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Coal from Camerton

This is the story of one village, in the context of the whole coalfield, which reflected life in this part of Somerset for over two hundred years. The North Somerset Coalfield is situated in an Arcadian landscape of valleys and streams, woods and fields only a few miles to the south west of Bath. Even today it is a somewhat secluded area, where access from neighbouring towns has always been difficult. It was an area isolated from the other coalfields in the Midlands and South Wales until the coming of the railways. The populations of Bristol and Bath were growing at the end of the 18th century increasing the need for easily accessible coal and in this unlikely area, amid the green hills of Somerset, there were real possibilities of meeting that demand. Furthermore, the coal owners were men of vision and enterprise. They were prepared to take risks to exploit the coal beneath their land and to look for the possibility of markets beyond their immediate area. There were difficulties to overcome. The coalfield would prove to be one of the most contorted and faulted in the United Kingdom, the seams of coal being thin and rarely level, although mostly free from the dangers of firedamp. Mining here would call for different methods from other coalfields.

Important places

Camerton (5)


Bath and North East Somerset (205)


United Kingdom (21,421)

Other geographical areas

South West (2,602)