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The name Weston-super-Mare is made up of Saxon words meaning the west tun or settlement, and the Latin words super, meaning above, and mare, meaning sea: in other words, the village by the sea. The hillsides above the town have revealed the remains of animals such as giant deer, woolly mammoth and rhinoceros but the first evidence of people dates back to the Neolithic period. Arrowheads, lints and other tools have been found and there is evidence of Bronze Age burials in the Ashcombe area.

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Accommodation:

Bella Vista Hotel 19, Upper Church Rd Tel: 01934 631931
Beverley Guest House 11, Whitecross Road Tel: 0845 080 5104
Birchfield Hotel Sea Front, 8-9, Manilla Crescent Tel: 01934 621829
Commodore Hotel 1-2, Beach Rd, Kewstoke Tel: 0845 080 5104
Days Inn Sedgemoor Sedgemoor Tel: 0845 080 5104
Lyncombe Drive, Churchill, Winscombe Tel: 0845 080 5104
Mentone Hotel 26, Knightstone Rd Tel: 01934 626621
Midland Hotel 42, Knightstone Rd Tel: 01934 621217
New Ocean Hotel 1-3, Manilla Crescent Tel: 01934 621839
Premier Inn Bridgwater Rd, Lympsham Tel: 0845 080 5104

Rookery Manor Edingworth Road, Edingworth Tel: 0845 080 5104
Rosita Hotel 30, Upper Church Rd Tel: 01934 620823
Royal Grosvenor Hotel 3, Knightstone Rd Tel: 01934 628147
Queenswood Hotel Victoria Park Tel: 0845 080 5104
Savoy Hotel 36, Birnbeck Rd, Weston-Super-Mare Tel: 01934 629559
Saxonia Guest House 95, Locking Road Tel: 0845 080 5104
Seaward Hotel 44-46, Knightstone Rd Tel: 01934 621227
Smiths Hotel 20-24, Knightstone Rd Tel: 01934 642159
The Anchor Head Hotel 19, Claremont Crescent Tel: 01934 620880
The Arosfa Hotel 10-18, Lower Church Rd Tel: 01934 419523

The Balmoral Hotel 66, Walliscote Rdv Tel: 01934 633033
The Oak House Hotel The Square, Axbridge Tel: 0845 080 5104
The Richmond Hotel 14, Park Placev Tel: 01934 644722
The Royal Hotel South Parade, Weston-Super-Mare Tel: 01934 423100
The Royal Pier Hotel 55, Birnbeck Rdv Tel: 01934 626644
The Sandringham Hotel 1-9, Victoria SquarevTel: 01934 624891
The York Hotel 1-3, St. Margarets TerracevTel: 01934 416344

The remains of Iron Age Worlebury hill fort overlook the town. This stronghold was built on the site of earlier Bronze Age remains. Excavations in the 1850s produced human remains, some of which show evidence of a violent death. The skulls may be seen in the Weston-super-Mare museum.

A Roman building once stood on the site of what is now Weston College, and Romano-British pottery has been found in and around the town. After the Romans left at the beginning of the 5th century, Weston continued as a small farming and fishing village. In 1568, the mineral calamine was found on Worle Hill for the first time in Britain. This type of zinc ore was important in the production of brass. Both calamine and galena, a lead ore, continued to be mined locally well into the 19th century.

By the middle of the 18th century, doctors advocating the drinking of and bathing in sea water. In 1789, King George III set the fashion when he tried it at Weymouth. Weston was the nearest coastal village within easy access from Bristol and Bath, so soon became popular. As most people bathed naked during the 18th century, the secluded cove at Anchor Head was chosen as Weston’s first bathing place for ladies. Gentlemen stripped off on the sands elsewhere before bathing in the water. Before long, the bathing machine was invented, giving a little more privacy. The first hotel, part of what is now the Royal Hotel,opened in 1810. Howe’s baths opened on the island of Knightstone in 1820 and bathers were ferried over until a low causeway was built to the island.

The Bristol & Exeter Railway came to Weston in 1841, bringing even more holiday makers. Birnbeck Pier was built in the second part of the 19th century and the town continued to grow. There were drives and walks through Weston Woods, formerly a private game reserve, in addition to many other walks, some of which afforded lovely views as far as Exmoor and Wales. By 1890 the pier offered a multitude of entertainments. There was a theatre of wonders, an alpine railway, a shooting gallery, swings, a roundabout, cafés, a bar and numerous other attractions. On August Bank Holiday around 15,000 day trippers would visit the resort.

The Seafront Improvement Scheme of the 1880s provided the sea walls and a promenade stretching for two miles. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it became fashionable for the wealthy to send their children to boarding schools at the seaside, because of the benefits to health. In 1904 the Grand Pier opened. Instead of the amusements of the earlier pier, this one had a large theatre offering all the top music hall acts. Ironically, today the pier is popular because of its modern fairground attractions.

Weston-super-Mare is still a charming resort with its lines of limestone houses, beautiful parks, the piers and sands. It is the largest seaside resort in Somerset and has all the traditional attractions of sandy beaches, donkey rides, deck chairs and the piers. There is a helicopter museum with more than 50 aircraft from around the world. This is an ideal resort for the family and there are lots of shops too. Naturally, there are lots of hotels and other accommodation, cafés, restaurants, bars and everything the tourist might need.

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