Nether Stowey — Somerset, England
Nether Stowey is a small village located at the foothills of the Quantock Hills, and was named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1956, the first such designation in England.
Despite the fact that this is a narrow gently curving ridge, the Quantock Hills offers panoramic views, reputed to stretch over nine counties. The area is rich in geologic variety and home to a variety of flora and fauna, overseen by rangers whose office is located in Nether Stowey.
Although there has been human activity in this area since prehistoric times, the village of Nether Stowey has its roots in the Anglo-Saxon period. It is believed that the Iron Age hill fort on the Quantock Hills, located just outside of Nether Stowey, may have been used by the Saxons as a lookout over the Bristol Channel.
Nether Stowey essentially has three parts; Castle Mount, Castle Street at the centre, and Stowey Court/St. Mary's Church forming the lowest part of the village. The Mount is where the remains of an 11th century Motte and Bailey Castle are located and from which magnificent vistas can be viewed across Bridgwater Bay, reaching to the Welsh mountains, Flat Holm, Steep Holm (a bird sanctuary) and Avonmouth. Castle Street, St. Mary Street and Lime Street in the centre of the village is part of the conservation area, as Castle Street was originally built in the 11th century with later additions through the centuries, accounting for the variety of architectural styles in the village. Stowey Court and St. Mary's Church form the lowest part of Nether Stowey, isolated from the rest of the village by the A39 by-pass, built in 1968. St. Mary's has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* building (important buildings of more than special interest). The church stands upon a medieval site, has a 15th century tower with the remainder of the church rebuilt in 1851 by Richard Carver and Charles Edmund Giles.
During the years 1797 - 1799, Nether Stowey was home to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in poetry. While he lived in Nether Stowey, Coleridge wrote some of his greatest works including Kubla Khan and The Ancient Mariner. The poet was an avid walker, and you can follow the Coleridge Way, a 36 mile trail through the quiet hills that inspired some of the poet's best work; or visit Coleridge Cottage on Lime Street open from April - September.Where is Nether Stowey?
Nether Stowey is located in Somerset along the A39 road between Holford and Cannigton. The nearest populated areas include Cannington and Bridgwater to the east.Have you ever visited Nether Stowey?
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