We’ve made our beautiful town’s heritage and history accessible with a GPS-assisted map to help you learn more about well-known landmarks and off-the-beaten-track gems alike through several engaging heritage trails!
We’ve worked closely with the Darshill and Bowlish Conservation Society, local historians, and residents (who have voiced some of the content), to create an immersive app-based heritage trail experience. There are nine trails of varying lengths, from the Family Trail (1.13km/0.7 miles) to the Cloth & Train Trail (14km/9 miles), which last anything between one to five hours.
You’ll access a wealth of historic facts, first-hand testimonies and commentary, which paint a rich picture of our town’s social, economic and cultural past. While on the app you will find historic images of both everyday life and key moments of our town’s history along your chosen trail.
Highlights to look out for include: ‘the most glorious of all the waggon roofs in England’; the drink which revolutionised social attitudes to women; the story of ‘the finest of all draperies’; fire, child labour and destitution; stories from the oldest prison in the country; John Lewis, the founder of a retail institution; ‘the snowdrop king’; a human-powered flour mill; wife-selling; a ‘spite’ wall; and a dancing bear!
We hope you enjoy learning about the fascinating history of our town. If you have any comments, then please contact us using firstname.lastname@example.org
Principally a volunteer-led project, the History Walks heritage trails were made possible by grants from Shepton Mallet Town Council and Darshill & Bowlish Conservation Society which, in turn, had received a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its heritage work. Without them, the walks project would not have taken place.
Special thanks goes to local resident Chris Kelly of TV renown, whose mellow voice provided the narration, and to the local people, Paula Robertson, Adrian Mitchell, and Al O’Kane, who provided contrast; to Alan Stone who whose books and long experience of leading history walks in the town proved invaluable; to Amanda Hirst who edited with wisdom and realism; to the small team of walkers who tested each of the trails; and to Ian Keys who wrote, plotted routes, walked and generally held things together.
On the professional side, thanks to Dan of Audio Trails Ltd who guided and supported us through the process of realisation; to Al O’Kane, a local, who recorded and edited with diligence and good humour; and to Tara Jessop of the Town Council who supported and encouraged us all.