Kilve

  • Road through Kilve

    There is more to Kilve than you see from your car.


  • Water from springs on the Hills joins together to make a stream.

    Kilve is a village in two parts.
    The old part of Kilve grew up near the sea.


  • Sir Simon de Furneaux was Lord of the Manor in the 14th century.  He must have been rich and powerful because he had a very fine manor house built. Visitors to Kilve like to explore the romantic ivy-covered ruins.

    Kilve people have always made good use of this water supply. In medieval times they dammed it to make freshwater fishponds for Kilve Manor.


  • The rocky coast here is full of hidden bays and secret landing places. People didn’t want to pay import duty on barrels of French brandy. So, instead of unloading legally at Watchet harbour they landed some of the barrels secretly at places like Kilve.  The locals kept the barrels hidden from the Customs Inspectors.  This racket went on for hundreds of years.

    This is how it the Manor looked in 1847. The old buildings near the sea made good hiding places for smuggled goods.


  • This is what is left of Sir Simon de Furneaux’s private chapel. He also added an extra chapel to St Mary’s church and paid for 5 chantry priests to live here and pray regularly for him. This is why this area is called Kilve Chantry.

    A year later, there was a terrible fire. It badly damaged the old buildings. People say that the fire got going so quickly because the buildings were full of smuggled brandy barrels! Now the walls must be supported to stop them falling down.


  • Kilve villagers used to hunt for for conger eels hiding in the rock pools at low tide.

    The beach was useful for other things too, like eel hunts!


  • Remains of a small factory

    Once, they tried to get the oil out of the layers of shale in the cliffs.


  • Iron waterwheel

    People used water from the stream to turn huge wheels, like this one attached to Nether Mill.


  • Nether Mill

    The wheel was on the outside of this building. It turned heavy millstones inside, to grind wheat into flour.


  • Charges at Putsham toll gate

    Things changed in the 1750s when they built a new road from Nether Stowey to Minehead. It went near Kilve, through a place called Putsham,


  • Kilve main road

    The Putsham end of Kilve became more popular than the Chantry end. People started to build houses along the new road. This is Kilve main road in about 1920.


  • The old smithy

    People passing through might stop and buy things…


..or top up with petrol.

  • The petrol pump

"Hat Watch"

Click on the framed picture for tour stop 7

Return Ticket | Next Stop

  • The old Rectory

    As people were able to travel more, they wanted to stay in Kilve to enjoy the hills and the beach. The old Rectory became a hotel and a new Rectory was built near the main road.


  • Kilve Village shop

    Kilve is still a busy place. Lots of visitors come here.


  • The old school

    The old village school is half way between Kilve and East Quantoxhead. It closed years ago…


  • A group of children on their way to Kilve Beach.

    ...but there are always lots of children here.


  • Kilve Court Residential Education Centre sign

    Schools from all around stay here:


  • Kilve Court