To follow the progress of our clearing & rebuilding work go to our Battery Diary
The Friends of Poets’ Walk in co-operation with North Somerset Council have been clearing this Wain’s Hill site since 2016 in order to preserve the remains of this valuable heritage feature for the community to enjoy. The above photograph was taken pre 1900.
A brief history
This is the site of a Palmerstonian Battery, a fortified emplacement for heavy guns, built in 1860 in response to the threat of a French invasion. It was manned by the First Somerset, or Clevedon Artillery Volunteers, who later became part (Battery Number 9) of the Gloucestershire Artillery Volunteer Corps. Two cannon originally stood here. The Battery ceased operations in 1908 when the national Volunteer Force was disbanded and the Territorial Force was established. The Clevedon Home Guard used the site in WW2.
Over the years the disused battery building and perimeter wall became ruined, although Clevedon Sailing Club used the renovated brick structure for a while after WW2. The site was largely buried under scrub when the Friends of Poets’ Walk set to work on it in 2016.
The Battery site today
Thanks to North Somerset Council the retaining wall against the hill and the remaining building elements have been made safe using traditional lime mortar (photos below). Weathering and vandalism remain a constant threat and a challenge to our team.
In April 2018, the Friends of Poets’ Walk were granted funding from Clevedon Civic Society for the purchase of materials and tools in order to partly rebuild and consolidate the ruined perimeter wall. With members of the Civic Society and using authentic lime mortar, the volunteers started work on 9th May.
Visiting the site
Visitors can access the site either via a woodland path branching off to the left at the start of the main Wain’s Hill path near the Battery Cottages, or else from Clevedon Pill by a flight of steep stone steps.
See also our Battery Diary
We urge the public to take care around the old and crumbling walls.