Sandford

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Sandford - with much to see.

Sandford is overlooked by the heavily wooded Sandford Hill. and lies in the northern section of the parish. The main road through remains busy. Plans are being devised whereby the speed and intensity of traffic passing towards or returning from the A38 are reduced. Nothing has been finalised but the outcome is awaited with some impatience.

Built in 1881 at Sandford crossroads is the Church Of All Saints, (see photograph) formerly associated with Winscombe's Church of St. James as a Chapel of Ease. The War Memorial is near by. The Methodist Church was built in 1900 on Hill Road. The earlier chapel standing nearby, now called the 'School Room', is used as a Church Hall.

More immediately, the design has been prepared for substantial extensions to the primary school. The plans look exciting and all await the results with much impatience! The Village Hall, nearly 100 years old, is a major centre of activity. Recently an art and craft show was held there. Parishioners' exhibits included paintings, lace, embroidery and samples of calligraphy. The Hall's success depends upon volunteers: their efforts, with the backing of the Parish Council and the Lottery Fund, have resulted in much improvements, including the addition of central heating. Step inside and you will surely be impressed!

sandford church
Church of All Saints and War Memorial

The 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!

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