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The Society came into existence in 1986 at the Roadwater Festival when Dr. Glyn and Clare Court put on an exhibition of "Old Roadwater". Finding a number of people very interested they held a meeting and formed a History Society. At a subsequent open meeting in the village hall twenty people enrolled and the Roadwater and District Local History Society was up and running.
As people joined from further afield it was decided to change the name to West Somerset Village History Society and, as numbers increased, a larger venue was required and the WSVHS moved to Monksilver.
We meet nine times a year on the third Tuesday of the month and usually have one or two outdoor events in the summer. Our talks cover a wide variety of topics and we are always pleased to have suggestions for future talks and visits from members.
A few examples of our talks are:
"Packhorse Lanes, Drove Roads and Lost Lanes" by Duncan Taylor. These old routes were rarely recorded and many have fallen into disuse. They are often still visible and we were encouraged to go out and find them.
Roger Evans gave us a fascinating talk on the development and variety of the Somerset dialect. He had many people foxed but hopefully their new knowledge will prove useful.
"A Quantock Light" Historical changes in Artists' perceptions of a Somerset landscape by Peter Haggett
"A Thousand Years of Watchet History" was an excelled illustrated talk given by Chris Saunders.
"Hope Bourne" Exmoor celebrity: 40 years a caravan dweller and author, a film and talk by Chris Chapman.
During the summer months, we have visited a wide variety of interesting places.
Monuments on Exmoor
A guided tour of Fairfield given by Lady Gass
Exploring the old roads of Dunster
Visiting Simonsbath Sawmill and the Wheel Eliza Mine.
June 2017 we were invited to visit Court House by Mr. Hugh Luttrell