Category Archives: Somerset

Friday Bench: The Seven Ages of Maritime Heritage

There’s a fascinating set of plaques along Minehead harbour wall, with room to sit and stare awhile to look for the answers to the puzzles posed alongside (as well as what each piece represents).

Here’s some information – I would have loved to hear the sea shanties. We have sung the Halsway Carol at choir as in Halsway Manor mentioned below.

 

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Friday Bench: Fun with mosaics

Beautiful mosaics using old pottery adorn this cottage wall on the road towards Minehead harbour. The walls had mosaic along the top too. I recently spent a fun afternoon making just one small garden pot, so this must have taken quite a bit of work.

At the start… or end

Distinctive sculptures mark each end of the South West Coastal Path, currently the longest walking trail in England* at over 600 miles. This is the one found at Minehead and was put in place in 2001.

* = there is a project underway to create a coastal path around the whole of Britain. The Wales Coast Path has now superseded this one at around 870 miles and Wales is currently the only country in the world with a path around its entire coastline.

The furrow followed free

“The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, the furrow followed free.”

~ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

For me, one of the highlights of a trip on the West Somerset Railway is seeing the above quotation on a building as the train pulls into Watchet station. Sadly on Sunday it wasn’t to be seen. However, we did find the Ancient Mariner’s statue by the harbour.

The town is proud of its connection with Coleridge and being the inspiration for one of his most famous poems. I love how this has been translated into the statue’s floral adornment. Perhaps the daffodils are a nod to Coleridge’s friendship with Wordsworth?

At Washford station we learnt how the harbour at Watchet was made into a floating harbour like the one at Bristol for the Millennium, but the alterations led to problems with silting and the constant need for dredging. Here’s hoping Watchet harbour isn’t on course to being becalmed, just like the Ancient Mariner. It’s a lovely place to visit.