cynuit and landscape priddy cheddar wookey axbridge banwell Worlebury Camp weston brentknoll bridgewater the levels archer athelney abbeys wells sheptonmallet ilcestre cadbury bury bristoll brislington keynsham bath wellow stantondrew watchet bats castle dunster dunkerry
Home Previous Next


                    Now whilst Alfred is making all ready to fight again for his kingdom, we will leave Athelney for a short while and travel a few miles across the fen to the sea.

 The coast of Somerset is all upon the Bristol Channel, a narrow water between it and Wales often spoken of as the Severn Sea.

There are no great ports in our county excepting Bristol,

 but in the days when ships were small many landing-places were of importance which now are little used.

 In the Severn Sea are two islands.

Rising like high hills out of the water, they may be seen almost anywhere from the shore.

 They are called the Steep Holm and the Flat Holm.

 Now Holm is the Norse word meaning an island in a lake or inlet of the sea.

 You find it used in the name Stockholm, the capital of Norway, and in many other names of places on the northern fiords or inland seas.

 Now you will learn how these islands came to have Danish names.

 Before the time of Alfred and afterwards, the Holms were often held by these sea-robbers who carried their plunder there and lived secure from attack.

They would pounce down upon some village or town upon the Welsh or English coast, take what they could lay hands upon, and sail back to their rugged rock.

You shall hear, however, a story of one occasion when the pirates are said to liave got the worst of it. Near where the end of the Mendip range slopes down ……...….….….…………..….   

* Oldmixon *


Weston-super-Mare  is a town in Somerset, England, on the Bristol Channel 18 miles  south west of Bristol between Worlebury Hill and  Bleadon Hill.

 It includes the suburbs of Old mixon,

 West Wick and


 Its population at the 2011 census was 76,143.

Although there is evidence in the local area of occupation since the Iron Age, it was still a small village until the 19th century when it became a seaside resort,

The Paddle Steamer Waverley and MV Balmoral offer day sea trips from Knightstone Island to various destinations along the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary. Owing to the large tidal range in the Bristol Channel, the low tide mark in Weston Bay is about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the seafront.

 Although the beach itself is sandy, low tide uncovers areas of thick mud, hence the colloquial name, Weston-super-Mare .

These mudflats are very dangerous to walk in and are crossed by the mouth of the River Axe.

Just to the north of the town is Sand Point which marks the lower limit of the Severn Estuary and the start of the Bristol Channel. It is also the site of the Middle Hope biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). In the centre of the town is Ellenborough Park, another SSSI due to the range of plant species found there