The stories behind the town’s best-known landmarks
Also see Burnham Historical Photos
1830s building boom sweeps Burnham
Many of Burnham’s best-known buildings were erected around the 1830s – Bath House in 1830, Kinver Terrace in 1843 (then known as Pruen’s Terrace); and the development of Regent Street (pictured right) and College Street, including the Baptist Chapel. Burnham-On-Sea therefore makes for a good case study for examining Somerset architecture in the 1800s.
The Customs House, which is now a private residence, was built in 1846 on the Esplanade. The foundation stone for the pier as laid in 1857 and the 900-foot structure was officially opened the following year.
The Railway line from Highbridge to Burnham was opened in 1858 and the track ran on from the station to the end of the jetty at that time. A regular pleasure steamer service to Cardiff, Ilfracombe and Bristol called at Burnham and operated until the early 1900s but an accumulation of river silt eventually rendered the jetty unsuitable for the service to continue.
National School Establishment
In 1855 the National School Establishment was erected on the Esplanade by George Reed, the town’s foremost citizen of that period. He was also responsible for the erection of the two fine terraces at the end of the North Esplanade known as Julia Terrace and Catherine Terrace which were named after his two daughters. George Reed’s home was the Manor House, now used by the District Council, and the Manor Gardens were his own private garden at that time. He was also responsible for the building of the Reed’s Arms, now known as the Queen’s Hotel. Burnham-On-Sea therefore makes for a good case study to follow the development of Somerset architecture down the ages.