The Elms, Nailsea – a lost garden

Avon Gardens Trust is working closely with the Heritage Team at North Somerset Council to remove
The Elms Colliery, also known as Middle Engine Pit, in Nailsea, from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register. The site is on the Register due to the risk of vandalism and further decay and the Council, who own the site, now want to restore the site so that the public can access the site.

Middle Engine Pit dates to 1792 and was part of a series of early C19th coal mines in the local area, the coal being used for glass making. The site closed in the 1850s and in the Edwardian period a substantial house was built on the site. Some of the existing features were incorporated into the grounds. The house was demolished in 1985 and the land sold for residential development.

Three buildings survive from the colliery; two, the engine house and the weighbridge house are Grade II listed buildings. The third building, the water tank above the engine house was used to supply water to The Elms.

Map evidence shows a large house with detached stables, glasshouses and conservatory which incorporated the site of the pit head building of the former colliery. Some of the mine buildings have been incorporated into the grounds of the house as garden features, but most have been demolished.

Finding out who owned the house, information about the family, the layout of the grounds and whether there were any links with the former colliery is currently being researched by Avon Gardens Trust.

If you know anything about this site or have any old photographs, please contact [email protected]