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Square three stage stone tower. To the right is a building with a white wall and in the foreground a parked car.
Church of St Peter and St Paul
Bleadon is located in Somerset
Location within Somerset
Population1,079 [1]
OS grid referenceST341570
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWeston-super-Mare
Postcode districtBS24
Dialling code01934
PoliceAvon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°18′30″N 2°56′41″W / 51.3082°N 2.9448°W / 51.3082; -2.9448Coordinates: 51°18′30″N 2°56′41″W / 51.3082°N 2.9448°W / 51.3082; -2.9448

Bleadon is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England. It is about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Weston-super-Mare and, according to the 2011 census, has a population of 1,079.[1]


Bleadon was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bledone, meaning 'coloured or variegated hill', from Old English bleo 'coloured' and dun.[2] The parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred.[3]

Just to the north of the village is Bleadon Hill, a 13.52 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest.

There is evidence of agricultural use of the land in the medieval period and probably from at least the Bronze Age.[4][5][6]

The village cross[7] and well[8] are listed buildings.

Bleadon lies on the River Axe and had been a small port, sometimes known as Lympsham Wharf, for many years, with the arrival of the railway in 1841 making this the furthest navigable point. It was last used, by the ketch Democrat, in 1942.[9] An Act of 1915 authorised the drainage of the river and installation of a flood gate at Bleadon,[10] although attempts to control the water had occurred on Bleadon Level since medieval times, including an early windmill, in 1613, to pump water into the sea from behind a sea wall.[11]

Battle of Bleadon[edit]

Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, the sons of the King Harold Godwinson, Godwin, Edmund and perhaps Magnus, took refuge in Ireland, where they enlisted the support of Diarmait mac Máel na mBó, King of Leinster. Supplied with men and ships, they returned to the West Country of England, the homelands of the House of Godwin, in the summer of 1068. However, the citizens of Bristol remained loyal to King William the Conqueror and closed their gates to the rebels. Moving into Somerset, they were opposed by a force led by the English earl Eadnoth the Staller. The two armies met at Bleadon and although Eadnoth was killed in the action, Harold's sons were defeated and returned to Ireland.[12]


The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, such as the village hall or community centre, playing fields and playgrounds, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also of interest to the council.

The parish falls within the unitary authority of North Somerset which was created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act 1992. It provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for almost all local government functions within its area including local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection, recycling, cemeteries, crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism. It is also responsible for education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning, although fire, police and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the South Western Ambulance Service.

North Somerset's area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county. Its administrative headquarters is in the town hall in Weston-super-Mare. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Woodspring district of the county of Avon.[13] Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Axbridge Rural District.[14]

The parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of the Weston-super-Mare county constituency. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It was also part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament, prior to Britain leaving the European Union in January 2020, which elected seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.


The Church of St Peter and St Paul dominates the village.[15] Although parts of the present building seem to date from the 14th century (re-dedicated in 1317), most of the standing fabric is 15th century. However, as Bleadon was an important manor of the Bishops of Winchester from the 10th century, there would certainly have been a church on the same site by the year 1000 at the latest. The building was restored and the chancel shortened in the mid 19th century. It is a Grade I listed building.[16] The tower contains five bells dating from 1711 and made by Edward Bilbie of the Bilbie family.[17]


  1. ^ a b "2011 Census Profile". North Somerset Council. Archived from the original (Excel) on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ Gelling, M., Cole, A. (2000). The Landscape of Place-Names. Stamford: Shaun Tyas. pp. 167–168. ISBN 1900289261.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Thorn, Dr Frank (2011). "Defining 'Winterstoke' Hundred, Somerset". Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 154: 119–164.
  4. ^ "Mendip Hills An Archaeological Survey of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (PDF). Somerset County Council Archaeological Projects. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  5. ^ Iles, R., Stacey, M. (1984). "Avon Archaeology 1983". Bristol and Avon Archaeology. 3: 55–56.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Jamieson, Elaine (2015). The Historic Landscape of the Mendip Hills. Historic England. pp. 79–80. ISBN 9781848020429.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Village Cross (1129063)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Village Well (1129062)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  9. ^ Farr, Grahame (1954). Somerset Harbours. London: Christopher Johnson. p. 65.
  10. ^ Toulson, Shirley (1984). The Mendip Hills: A Threatened Landscape. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 0-575-03453-X.
  11. ^ Havinden, Michael (1982). The Somerset Landscape. The making of the English landscape. London: Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 150–155. ISBN 0-340-20116-9.
  12. ^ Bates, David (2004). William the Conqueror. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: The History Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0752429601.
  13. ^ "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". HMSO. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  14. ^ "Axbridge RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  15. ^ Atthill, Robin (1976). Mendip: A new study. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-7297-1.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Peter and St Paul (1129064)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  17. ^ Moore, James; Roy Rice; Ernest Hucker (1995). Bilbie and the Chew Valley clock makers. The authors. ISBN 0-9526702-0-8.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bleadon at Wikimedia Commons