Radstock Mining Museum and Great Chalfield Manor and Garden

We will first visit RADSTOCK MINING MUSEUM which is a local history museum that covers the social and industrial history of the former North Somerset Coalfield.  The award-winning museum began life in a country barn in the village of Haydon and celebrates the history of the Somerset Coalfield in the Victorian era.  The last Somerset Coalfield mine closed in 1973 and a group of people wanted to recognise the miners work.  The result of this is an extensive collection of artefacts from Somerset's coal mining history.  You can explore their reconstructed coal mine and walk along the Victorian Street and discover shopping, home-life and leisure.

With galleries on two floors you can learn about blacksmithing, coal mining, shoe and boot making, printing and local breweries.  You can experience, through VR technology, a trip down a coal mine.  There are displays of fossils and local geology, agriculture and the local railway.

Radstock Mining Museum holds a unique collection of documents and artefacts related to the social and industrial history of the former Somerset Coalfield and of the Radstock area and these items have been documented to become the Radstock Museum Catalogue.  Tea/coffee and biscuits are included.

In the afternoon we will visit the moated manor house of GREAT CHALFIELD, built around 1465-1480 and described by Pesvener as "one of the most perfect examples of the late medieval English manor house".  The independent hall, lit on both sides, is flanked by unusually symmetrical gabled cross wings with oriel windows and lower gabled porches in the north-facing former entrance court for which the richest effects were reserved.  Its external symmetry, unusual for its date, is superficial.  The intimately connected 14th century parish church, largely rebuilt by Tropnell, also faces into the court which was formerly entered obliquely through a gatehouse in the west wing.  Part of a moat survives but the forecourt has been opened up to the outside in a manner that changes its original inward-facing aspect.

Externally there is a garden with four 'tree houses' - groups of four clipped yews that have grown together and been hollowed out inside to allow one to walk through.  The house and garden were given to the National Trust in 1943.  Robert Floyd and his family live here and manage the property for the Trust.  Tours of the house are at fixed times and visitors are guide-escorted.

The house and grounds have hosted the film industry for 'Wives and Daughters' in 1999, 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' in 2008, 'Wolf Hall' in2014 and regular scenes in 'Poldark' as Killewarran House.

To find out more, visit the National Trust website.