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Make a Difference Today



Minehead Conservation Society is all about conserving and enhancing the built fabric of Minehead and its environs as well as campaigning to protect its beautiful landscape setting from inappropriate development.

The society also arranges social / educational events as part of the appreciation of the local area. 

The society is affiliated to CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England).



The Society monitors all planning applications for Listed Buildings and those within Conservation Areas as well as  any it considers might be damaging to the overall character and appearance of the town.

It strives to encourage the local planning authority to adopt high quality design for all new builds, incorporating the use of local materials, and which will sit comfortably within their immediate surroundings.

Minehead Conservation Society welcomes all who care about Minehead and its status as an' Outstanding Heritage Settlement'. It offers the opportunity for like-minded people to socialise together and learn more about the history of the area, its many interesting buildings and beautiful landscape by providing a varied programme of activities.

Past Autumn/Winter talks have included such topics as ' Construction,

Maintenance & former uses of buildings on the Holnicote Estate ' and ' 10 Treasures of the Minehead Coast ' to 'Siege and Surrender of Dunster Castle ' and a Magic Lantern Show of Somerset Images.

In the Spring  & Summer visits have ranged from a trip on Flying Scotsman and a tour round the Two Rivers Paper Mill  to visits to historic houses such as Cothelstone Manor and Orchard Wyndham and the restoration project being undertaken by the Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust at Halswell where tea was served in the Temple of Harmony. Walks around different parts of the town also feature in the programme. 

For information on future activities see 'Upcoming Events' below.  Also see reports on recent events which have taken place in the blog section (click on 'Blog' at top of website pages).

The Society is affiliated to SBPT (Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust) and members are able to take advantage of the visits that it offers.

Minehead sunrise.jpg
Minehead Townsend House.jpg
Minehead Beach Hotel.jpg
MCS Tree Planting for Queen's 90th Birth

Tree planted by Minehead Conservation Society at The Parks for the Queen's 90th birthday celebration

Old Ship Aground MCS Plaque.JPG

Another MCS Plaque Fitted

The latest commemorative plaque installed by MCS - This one is at the Old Ship Aground, installed October 2020


Prevented Southlands in Northfield Road from being demolished

Saved the Beach Hotel from inappropriate development.

Stopped the cafe on the Quay (now called Echo) from being converted into a holiday flat.

Fought to keep green area and trees in front of Marley Close from becoming one big car park.

Managed to reduce an application for three houses in Whitecross Lane to just one dwelling.

Gained significant design changes to the buildings proposed for the grounds of Periton Mead and contributed to the listing of the main house.

Helped to save the character and setting of the Grade II Listed Ellicombe Manor .

The society has also contributed to the street scene of Minehead and raised the profile of the town in the following ways..

Master-minded retention of many of the old street lamps.

Proposed the installation of the street lamps strung across the Avenue.

Designed, commissioned and paid for the Fingerpost by the Jubilee Cafe.

Proposed ,raised all the money for and gained planning consent, to erect the Jubilee Clock Tower.

Started the campaign to save the town' s public toilets by setting up a petition and lobbying the local councils.

Planted a tree in the Parks Walk to commemorate the Queen's 90th birthday.

Led numerous walks around the town to raise awareness of its heritage.

Gained planning consent and paid for the historical plaques around the town.

Supplied photos and information about Listed Buildings and other notable buildings to the planners .


Minehead Conservation Society

(Incorporating the Woodcombe Society)

Office: Townsend House, Townsend Road,

Minehead TA24 5RG (01643 706258)



Committee: Principal Officers

Chair – Sally Bainbridge

Vice Chair - Tony White

Secretary – Jon Collis

Treasurer – Janet Davies

Planning Case Officer – Sally Bainbridge


  Please be vigilant, and if you see things that concern you contact the society via email or the website.  We rely on our members to assist us.  

Help wanted!  Would you be interested in taking minutes of our committee meetings and similar duties in the role of Secretary?  We meet about six times a year.  See advertisement in next section. Please get in touch if you are able to help or would like details.

It would be great if all our members could try and persuade a friend or neighbour to join the Society

as there is greater strength in numbers when it comes to major campaigns. Direct them to our website so they can see what we are all about and the activities we organise.

NEWSLETTER - Spring 2024


Dear Members,


Planning Matters


We have just heard that there has been an appeal lodged by Elgin Energy who are the applicants for the Washford Solar Farm that was refused by the council.


A vastly improved design for the proposed house in Parks Lane in front of Lawrence House has now been submitted which we consider sits far more comfortably with the surrounding buildings and adjacent CA.


