agrarian-based economy of Sandford has long gone, as have most of the farms.
However, several farm-houses remain. 'Myrtle Farm' has been the Sandford home
of Thatchers Cider for nearly a hundred years. With its modern
production facilities, this is one of the most advanced cider makers in the
industry. The ciders are allowed to mature traditionally in oak vats which
provide a variety of products with wonderful tastes and strange sounding names.
The local railway line has also now gone and,
as a result, the Sandford and Banwell Station had been for some time derelict.
In 1970 it was taken over by Sandford Stone. The station master's
house, engine shed, platform and platform buildings are now preserved as part
of the business premises. They are well worth a visit! Sandford Stone exports
its goods to far and wide, including Japan and the USA. Seemingly bitten out of
the western end of Sandford Hill is a disused quarry and nearby are disused
lime kilns. The area was served by a series of railway tracks that, in joining
the quarry to the main railway line, passed across the main road between
Sandford and Winscombe. Part of the area is described as The Award Land and
more details of this can be found elsewhere in web site.
To the east end of the hill is The Avon
Ski Centre. The Centre has a dry ski slope of over 150 yards in length
that winds down through the wooded hillside. The hill has some delightful
walking but do beware of the quarry! While walking you could see the remnants
of former mining operations. This is not unusual as several areas in and around
the parish show the results of mining and its associated spoil heaps: locals
call them 'gruffy ground'. Look out for these areas: they have a peculiar,
pock-marked appearance. The ores extracted for various uses besides the
production of metals included those of iron, lead and zinc.
For more walking you should look on the
walking map for
Nye Road. If you travel on well down this road and over a bridge you will see
on the right a permissive path that joins Nye Road to the Cheddar Valley
Railway Walk. Further on along Nye Road and to the right is Nye Farm, a
moated farm. The countryside here has many attractions. Watch out for buzzards!
The views stretch in all directions: Wavering Down can just be seen when
looking south through the gap between Banwell Hill and Sandford Hill. Sandford
has plenty to see if you know where to look. Do admire the churches!