of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines and the West Somerset Mineral Railway (Report). SEM7046.


<13> Olszewska, M., 2009, The West Somerset Mineral Railway. The Old Mineral Line (Article in serial). SEM6762.

Related records

MEM15330Parent of: Brendon Hill Yard (Monument)
MEM15320Parent of: Bridge at bottom of The Incline (Monument)
MEM15295Parent of: Bridge at Comberow Station (Monument)
MEM15314Parent of: Bridge at Roadwater Station (Monument)
MEM15298Parent of: Bridge north of Traphole (Monument)
MEM15312Parent of: Bridge south of Manor Mills (Monument)
MEM15313Parent of: Bridge south of Orchard House (Monument)
MEM15310Parent of: Bridge south of Wayside (Monument)
MEM15311Parent of: Bridge south of Wreyland (Monument)
MEM15299Parent of: Bridge west of Temperance Hall (Monument)
MSO7820Parent of: Comberow Station (Monument)
MEM15293Parent of: Comberow Station Master's House (Building)
MEM15300Parent of: Culvert 17, The Incline (Monument)
MEM15308Parent of: Goods Yard and Shed, Roadwater Railway Station (Building)
MSO8966Parent of: Gupworthy / Goosemoor Railway Station (Monument)
MEM15304Parent of: Gupworthy Bridge (Overbridge 4) (Monument)
MSO7476Parent of: Langham Hill Pit (Monument)
MEM15303Parent of: Level crossing 7, Gupworthy (Monument)
MSO10513Parent of: Railway Bridge, Pit Lane (Building)
MEM15307Parent of: Roadwater Level Crossing (Monument)
MSO7848Parent of: Roadwater Railway Station (Monument)
MEM15294Parent of: Stables, Comberow Railway Station (Building)
MEM15203Parent of: The Incline, West Somerset Mineral Railway (Monument)
MEM15296Parent of: Timwood bridge (Monument)
MEM15326Parent of: Underbridge 17, Withiel Bridge (Monument)
MEM15319Parent of: Underbridge at The Incline (Monument)

Related Pages

Other References

  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: LINEAR103
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 948654
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34374
Date Last Edited:Dec 15 2015 12:49PM

Feedback?

Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please email us.

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd

© 2016 Exmoor National Park Authority