Saturday, 17 August 2019

Lonely Chimney Stack at Leigh Hill on the Blackdown Hills

There is a red brick chimney stack standing alone in a field at Leigh Hill on the top of the Blackdown Hills.  It can be seen from the road as you drive east from Forches Corner to Holman Clavel.  It is just under half a mile east of Forches Corner.  It is all that remains above ground of a Victorian military encampment and rifle range, which was used by the Somersetshire Militia as a summer training ground.  Most of the encampment consisted of tents and wooden cabins. The 1889 edition of the 25" Ordnance Survey map shows that the chimney was part of one of two sergeants' messes.  There were also two officers' messes (one of which had a tennis court adjacent to it), two canteens, a swimming bath, a drill ground and a mission hall.  

The restoration of the chimney stack c2009 was funded by the Neroche Community History Fund.  It is on private land but can be seen from the road.  The grid reference is ST189 170.

Lonely chimney stack

Chimney Stack

Rubble and Chimney Stack

Chimney Stack

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