Blackdown Hills Heritage and History

The remarkable historical and archaeological value of the Blackdown Hills is one of the reasons the area is protected. The landscape has been shaped by man, from early hunters to modern farmers.

Download the Blackdown Hills historic environment factsheet

Heritage projects

RAF Culmhead Heritage Environment Programme

This study of the surviving structures and the history of the former RAF fighter station at Culmhead sets out the history of the airfield and its buildings; the significance of the airfield, regionally and nationally, and puts forward recommendations for the conservation, management and further recording work of these structures. View Project Report

Dunkeswell War Stories
Capturing on film the stories of local people and US veterans based at Dunkeswell during WW2
Dunkeswell War Stories

Local Stories
The AONB Partnership supports the Carousel Project in delivering high-quality, creative and fun local heritage learning for very young children and their families. This video was produced by one group exploring about the area’s ancient iron industry
Iron Working in the Blackdown Hills

Harvestories collects audio recordings of local people talking about their lives and puts them online.
View Harvestories

Blackdown Archives
This volunteer-led group is gathering and making available a wealth of local material.
Blackdown Archives website

We organise an active heritage group and there are many other local groups with an interest in history, heritage and archaeology.

The Blackdown Hills AONB Heritage Page

Other useful links:

South West Airfields Trust seeks to preserve the heritage and integrity of the region’s World War II airfields for future generations, while honouring those who served at them.

Pastscape – National Monuments Record entries for the Blackdown Hills, including Row Barrow, Brown Down Woods, Robin Hood Butts, Broad Down and Dunkeswell Airfield.

English Heritage Viewfinder, Luppitt collection of photographs

English Heritage Viewfinder, Combe Raleigh collection of photographs

Devon Archaeological Society

Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society

Devon County Council’s historic environment pages

Somerset County Council’s historic environment service

Devon museums service

Somerset museums service

Devon Record Office

Somersert Historic Environment Record

Archaeology Data Service – Search under ‘Blackdown Hills’  to show records of excavations in the area

Wellington Oral History Group – The Workers Tale, CD recordings of people who worked in the main industries in Wellington, and includes some who lived in the Blackdown AONB. These are located in Wellington Museum, where there is a CD player. Tel. No. for opening times – 01823-666702


Wellington Museum

Honiton Museum

Chard Museum

Axminster Museum

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Museum of Somerset, Taunton

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter