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The West Somerset Hotel - Past and Present


Watchet's Heritage - West Somerset Hotel

Watchet's Historical Buildings
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Watchet's Historical Buildings
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This is the largest of our licensed premises and a Grade II listed building previously well-known as a coaching inn, being built around a central courtyard that contained extensive stables. It has had various names in its history including the Wellington, possibly named after the Minehead-to-Taunton stagecoach and in the 1860s, when Brunel's broad-gauge GWR arrived at Watchet, it was for a period named the 'Railway'.

Visitors to the town were able to hire horses here well into the twentieth century and the inner courtyard would have echoed to the clatter of horses' hooves on the cobbled yard.

The large double doors, now allowing access for motor vehicles, would once have provided useful access for small carriages and of course all manner of horses and ponies. It is said that on occasions the local hunt met here!

If you find yourself drinking at the bar, you might consider that just below your feet is the partially blocked-up smugglers' tunnel that stretched the length of the street all the way to the Serendipity Cafe. Previous landlords, when left alone at night tidying the bar, have claimed to hear muffled voices and the sound of barrels being rolled along a cobbled floor. Those going to investigate found nothing - others have retired to bed considering it might be time for a period of abstinence.

For further information about the town as a whole,
please visit the home page or click

This page is provided by Watchet Conservation Society with the help of Watchet Chamber of Trade
and with funding from Somerset West & Taunton Council's High Street Emergency Fund.
Text and history provided by Nick Cotton