Opening of pits fuelled village's coal mining industry
IT was the opening of the large Greyfield pit in 1833 that started Clutton's coal mining boom.
And as the industrial revolution, greedy for fuel, gathered pace, so two further pits were opened at Fry's Bottom (1838) and Mooresend (1840).
These pits were owned by the Earl of Warwick, who, apart from renting out farms to tenants, also owned sawmills, quarries and brickworks in the village.
In fact the Warwick Arms pub on the main A37 road derives its name from the earl, who sold up his Somerset estates in 1892.
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Situated just off the Lower Bristol Road, Fry's Bottom finally closed in 1885.
Greyfield closed 26 years later, in 1911, just before the start of the First World War.
At about the same time another pit, Burchell's, was opened (or rather, reopened) but this closed down only a decade later when it became partially flooded. A brickworks briefly replaced the mine but the site is now covered by housing.
Compounded by faulting in the rocks the thin, two foot-high seams were difficult to work.
And the low quality coal that finally emerged after all this hard labour was sent by either canal or road to the main population centres of Bristol or Bath.
Transport problems were greatly eased – and made substantially cheaper – when the North Somerset railway, which ran from Bristol to Radstock (and on to Frome) was completed in 1873.
By the 1880s the horses working the branch lines from the pits had been replaced by sturdy Peckett built steam trains.
Passenger services on the North Somerset ceased in 1964 with the line closing permanently four years later, after serious flooding.
By 1969/70 the platforms at once busy Clutton Station were being filled in and grassed over.
The Railway Inn in Station Road serves as a reminder of those days.
Clutton's church has, over the years, been much altered and restored but the red sandstone tower is 18th century, as are two of the bells cast by the Bilbie's of Chew Stoke.
With its commanding views over the Cam valley, the Hunter's Rest Inn claims to have been built as a hunting lodge for the Earls of Warwick in the 1750s.