Village Life: Blagdon
PUBLISHED: 12:53 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 16 January 2018
This month Andrea Cowan visits Blagdon - think a fishing lake, community mosaic, dolls house shop and annual wassail
Blagdon sits on the northern edge of the Mendip Hills in North Somerset, in an area of natural beauty.
The village is frequented by many visitors, predominantly walkers and ramblers, who take advantage of the free car park in the village to explore the area. There is plenty to see, from Blagdon Lake, a manmade lake teeming with wildlife (you’ll need a permit if you want to go fishing) in one direction, to Black Down (the highest hill in the Mendips) in the other.
There are plenty of other reasons to visit Blagdon, including the largest dolls house shop in the area, Cobblers Collectables, and three excellent traditional country pubs: The New Inn, Seymour Arms and The Queen Adelaide. The headquarters of the dairy Yeo Valley is on the outskirts of the village with its Garden Café and the popular Yeo Valley Canteen.
There are several amenities: Blagdon Stores and Post Office, a village butcher and a health and beauty centre and a red telephone box has been converted into a well-used book exchange.
There is a pre-school group and a popular primary school and the village is well placed for two well-respected, neighbouring secondary schools. The large recreation ground, The Mead, is home to the junior football club, tennis courts, a gym trail and a play area. There might not be a village hall, but the Blagdon Village Club has a large function room and organises activities for members. The WI meets here along with the local beavers, scouts and brownies. There is also a skittle alley and darts.
The village has two churches: the Baptist Chapel and the picturesque St Andrew’s Church, next to the lake, boasting one of the tallest towers in Somerset. The Space@St Andrew’s is a new venture which encourages community involvement in the church and provides a large adaptable space for hosting groups and clubs. There is Wi-Fi Wednesday, a drop-in session providing internet support, and Monday Mix, an afternoon of board games, crafts and refreshments for the more advanced in years. Another group has been set up to ‘bring people together in Blagdon’ called Blagdonia. Events include a party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday last year, and this year’s Fun Dog Show, which attracted more than 40 competitors.
Perhaps Blagdon can be summed up by the mosaic on the Mead, a community project funded with the support of the Mendip Hills Foundation. Local artist, Wendy Phillips, designed the mosaic and it was created by more than 100 residents. It highlights the great things about this small village.
Did you know...?
• There are just over 500 homes in Blagdon and, according to the last census, the population of the village was 1,116
• Blagdon holds its annual wassail on January 13
Hold on! Why not explore more of Somerset’s villages?