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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 - August 2023 

Dear Member,

Next month MCS celebrates 20yrs since its official formation in 2003.So much has

happened since then in which the society has been involved. One of our major

campaigns was keep the public toilets open. So many people have now remarked on how

good the refurbished Summerland Road and Quay West toilet blocks are and ones of

which Minehead should be proud. This was down to the Town Council but had we not

mounted such a big campaign highlighting the importance of keeping them we could

have been left without any. Proves you should always fight for what you believe in.

Sadly Mike Pretty who joined the society in its very early days with Jane, his wife has

died. He attended our last Christmas Lunch and later the talk on Steep Holm. He will be

greatly missed.

Also we have to announce the death of Russell Lillford, Chairman of the Somerset

Buildings Preservation Trust to which we are affiliated. Russell who was formerly chief

Conservation Officer for the county,came several times to speak to the society and

arranged a wonderful visit to Halswell Park for members. He loved Minehead and we

have lost a good friend and support.

We have a new programme of events for you.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14th Tony White will be leading a walk of Higher Town. Meet at

the bottom of Martlet Road for a 2.30pm start. Members £1 visitors £3.

TUESDAY OCTOBER 10th A talk by Vernon Hughes of the Somerset Branch of CPRE,entitled 'Saving the English Countryside', which should be of great interest.We are affiliated to

The Council to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which supported us in our fight to preserve

North Hill from inappropriae development.

This will take place in Townsend House at 7.30pm.

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 9th Our AGM at 2.30pm in Townsend House. Please think about

joining the committee and helping it to preserve the best of Minehead.

Those who visited the Radio Museum found it fascinating and one of our members

donated some items to it.It is rather disappointing that more did not take advantage of

the trip.

Unfortunately the tour of Ashfield Reservoir and Education Centre had to be cancelled

but hopefully will be re-arranged later.

We are currently in negotiation with our Somerset Councillors ( C.Lawrence, A.Hadley

and M.Chilcott )about progressing the proposed Covid Woodland Memorial Walk on North

Hill which was supported by MTC and passed on to SWT before it was disbanded. It was

then passed on to Somerset.

The society objected to the proposal for a 7.5m tall replica lighthouse on the Jubilee miniature golf course. It was to replace the Dunster Castle model. We did not object to a

replacement but felt that whilst the low key golf features are low enough not to detract

from the Conservation Area with its listed buildings, a structure of this height would

make a huge detrimental impact, drawfing even the Jubilee bandstand. We suggested

that a height of 3m would more acceptable and this was agreed by the planners.

Sadly the enforcement issued by SWT relating to the tiles on the roof of the Old Ship

Aground to which it appealed was quashed by the Planning Inspector. Not a good result.

There are other planning issues outstanding that have not yet been determined.

We hope to see you at our future events.

Sally Bainbridge ( Chairman )










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.


Historic Alcombe Walk and Talk: - On 14.03.2024 Tony White will lead the Historic Alcombe Walk and Talk, starting with a with coffee etc at the Britannia Inn, Alcombe at 12.00 noon. The cost is £2 for MCS members and £3 for non members.
Future Event - A visit to St Audries Church. On the morning of Thursday May 9th. Duncan Stafford author and foremost authority on St Audries Church, Park and village will show us the Church, tell us its history and give a slide presentation of the village. We shall meet at the Church -opposite The Windmill Inn, on the Bridgwater Road- at 10.45 for coffee and the talk will start at 11am.Further details nearer the date                        


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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