Selworthy Beacon

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Selworthy Beacon
Selworthy Beacon from Porlock Weir.jpg
Selworthy Beacon from Porlock Weir
Highest point
Elevation308 m (1,010 ft)
Parent peakDunkery Beacon
Coordinates51°13′13.69″N 3°32′59.98″W / 51.2204694°N 3.5499944°W / 51.2204694; -3.5499944Coordinates: 51°13′13.69″N 3°32′59.98″W / 51.2204694°N 3.5499944°W / 51.2204694; -3.5499944
Selworthy Beacon is located in England
Selworthy Beacon
Selworthy Beacon
OS gridSS918479
Easiest routeHike

Selworthy Beacon is a hill and Marilyn of Exmoor in Somerset, England. It lies within the boundaries of Exmoor National Park, to the north of the village of Selworthy and northwest of Minehead. A road leads to the top, where there is a National Trust plaque and a view of the south coast of Wales across the Bristol Channel.[1] The South West Coast Path also climbs the hill and ends slightly shy of the summit.[2][3]


Selworthy Beacon is located in northern Somerset in southwestern England, about 4 miles (6 km) northwest of Minehead, north of the village of Selworthy.[4] Selworthy Beacon is one of three peaks in Somerset, the other two being Dunkery Beacon and Periton Hill.[5] Its elevation is 1,013 feet (309 m).[6] Behind the hill, there are precipitous cliffs.[7] Selworthy Beacon is situated within the National Trust-owned Holnicote Estate. Nearby are the Macmillan Way, Coleridge Way, and a fourteenth-century tithe barn. A signposted walking route to the hill goes through a wooded area of Allerford and Holnicote Plantations,[6][8] and is 2 miles (3 km) northeast of Porlock.[5]


Acland memorial cross
Wind and Weather Hut erected in 1878 by John Barton Arundel Acland for use by the Acland Family on Sunday walks

Near the summit are a series of cairns, thought to be the remains of round barrows,[9] and the British Iron Age Bury Castle.[10] The round cairns have been scheduled as an ancient monument.[11] In the sixteenth century, Selworthy Beacon was (as its name implies) the site of a beacon to warn of impending invasions.[2] The mausoleum of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland is located about 0.25 miles (400 m) from Selworthy Beacon.[4]


Exmoor coastline is part of the Exmoor National Park (area 267 square miles (690 km2)) and Selworthy Beacon is on Exmoor’s stiff eastern slopes. It is approached from Porlock via Allerford.[12] Typical coastal plants are present, such as Sea Campion and Thrift (Armeria maritima), as well as gorse and heather (Calluna vulgaris).[2]


  1. ^ "Selworthy Beacon". BBC. 2006-08-17. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Walk — Selworthy Beacon". Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Walk 1221 - Selworthy Beacon & North Hill from Bossington". Walking Britain. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b Ward, Charles Slegg (1897). North Devon Including West Somerset and North Cornwall from Exmoor to the Scilly Isles: With a Description of the Various Approaches (Public domain ed.). Dulau. pp. 51–.
  5. ^ a b Turnbull, Ronald (9 September 2010). Three Peaks, Ten Tors: And other challenging walks in the UK. Cicerone Press Limited. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-1-84965-147-9.
  6. ^ a b James Roberts (1 January 1997). Walking in Somerset. Cicerone Press Limited. pp. 75–. ISBN 978-1-85284-253-6. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  7. ^ Hancock, Frederick (1897). The Parish of Selworthy in the County of Somerset: Some Notes on Its History (Public domain ed.). Barnicott and Pearce. pp. 7–.
  8. ^ Drew, Keith; Andrews, Robert (1 March 2012). The Rough Guide to Bath, Bristol & Somerset: Includes Salisbury and Stonehenge. Rough Guides. pp. 268–. ISBN 978-1-4053-9381-2.
  9. ^ Adkins, Lesley; Adkins, Roy (1992). A Field Guide to Somerset Archaeology. Wimborne, Dorset: Dovecote Press. p. 101. ISBN 0-946159-94-7.
  10. ^ Dunning, Robert (1980). Somerset and Avon. Edinburgh: John Bartholomew & Son. p. 125. ISBN 0-7028-8380-8.
  11. ^ Historic England. "Round cairn cemetery, 570m east of Selworthy Beacon (1020794)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Exmoor National Park". Retrieved 5 May 2013.

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