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Stanton Drew Great Circle

Read the text from this talk and /or hear the talk by following this link:

Mark Bullen presented the talk below to the Society on Wednesday10th April. It was recorded, and can be seen on You Tube by following this link: 
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On Thursday 14th March 2024 at 2.00pm there was a memorial for the aircrew of an American bomber killed in a crash exactly 80years ago in the fields above Compton Martin. The article by Ken Parsons below is taken from Blagdon Parish Magazine and covers the ceremony.

A video of the occasion can be viewed on the Blagdon Local History channel on YouTube. You also will find a specific clip that just features the unveiling by Lt. Col Barnhart from the US airforce. 
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We held our AGM on 8th February and were pleased to welcome two new committee members, John Lyons and James Everett. The role of Secretary remains unfilled. Following the AGM, Jacky Kerly gave a presentation 'Insights from the 1921 Census' a recording of which can be viewed on our YouTube channel click here. Anyone interested in their family or village history is welcome to view our 1921 records.

Many members renewed their subscriptions and received a copy of the 2024/25 programme. We kick off the new year with

'From sheep to shirts: how wool made Somerset' with Ken Parsons, on 13th March, 7.30pm in Court Lodge.

Ken writes, 'For centuries wool was a key foundation of the Somerset economy. This talk will tell the story of how the industry developed over time, leaving a lasting legacy we can see in many locations in the county even today'.


Subsequent presentations

April 10th, 'Wrington Curiosities' with local historian Mark Bullen,

May 8th, 'Unlocking the mysteries of the Stanton Drew stones' with Eamonn McGivern,

June 12th 'Blagdon Water Gardens, the story' with Peter May.


You will be very welcome able to join us. In addition we hope to organise some visits. One will be to the famed Chained Library in Wells Cathedral, probably in April/ May. Cost will be about £18, with transport, for an hour and a half guided visit. Please let Jacky know if you are interested 07971523157,

Blagdon Local History Society

How was Blagdon affected by the WWII?

John Penny, the leading expert on the history of the World War II in Bristol and how the city was affected, has helped Blagdon Local History Society learn more about what was happening in Bristol at the time that Bristol was being flattened by German bombs. His research reveals just how lucky Blagdon was when it came to avoiding any real problems, particularly bearing in mind the decoy city on Blackdown that was intended to attract the German Luftwaffe's bombs. Click this link to find out more...

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Amazing images of Blagdon from LIDAR giving possible clues to Blagdon's medieval past and before...... 
Blagdon Local History Society has real live meetings plus....
 a video of Blagdon in the 70s..... 

Blagdon History Society is now back in full swing with live meetings at the Court Lodge. In fact the next one is advertised below:

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 Richard Pearson has kindly emailed LIDAR (light detection and ranging or laser imaging, detection, and ranging) images for three sites in Blagdon – behind Lyons garage,  around Station Road – thinking about the field called Brokenhouse, and a field near the entrance to Holt Farm.  There was an unusual shape in the latter and he sent a different landscape style view which is even more interesting! 

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This is a LIDAR image of the area to the west of Street End. Note how the fields are divided into small furlongs and have been ploughed creating the classic ridge and furrows. It seems like a much more communal working of the land was in existence in the past.

Land west of Station Road. This doesn't seem to be so intensely cultivated, but it does seem to contain some very suggestive features from the past, especially near the road.

This is Holt farm, but for a truly revelatory image go to this You Tube Link:

..or click on this image. This is the ground on the other side of the A368 above Holt Farm.

An 8mm Home Movie has been loaned to the Blagdon local history Society,

the film has been digitised and post on the BHLS website for the members to view at their leisure. This was a record of all the events in Blagdon that were organised to celebrate the the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. It was called as you might expect - Blagdon Celebrates the Queen's Jubilee.


It was filmed by Peter Bacon who lived in Blagdon, avidly filming events and shooting imaginative screenplays throughout the late fifties to the late 70s as his children were growing up. The movie is part of the edited material that was used for another film of the Queens Silver Jubilee activities in Blagdon in the same year that actually got included on the Blagdon Local History Society DVD in 2007.   


If there is an event that you may have missed, it may have been recorded on Zoom and so you can find a link to it on one of the Events pages - click here.