As a Conservation Society we are pledged to protect Minehead's historic buildings of which Minehead Harbour is one of its most important. It is vital therefore that the flagrant abuse of the planning laws by one of Somerset Council's officers is challenged by as many of our members

as possible. Planning guidance relating to Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas is quite clear

and is there to be respected by both the public and councils whose job it is to see that the laws are upheld. The removal of two historic cannon from Minehead's harbourside prior to having been granted LB consent is a criminal act . PLEASE register your disquiet over the way this whole episode has been handled. MCS has lodged an objection which can by seen under documents.


To send an email put: View and comment on a planning application ( into your search engine. Click on Somerset West and Taunton. The application Number is:3/21/24/006 & 007


Member, Mark Poulter addressed Minehead Town Council on February 27 on behalf of  MCS and North Hill Action Group, urging them to support the idea of the Compulsory Purchase of the Beacon Road site for community use and pass a prepared motion to this effect to Somerset Council and gain their support for the idea. Aware of the dire straits of Somerset Council's finances he suggested that a way forward could be to purchase the land by public subscription. MTC has agreed to put the matter and motion on their agenda for their next meeting. We hope as many members as possible will attend that meeting to hear the council's response. Thank you to everyone who turned out last time to show how important this issue is and how vital it is to protect this wooded CA site, which is the backdrop to St Michael's Grade 11* LB and to Cleveland a Grade 11 LB.


Diary of Events


Thursday March 14th - Old Alcombe Walk and Talk led by Tony White. Meet at The Britannia Inn at 12 noon for a coffee. Walk will last approx. 1 hour.


Monday April 22nd - VISIT TO BOSSINGTON HALL, SELWORTHY. Tour of the hall from 2-4pm. Cost £2 per person. Maximum of 20 people, so book early. We are very privileged to be able to go here. Please use booking form at the end of the newsletter. Please try to double up in cars.  We can park in Staff CP half way up drive or at end of drive.  A few can park at house. Deadline date for booking April 16th. Directions - just off A39 going towards Porlock right into Bossington Lane. It is then on the right.


Thursday May 9th - VISIT TO ST AUDRIES CHURCH.  Duncan Stafford, author and authority

on St Audries will give us a talk, tour and slide show of archival pictures. Insurance permitting, the tower will be open and the crypt.  Meet at the church at 10.45 am for coffee. Tour will start at 11am. Plenty of parking opposite the church.  Cost £5 per person to cover coffee and donation to the church. Please use booking form at the end of the newsletter. Deadline date for booking Monday May 6th.




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I/We wish to book for:


Number of people for Bossington Hall  _____   £2 per person   

Number of people for St Audrey's _____  £5 per person




Address: ___________________________________


Or email ____________________


Money enclosed for 1 trip (underline) Yes/No    2 trips  Yes/No


Please send cheque made payable to Minehead Conservation Society to Mrs Jan Davies, 4, Heather Close, Ellicombe, Minehead TA24 6LL

OR pay directly into society account indicating this on booking form. Sorting Code 60-14-30, Account number 57010552



Deadline date for Bossington Hall April 22nd

Deadline date for St Audrey's May 6th










Advertisement - Book by Sally Bainbridge



The society's long standing Secretary stepped down and we are therefore looking for a volunteer to take up this role.  The duties are light, but of great importance to the successful running of the society and include preparing the agendas for Committee Meetings, taking minutes, assisting with preparing newsletters and emailing society members as necessary.


If you are interested, or would like to have a discussion about the role whilst considering it further, please contact Sally Bainbridge, Chair.  This may be done using the society's contact details on the relevant page of this website.


Monday April 22nd - VISIT TO BOSSINGTON HALL, SELWORTHY. Tour of the hall from 2-4pm. Cost £2 per person. Maximum of 20 people, so book early. We are very privileged to be able to go here. Please use booking form at the end of the newsletter. Please try to double up in cars.  We can park in Staff CP half way up drive or at end of drive.  A few can park at house. Deadline date for booking April 16th
Bossington Hall.jpg


Townsend House, Townsend Road, Minehead TA24 5RG

01643 706258

Thanks for submitting!


Membership runs for twelve months from 1st October in any year.
The annual subscription is £12 for an individual, and £18 for two persons living at the same address.
Payment is by cash / cheque / online banking.  Cheques should be made out to:  Minehead Conservation Society, and sent to the Treasurer:-
Janet Davies , 4, Heather Close, Ellicombe, Minehead TA24 6LL. 
For online banking the details are: Sort code 60-14-30, Account number  57010552.

Please provide the following information along with your payment:
Name/s _______________________________________________________
Full Address _______________________________________________________
Postcode ______________________
Tel No: ___________________________________ 
E-mail ____________________________________

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