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Explore England's Past


Until the 19th century Dunster was more important as a retail centre than Minehead. Dunster mercers were recorded from the 15th to 19th centuries a

Daniel Dunnell al Dennell was a carpenter and engineer and built the New Quay at Minehead.

Minehead’s position as a port town in the 17th century probably encouraged dissent to flourish and by 1667 there were public conventicles, said to

Alcombe is now part of Minehead but was formerly a village in Dunster parish.

In 1630 merchant Robert Quirk built 11 dwellings for the poor on waste ground east of the cross beside the market place.

Education was provided by several teachers and at a charity school but in 1818 only 120 children attended day schools and the poor lacked education

Before the New Poor Law and the establishment of Union workhouses parishes had to take care of their poor in their own homes or in communal accommo

Minehead like most places was affected by the loss of men to the front during the First World War but as a port the town was used to war and its conse

The 17th century was a time of prosperity in Minehead as surviving houses of the period attest.

Coastal shipping was the mainstay of the port of Minehead and many ships were owned by Minehead merchants, mariners and others.