Otterhead Estate Heritage Update September 2014





1. Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society (SIAS) members completed excavating a stoke hole containing a greenhouse heating boiler.

2. Forest School located an old well that will require safety fencing. A pipe is visible that could have conveyed water to a pump house; another possible item for future SIAS fieldwork.

3. A linear feature cut into the valley side east of the Otterhead Lower Lakes was cleared of vegetation by teams from Groundwork South West Trust in 2010-2011. The feature is not shown on old maps so its age is unknown as well as its purpose but It does provide an opportunity for an additional walking route for visitors east of the lakes. It is now known as the Otterhead South Drive. It is likely that the feature was never completed and there is a current project to resurface where necessary thereby providing a present-day use for the feature as well as making access to the feature considerably easier than it was even a few years ago. Photographs showing work in progress by Groundwork South West teams are on the Otterhead Estate Trust website:

The photographs will be found in the Otterford section of the Estate’s Photo Album.

4. Two of the shrubberies containing heritage plants have survived. The shrubberies at first glance seem to be full of rhododendrons, however work has been carried out to protect four mock orange (Philadelphus) plants as well as a privet (Ligustrum) from overgrowing neighbouring rhododendrons. Similar work has been carried out to protect less strongly growing heritage rhododendrons.

5. Heritage features on Forestry Commission leased land have been inspected with a Forestry Commission officer.

6. Two visitors with connections to the Lewis Lloyd family (owners of the estate from 1893 until 1938) were shown the site of Otterhead House and there was a useful exchange of information.


Roy Coombs   September 2014