Where a speaker wishes for the talk not to be recorded, you will find a link on the Events page (for that year) that will take you to a transcript, synopsis rather than a video. Where there is  a video of the talk, you can choose.


If this is still not enough to give you your ‘fix’ of Blagdon History, the BLAGDON LOCAL HISTORY website will continue to be developed, as will the Facebook Group. For this click on the link at the bottom of the page.

In fact, this is something that you may wish to get involved with yourselves and it may be an excuse to get writing some of that family history or the history of your business, club or house, that you have been meaning to do for years, and we will publish it on the website. If you include lots of interesting pictures, then all the better – things like building pics, people pics (if they don’t mind), landscapes, all the more and the merrier. 

Send them to the developer Peter May at:

Don’t worry about spelling mistakes, or punctuation etc. Just write in your own voice – that’s the most important thing.

If you get too carried away, Peter reserves the right to clip out any ‘deviation, repetition or hesitation’. Can't say fairer than that.

In an effort to make the members of Blagdon Local History Society, feel as though there was still a society, despite being unable to meet at the Lodge, members of the committee worked hard to keep events and facilities up and running.


 The invention of Zoom came to the rescue. As an online portal for meetings, talks and conferences, it seemed to have been perfected in time for the pandemic. Through this medium we presented many talks and had our AGM and committee meetings. These ‘virtual meetings’ provided a passing facsimile of the real thing. Most of these talks have been preserved on the other magical facility of You Tube, on which the society now has a dedicated You Tube Account. Click here to be transported there.


In fact the Zoom meetings were so popular particularly with some of our very elderly members, it has been decided to run Zoom transmissions along with the live presentation in the our meeting room at Court Lodge, so distant/infirm/lazy members can watch the meeting from the comfort of their own homes. It also means we should have a reliable recording for members, who have missed it, to watch at a later date. (Don't rely on this though, because things can always go wrong in the recording. The broadband coverage for the area around Court Lodge is very variable and it makes saving and uploading of the recording onto the internet fraught with problems. Murphy's law, which states that "anything can go wrong, will go wrong - at some point" has been proved true on several occasions!)


How to join the Blagdon Local History Facebook Group


You will have to email Peter May at to ask for an invite. This way you get to see all the pictures and post comments. Also, any updates will get posted both to your Facebook account and any notifications of updates to your email box.

Join the Blagdon Local History Facebook Group (see below how to join). The Facebook Group is something that may take your mind off the pandemic and give you the excuse to get out and get a bit of air in your lungs. The Facebook Group is basically a ‘page’ or gallery of images – mainly photos of ‘then and now’ or even ‘before and afters’. An intriguing and magical way to see how things have changed from the comfort of your own phone or computer. It can be accessed from any of the Facebook logo icons at the bottom of every page of the website. 


It may be that you may have some hidden gems of pictures of parts of the village, or your house, from way-back-way. You may not have thought they were of much interest, but if you compare the ‘before’ with the ‘after’, you suddenly see how things have changed, often in a big way. But sometimes there are just subtle differences that just manifest themselves in (possibly) the evocation of fond memories.


So if you have an old photo and you manage to take another photo from exactly same spot, we can match them together in the gallery. Then everyone can view them side by side, or one on top of the other. We would love you to share them with us and you may be surprised that somebody somewhere knows a few things about the same scene that you didn’t know.

However, if you have just the ‘before’ then we can get the ‘after’ for you – I need the exercise!


Another possibility is that you may have a mysterious scene that you may not know where it is, what it is or when it was. In which case we can publish the image and our experts in the village will rise to the challenge and provide a full ‘time and place’ for you and probably a truck load of anecdotes on top. And if needs be, we’ll provide the ‘after’ image.

And another thing.....You may also have some images of a recent extension or house refurb’ or you’ve seen a transformation recently in your street. You may not think that this is history at the moment. But it soon will be!

So, send the pictures to the administrator of the Facebook Group by email to Peter May at or try to load them up yourself. Peter will have to check them out- so it wont be instant.

If they need scanning to digitize them for the computer then Peter can pick them up. Even if they are just negatives, we can turn them into positives.

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