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Kilmersdon to Great Elm

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Kilmersdon to Great Elm - Colliers Way Map

Kilmersdon is just under two miles south east of Radstock, and for a village of its size, boasts much of note. Probably its best claim to fame is being home to the nursery rhyme 'Jack and Jill', the story of which can be found in the inscription on the wall of the Church of England Primary School at the the end of a footpath up the hill, where the well linked to the rhyme may be found.

Historical industry around Kilmersdon has included sheep farming, tanning, brewing and most notably, coal mining. The substantial nationalised pit of Kilmersdon Colliery was one of the last in the area to close in 1973, traces having been removed by extensive landscaping. The village lock-up in Kilmersdon now serves as a bus shelter, and there is a fine 15th century church which includes traces of earlier Norman construction and a lychgate designed by Edward Lutyens. The Jolliffe Arms in Kilmersdon is a great place to stop for something to eat or drink. Ramped access to the Colliers Way and a car park at Kilmersdon make it an ideal place to join or leave the route.

Mells can trace its industry to 17th Century iron production, due to the iron ore deposits to be found locally and the nearby availability of coal from the Somerset coal fields. The Fussells Iron Works in Mells was built for the production of edge tools (sickles, scythes, spades, agricultural implements etc) and iron plates. The remains of the works may still be seen.

Mells is a picturesque and quiet village with stone and thatch cottages and a grand 16th Century manor house. This manor house reputedly came into the hands of Little Jack Horner who discovered the deeds to it hidden in a pie he was given by the Abbot of Glastonbury, to take to London. A war memorial designed by Edwin Lutyens stands in Mells and St Andrew's church is a Grade 1 listed building dating mainly from the 1400's and is the resting place of WWI poet Siegried Sassoon.

South of Mells are Whatley and Merehead quarries - vast carboniferous limestone workings, possibly dating back to Roman times. Merehead has supplied huge quantities of stone to projects such as the Thames barrier, Heathrow Terminal 5, and the Second Severn Crossing. At Vobster quarry, west of Mells one of these old flooded quarries has been put to good use as an inland dive centre.

Great Elm is a small village in the Wadbury Valley through which flows the Mells River, and the area is criss-crossed by the routes of the Macmillan Way, the Mendip Way (Weston Super Mare to Frome) as well as the Colliers Way.

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  • Kilmersdon Jack and Jill Hill
  • The Jolliffe Arms, Kilmersdon
  • Kilmersdon Church
  • Walking the Colliers Way at Kilmersdon
  • Mells cottages
  • The Talbot Inn, Great Elm

Attractions and businesses shown are within a three-mile radius of the Colliers Way, unless stated.
Distances shown are approximate.


Vobster diving centre
  • No entry has been made for this location.


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Stone sculpture Mells church
  • The Colliers Way artworks and sculptures include interlocking oak benches, carvings, a tall stack of boulders representing archeological history, wrought iron railings commemorating Fussells Ironworks and much more.
  • In the heart of the picture-postcard village of Mells are the ruins of Fussells Iron Works and the graves of Siegfreid Sassoon and Edward Lutyens. Mells village once belonged the the Abbey of Glastonbury and there are many fine historic buildings to see.
  • The Radstock to Frome railway line first opened in 1854 to coal traffic, and to passengers a year later. It closed to passengers in 1959, but survived serving freight and the wagon works at Radstock until 1988. From Frome to Radstock was originally built to Brunel's broad gauge, but then at Radstock the line to Bristol was standard gauge. The broad gauge was converted in 1874 to standard gauge.


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Joliffe Arms The Bell at Buckland Dinham Talbot Inn
  • No entry has been made for this location.


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Hippy farm
  • No entry has been made for this location.


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Services for this area can be found in our online Colliers Way directory